Customize Your Applied Statistics Degree: Biostatistics vs. Business Analytics

by Ben Kissam

Looking for a graduate degree that will set you up for future success? You may want to consider an applied statistics degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), statistician jobs will increase 31 percent by 2028.

One major benefit to a graduate-level applied statistics degree is its versatility; it can open the door to a variety of jobs. Just a few years go, Forbes ranked biostatistics and statistics as the top two master’s degrees for employment, and U.S. News ranked statistician as the fourth best job overall. Accordingly, many graduate students are investing in skill sets that will make them employable, versatile, and highly sought-after.

The MS in Applied Statistics and Data Science program offered at Azusa Pacific University can equip you for careers in biostatistics or business analytics in particular. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to pursue this professional path.

Biostatisticians Help Advance Research

Biostatisticians apply statistical techniques to scientific research, typically working in the fields of medicine, biology, or public health. For example, data analysis may help shape strategies that prevent diseases from spreading, or help pharmacists make more informed decisions about new prescription drugs.

In addition to biostatistician, related job titles may include:

  • Statistical Epidemiologist
  • Principal Investigator
  • Machine Learning Scientist

As a graduate student majoring in applied statistics and analytics at APU, the biostatistics coursework you complete will serve to prepare you for two culminating experiences: your Statistical Consulting Practicum and a Culminating Project. Equal parts theory and applied methodology, you can complete this program (plus electives) in two years as a full-time student.

Business Analysts Help Companies Succeed

Do you want to help your favorite sports team win a championship? Help large-scale businesses make better decisions? How about optimizing user experiences for streaming services like Hulu?

According to the BLS, 13,000 new jobs like these are expected to pop up for those with business analytics experience by 2028. With this emphasis in applied statistics, you can hone a set of employable skills for a rapidly growing industry.

The study of business analytics dives deep into the methods and practices that organizations everywhere need. Elective classes offered at APU include:

  • Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
  • Data Mining
  • Data Visualization

These courses teach you how to find regularities and forecast trends, both of which are valuable skills in a tech-driven world. Additionally, you’ll develop proficiency using multiple software programs (SAS, R, and Tableau, among others), further boosting your employability.

The APU Difference

There are plenty of graduate degrees in applied statistics out there. The difference is that Azusa Pacific University’s programs aim to shape your professional future while also preparing you to lead with purpose and ethical integrity. You won’t leave APU’s graduate program simply with a job as a biostatistician or business analyst (though APU ranks in the 92nd percentile for employability). You’ll enter the workforce with an established network and faith-centric values to guide and support you.