What is statistics?
Statistics is a branch of mathematics focused on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Data sets can include full population data, surveys, smaller random samples, qualitative data, and much more. Statisticians can apply a number of data analysis techniques to better understand what the data means and how different data points or data sets relate to each other. For example, a pollster can conduct surveys on voter sentiment to determine which issues are likely driving voters to the polls. They can also use statistics to determine how closely their sample of voters reflects the larger population.
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Statistics courses and certifications/curriculum
A statistics course may cover data collection, p-values, statistical inference, Excel formulas, confidence intervals, random variables, distributions, and more. Earning verified certificates in statistics and other mathematics disciplines may also help you stand out from other applicants when applying for roles in which you’ll need to perform statistical analysis.
Individuals who perform statistical analysis as a core function of their jobs need to be skilled in problem-solving, critical thinking, analytics programming, and research. Regardless of industry, these skills can make you an attractive candidate for roles in this field.
Careers in statistics
Governments, hospitals, banks, educational institutions, and countless other types of organizations rely on statistics for their general operations. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau specializes in the collection and analysis of data from U.S. households that helps to determine everything from the resources needed for underserved communities to the number of representatives each state has in Congress. Statistics have power; learning how to apply statistical analysis to data can be one way to harness that power to benefit any professional setting where you choose to work.