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Biostatistics vs Applied Statistics


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Hi everyone!

I graduated last semester with a bachelors degree in biology and I'm considering my next step as far as graduate school goes. I've been entertaining the idea of getting a masters degree in biostats or stats ever since I took a biostats class last fall before graduating, I found it fascinating and quite enjoyable. I'm planning to take calc 1 next fall as a non-major while I work and continue on taking math classes to figure out if I honestly want this career path (I'm planning on taking calc 1-3, linear algebra and 2 probability and stat classes that are calculus based). I know that I still have ways to go before I can apply to any stat program but I have a couple of questions regarding stat/biostat that I would truly appreciate if anyone could answer:

1) What would be a smarter thing to do, get a masters in applied statistics or go for a biostatistics degree? My line of thinking is this: if I get a stats degree I can be a statistician in many more fields than with a biostatistics degree and I can get the same jobs as a person with a biostats degree. I would pretty much be covered when it comes to obtaining a good job and not be limited to the public health/pharmaceutical research industries. What do u guys think?

2) Is a masters in biostats that different than an applied stats one? Is it that one degree emphasizes certain parts of statistics and/or probability? It seems to me that they would be very similar.

3) Is there good demand for (bio)statisticians with a masters degree or is a phd truly needed?

4) Lastly, would it be looked down upon if one were to receive an MA instead of a MS stat degree?

Thank you for any replies!

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1/2.  It really shouldn't matter.  Both will be employable in any area of statistics and you'll learn the same things.


3. Yes, there are good, well-paying opportunities available.


4. No, that won't matter at all.

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