Are you interested in pursuing a career in data science or statistics?
Well, here’s an interesting statistic to consider: Did you know that the average salary for data scientists is $122,840, while statisticians earn an average of $92,030 per year?
In this article, we will compare the two majors, exploring their curriculum, technical skills developed, career opportunities, and more.
By the end, you’ll have a clearer understanding of which path may be the right fit for you.
So, let’s dive into the world of statistics vs. data science!
Table of Contents
Key Takeaways
 Data science combines statistical analysis with computer science and programming, while statistics focuses on data collection, organization, and interpretation.
 Data science is growing rapidly and is expected to have increased demand in the future.
 Both data science and statistics majors provide a comprehensive understanding of statistical analysis, with data science curriculum including programming, machine learning, and data visualization, and statistics curriculum focusing on probability theory, mathematical modeling, and statistical inference.
 Both data science and statistics professionals are in high demand across industries, with job roles including data analyst, data engineer, machine learning engineer, statistician, biostatistician, econometrician, and research analyst.
Overview of the two majors in data science and statistics
If you’re trying to understand the differences between data science and statistics, an overview of the two majors will help clarify things.
Both data science and statistics are fields that deal with the analysis of data, but they approach it from different angles.
Statistics focuses on collecting, organizing, and interpreting data to make informed decisions and predictions.
On the other hand, data science combines statistical analysis with computer science and programming skills to extract meaningful insights from vast amounts of data.
In terms of job prospects and industry demand, both fields are in high demand. However, data science is currently experiencing a surge in popularity due to the exponential growth of data in various industries.
The demand for data scientists who can handle big data and develop predictive models is expected to continue to rise in the future.
Overview of the curriculum and coursework of the two majors
The curriculum and coursework for both the data science and statistics majors are designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of statistical analysis and the practical application of data in various fields.
The curriculum structure of both majors emphasizes the development of practical skills that are essential for data analysis and interpretation.
In data science, you will study subjects such as programming, machine learning, and data visualization, which are crucial for working with large datasets and extracting meaningful insights.
On the other hand, the statistics major focuses on probability theory, mathematical modeling, and statistical inference, enabling you to analyze data and make informed decisions.
Overview of coursework, assessments, and practical applications
In both majors, you’ll have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned through practical assessments and realworld applications. The coursework in statistics and data science involves a combination of theoretical knowledge and handson experience. In statistics, you’ll learn about probability theory, statistical modeling, and data analysis techniques. Assessments in coursework may include problemsolving exercises, statistical analysis projects, and interpretation of data. On the other hand, data science focuses on the collection, cleaning, and analysis of large datasets using programming languages and machine learning algorithms. Assessments in data science coursework often involve working on realworld datasets, developing predictive models, and presenting insights to stakeholders. The table below summarizes the practical applications of both majors:
Statistics  Data Science 

Hypothesis testing  Predictive modeling 
Experimental design  Natural language processing 
Survey methodology  Image recognition 
Comparison of Technical Skills Developed
By incorporating practical assessments and realworld applications, both statistics and data science majors ensure that students develop valuable technical skills.
However, there are some key differences in the technical skills that students acquire in these two majors.
In statistics, students focus on developing strong skills in mathematical modeling, data analysis, and statistical inference. They learn to analyze data sets, interpret results, and make informed decisions based on statistical evidence.
On the other hand, data science majors emphasize programming and coding skills, as well as machine learning techniques. They learn to manipulate and analyze large data sets using programming languages such as Python or R.
Both majors are in high demand in the job market, but data science graduates often have an edge due to their expertise in programming and machine learning.
Comparison of Career Opportunities and Job Roles in Data Science and Statistics
If you choose to pursue a career in either field, you’ll find that the job opportunities and roles in data science and statistics are diverse and constantly evolving. Both fields offer promising career growth and are in high demand across industries. Here are four key points to consider:

Industry Demand: Data science and statistics professionals are sought after in various sectors such as finance, healthcare, marketing, and technology. Companies rely on their expertise to make datadriven decisions and gain a competitive edge.

Career Growth: With the increasing reliance on data, the demand for skilled professionals in both data science and statistics is expected to grow exponentially. This creates ample opportunities for career advancement and specialization.

Roles: In data science, you can work as a data analyst, data engineer, machine learning engineer, or data scientist. In statistics, you can pursue roles like statisticians, biostatisticians, econometricians, or research analysts.

Intersection: Data science and statistics often overlap, allowing professionals to apply their skills in both domains. This intersection opens up even more career opportunities and allows for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Comparison of Salary Potential in Data Science and Statistics
Now that you have a clear understanding of the career opportunities and job roles in data science and statistics, let’s delve into the comparison of salary potential between the two fields.
When it comes to salary potential, data science generally offers higher earning prospects compared to statistics. With the increasing demand for datadriven decision making in industries such as technology, finance, and healthcare, data scientists are in high demand. This high demand translates into higher salaries for data scientists.
On the other hand, while statisticians also have strong job prospects, their salaries tend to be slightly lower compared to data scientists. However, it is important to note that both fields offer competitive salaries and have promising job prospects.
Ultimately, the salary potential in data science and statistics will depend on various factors such as experience, skillset, industry, and location.
Similarities in curriculum between the two majors
The curriculum in both the statistics and data science majors includes courses on mathematical modeling and data analysis. These two majors share several similarities in terms of coursework.
Both require students to develop a strong foundation in mathematics and statistical theory. Courses in probability, linear algebra, and calculus are common in both majors. Additionally, students in both fields are trained in data analysis techniques and learn how to use statistical software for practical applications.
These practical applications include analyzing large datasets, creating predictive models, and making datadriven decisions. The ability to apply statistical methods to realworld problems is a key skill in both statistics and data science.
Overall, while there may be some differences between the two majors, the similarities in coursework highlight the overlap in skills required for success in both fields.
Difference in curriculum between data science and statistics
To understand the difference in curriculum between data science and statistics, you’ll need to compare the specific courses required for each major. Data science focuses on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of large sets of data, while statistics primarily deals with the analysis and interpretation of data. The teaching methods for these two majors differ significantly. Data science courses often emphasize handson learning and practical applications in industry, whereas statistics courses tend to focus more on theoretical concepts and mathematical foundations. This difference in teaching methods reflects the practical nature of data science, which requires proficiency in various programming languages and tools to extract insights from data. In contrast, statistics places greater emphasis on the underlying mathematics and theoretical frameworks.
To provide a deeper understanding of the curriculum differences, here is a comparison table:
Data Science  Statistics 

Programming Languages (Python, R, SQL)  Advanced Mathematics 
Statistical Modeling and Machine Learning  Probability and Statistical Inference 
Data Visualization and Communication  Statistical Software (SPSS, SAS) 
Big Data Analytics and Data Engineering  Experimental Design and Analysis 
Overall, while both data science and statistics involve the analysis of data, the curriculum differences reflect their distinct focuses and teaching methodologies. Data science equips students with the practical skills necessary for industry applications, while statistics emphasizes the theoretical foundations of data analysis.
Factors to consider when choosing between data science and statistics careers
If you’re deciding between a career in data science or statistics, there are several factors you should consider. Here are some key factors to help you make an informed decision:

Job prospects: Consider the demand for professionals in each field. Data science is a rapidly growing field with high demand for skilled individuals who can analyze and interpret complex data sets. Statistics, on the other hand, has a longstanding reputation and is widely applicable across various industries.

Skillset: Evaluate your own interests and strengths. Data science requires a combination of programming skills, statistical knowledge, and domain expertise. Statistics, on the other hand, focuses on analyzing data using mathematical techniques and statistical models.

Career path: Understand the potential career paths in each field. Data science offers diverse opportunities in industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology. Statistics, on the other hand, can lead to roles in research, academia, and government agencies.
Considering these factors will help you make an informed decision about which career path aligns best with your skills, interests, and future goals.
Conclusion
In conclusion, choosing between a career in data science and statistics is like deciding between two paths in a dense forest.
Both majors offer unique opportunities to develop technical skills and pursue rewarding job roles. However, data science presents a more lucrative salary potential and a broader range of career options.
When making your decision, consider your interests, the specific curriculum of each major, and your longterm goals.
Remember, just like navigating through a forest, the choice you make will ultimately determine the direction of your professional journey.