Statistical Science Degree Comparisons (updated through 2013)

By Steve Pierson posted 12-20-2013 14:46


[7/14/14 Update: The graphs below were updated to include the 2012-2013 degree data.
8/22/14 Update: I added to the Master's and Doctorate charts a separate line for biostatistics so that one could more clearly see its growth. For the statistics and biostatistics data, I also include the other statistics categories: "Mathematical Statistics and Probability;" "Mathematics and Statistics;" and "Statistics, Other." The Statistics data in the graphs below includes only the category, Statistics, General. I originally included only "Statistics, General" for a more fair comparison with the “Mathematics, General” and “Physics, General” categories. I didn't add the additional data series for the bachelor's degrees because biostatistics degrees at this level are less than 30 annually.]

For more on degree categorization, see Categorization of Statistics Degrees through CIP Codes and Growth in Statistics-Related Degrees.

I also note that I've updated the title of this blog to note that the graphs below are updated through 2013.]

In my May Amstat News column, Growing Numbers of Stats Degrees, I compared the growth in undergraduate and graduate statistical science degrees to the same for mathematics and physics through normalized graphs. In my October Amstat News column, Undergrad Statistics Degrees Continue Large Increases in 2012, after the fall release from NCES of the 2012 degree data, I provided
some of the updated charts form the May column. Here I provide the updated normalized graphs comparing statistics to mathematics and physics. The three updated graphs are below with Bachelor's first and PhD's last. I put a little discussion below the three graphs.


The most striking feature of the three graphs above is still the very fast rise of undergraduate statistics degrees. I should note that, for graph, I add the category of "Mathematical Statistics and Probability" to "Statistics, General" because it appeared that one large department started categorizing most of their degrees in the former category for the most recent data.

Not much changed from 2011 to 2012 for the Master's degrees and, for PhD's, the "Statistics, General" degrees were flat while the jump in biostatistics PhD's was 40%.

For previous posts/articles on the growth of statistics degrees, AP Statistics, and postdocs, see the following (noting that #'s 1 & 2 include data on the number of women receiving degrees or the number of females taking AP Statistics):

  1. AP Statistics Sustains Strong Growth in 2013, ASA Community Blog Entry, October 4, 2013.
  2. Undergrad Statistics Degrees Continue Large Increases in 2012, Amstat News, October, 2013.
  3. Postdoc Numbers Small but on the Rise for Statistics, ASA Community Blog Entry, September 9, 2013
  4. Growing Numbers of Stats Degrees, Amstat News, May, 2013.    
  5. See also this April 2007 Amstat News article, "Statistical Sciences Produces High Percentage of Female New Doctoral Recipients," by Rosanne Desmone:

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