tonym9428 Posted October 7, 2010 Share Posted October 7, 2010 (edited) I recently completed my master's degree in political science. Since then, I've been working and doing some freelance analytics work using R, Python, MySQL, etc. Most of the analytics work I do is rather simple descriptive statistics, but I also do OLS and logit/probit regression analysis....a lot of my clients are more interested in my web scraping services, but that's neither here nor there. I've been considering returning to school to pursue a MS in Statistics. I don't want to get a second bachelors degree, but plan on taking the required pre-req's for grad programs in statistics. I was considering taking the following classes. As an undergrad, I took Calc 1, calc 2, and linear algebra, but need to retake both courses as it's been a while. MATH 104 = Pre-Calculus MATH 121 = Calculus 1 (after M-104) MATH 122 = Calculus 2 (after M-121) MATH 223 = Vector Calculus (after M-122) MATH 290 = Elementary Linear Algebra (after M-122) MATH 320 = Applied Differential Equations (after M-223 andM-290) MATH 526 = Applied Mathematical Statistics 1 (after M-122) MATH 590 = Linear Algebra 1 (after M-223 and M-290) MATH 591 = Linear Algebra 2 (after M-290) MATH 605 = Applied Regression Analysis (after M-526) MATH 627 = Probability (after M-223 and M-290) It will take me three to four years before I can apply to a grad program. I may even go to school part time. Does anyone have any suggestions? Edited October 7, 2010 by tonym9428 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

statsguy Posted October 8, 2010 Share Posted October 8, 2010 Go straight into Linear Algebra + Stats classes. These courses use only basic integration and differentiation techniques; you can easily brush up on what you need to know, especially if you have already taken Calc I + II (even if it was a while ago.) You will be wasting your time by taking the entire Calc III course since you only need to know how to take partial derivatives and do multiple integrals. Also, don't bother with DiffEQ. This way, you can start an MS program in 1-2 years rather than in 3-4. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

tonym9428 Posted October 8, 2010 Author Share Posted October 8, 2010 Go straight into Linear Algebra + Stats classes. These courses use only basic integration and differentiation techniques; you can easily brush up on what you need to know, especially if you have already taken Calc I + II (even if it was a while ago.) You will be wasting your time by taking the entire Calc III course since you only need to know how to take partial derivatives and do multiple integrals. Also, don't bother with DiffEQ. This way, you can start an MS program in 1-2 years rather than in 3-4. Thank you for the response. I recently talked to a statistics prof at Columbia and they reccomended that I also take real analysis....is that also necessary? or just for the top schools? I don't necessarily need to go to a top 20 school, so not too concerned about rankings and stuff like that. I'm noticing that the math pre-req's for biostats department are much less...why? less theoretical? After some research, I'm now considering returning to school full time to just get a BS in mathematics...will take 2-3 years. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

statsguy Posted October 8, 2010 Share Posted October 8, 2010 Thank you for the response. I recently talked to a statistics prof at Columbia and they reccomended that I also take real analysis....is that also necessary? or just for the top schools? I don't necessarily need to go to a top 20 school, so not too concerned about rankings and stuff like that. I'm noticing that the math pre-req's for biostats department are much less...why? less theoretical? After some research, I'm now considering returning to school full time to just get a BS in mathematics...will take 2-3 years. If you eventually want to get a PhD in Statistics, take Real Analysis. But if you just want an MS so you can do applied work, I wouldn't take it. I know MS students in my program who came in with degrees in Biology or Physics, even Psychology, having only taken Calc I and II in undergrad, and they are doing fine. Again, just to warn you, you will be taking a lot of classes that are useless in the field of Statistics by completing an entire BS in Mathematics (ie Number Theory, Abstract Algebra, Diff EQ etc...) Now if this interests you, great, go ahead and take them just for fun. Since you already have an MS, I don't know how much more school you can stomach. I don't know what the pre-reqs are for MS programs in Biostats, but I am aware that the pre-reqs are lower for Biostats PhDs, largely because (as you said) there is much less theory and the programs are generally not as mathematically rigorous. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

tonym9428 Posted October 8, 2010 Author Share Posted October 8, 2010 If you eventually want to get a PhD in Statistics, take Real Analysis. But if you just want an MS so you can do applied work, I wouldn't take it. I know MS students in my program who came in with degrees in Biology or Physics, even Psychology, having only taken Calc I and II in undergrad, and they are doing fine. Again, just to warn you, you will be taking a lot of classes that are useless in the field of Statistics by completing an entire BS in Mathematics (ie Number Theory, Abstract Algebra, Diff EQ etc...) Now if this interests you, great, go ahead and take them just for fun. Since you already have an MS, I don't know how much more school you can stomach. I don't know what the pre-reqs are for MS programs in Biostats, but I am aware that the pre-reqs are lower for Biostats PhDs, largely because (as you said) there is much less theory and the programs are generally not as mathematically rigorous. This is the big issue for me. I never wanted to be in school past the age of 25, but I'm at a point where I want to continue working in the analytics field, but just don't feel that I'm as prepared. Sure, I've been doing freelance work with no problem, but a lot of this is child's play...I just need more education to further my employment goals. I'm very cautious of being perceived as a career student. At this stage, I'm fine as I got my undergrad, then went straight to grad school, and got out. However, there's a point when an individual can be labeled a career student and that hampers their future goals....or at least it seems so to me. At 25, I'm still young, so maybe I should try and get this all done by the time I'm 30. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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