M.S. vs M.A.S. in Applied Statistics for future career


I have a B.S. in biology and I'm currently working as biologist. I am wanting to pursue a master's degree in statistics and there are several online programs that look intriguing. A couple of them are M.S. degrees and one (the one I like the best) is a M.A.S. All of them are applied statistics degrees. I'm not sure which one is better. I've read that the M.S. is more theoretical and is better if I pursue a phd. At this point in my life I don't plan on doing that.

Which is better, a M.S. in Applied Statistics or a M.A.S in Applied Statistics? Is one viewed as superior or inferior in the job market or by other statisticians? Thank you very much!


No cake for spunky
I personally doubt anyone can ever know this type of answer. They know only, maybe, what they experienced. Different businesses probably want different things even in the same industry. And all probably are more interested in experience than academic degrees.

But of course I don't even know that. :p It is just a guess.


Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
I had to look up the difference. There is likely not a difference to employers. I guess if I was hiring an MS, I would imagine they may have slightly deeper analytic understanding, but may need some hand holding when it comes to real world application. Just look at the curricula for differences, but if you are hoping to apply it to biology - you may be answering your own question. As a side, if you did the MAS program, there probably isn't anything stopping you from making sure some of your electives may be a little more theoretical to tie up the loose endings.

But in all actuality, there likely isn't enough of a difference to change your life trajectory, unless one of them was from an institution that is less know and/or known in the analytic arena that could hinder people's perceptions.


TS Contributor
I agree that it is a difficult question to answer because many places do not understand the distinction between similar degrees. My background is in engineering. They have degrees in Engineering, which are very theoretical and prepare the engineer for a career in research. They also have degrees in Engineering Technology, which are application oriented and prepare the engineer for a career in applied engineering. While latter are better suited for careers in manufacturing, most companies do not understand and will search for and hire for engineering degrees over engineering technology degrees. They end up hiring a poor fit and everyone involve is unhappy.


Active Member
I don't think it matters much. I have an M.S. But, I think what's more valuable is the actual coursework and connections available through whatever program you choose. So, I would look at the course listings to see if they're interesting.


No cake for spunky
Remember many businessmen probably won't know the difference (that Hlsmith did not is proof of such). :) It would be useful to know the job market, but that can change in the years to get the degree...

I think connections and on the job experience are the keys. They will likely want to know what you have done not what you know. Because what you know won't matter on the job commonly. I have many degrees, most not technical, and the class material was rarely appropriate to the job. My brother earns a fortune in engineering, and is incredibly smart at math, and says he too has never used any of his actual engineering classes at the job. Classes are about theory, work rarely is I think.
You should develop more in the field of programming. Nowadays, the specialists in this area are very much appreciated. For this reason, I'm going to study to be a programmer next year. I read on https://www.computercareers.org/ the importance of technology in our time and looked at the demand for this profession. Every company needs a programmer. If you can develop in this area, it is better to start as soon as possible. Thus, you have every chance to have a good income. So think about this profession.
Last edited: