Students with the BS degree in the Statistics and Analytics program typically will have a wide range of choices for employment upon graduation. The job markets for actuaries, statisticians, and operations research analysts have been quite strong in the past and are expected to remain so in the foreseeable future. In addition, students with excellent grades who desire more education in these areas will find a large number of opportunities for graduate study. Recent graduates have gone on to obtain higher degrees in Statistics, Operations Research, Biostatistics, Accounting, Finance, Business Analytics, Industrial Engineering, Psychology, Public Health, and City and Regional Planning.
AIG, Bank of America, Capital One, Credit Suisse, Federal Reserve, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan, Lincoln Financial, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, SunTrust, Wells Fargo
Cigna, Met Life, Transamerica
ABC Insights, Acumen LLC, Aon Hewitt, Cap Tech, Deloitte, EY, Marsh & McLennan, Mercer LLC
Milliman, Oliver Wyman
Advance Auto Parts, Apple, Carmax, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Facebook, Google, IBM, Lexis/Nexis, Marketsource, Oracle
Carnegie-Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, North Carolina State University, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of Florida, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wake Forest University
Programs here at Carolina including Computer Science, Biostatistics, and Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Many students who have achieved a B+ or higher GPA in the Statistics and Analytics program have elected to continue their studies in a graduate program. Typically, holders of advanced degrees are able to choose from a wider range of job opportunities, with more responsibilities and higher salaries, than are those with a BS degree. Among the areas of advanced study that have been undertaken by our students are Operations Research, Industrial Engineering, Statistics, Biostatistics, Economics, and Psychology. Another popular choice is to enter an MBA program, usually after a few years of experience in the work force.
The STAN degree provides an excellent preparation for study in these areas as well as other areas in which a strong quantitative background is required. Resource information for some of these fields can be found below. Students who are considering graduate work should discuss their plans with their advisers at the beginning of their junior year since the choice of STAN electives will to some extent depend upon the graduate field they plan to enter. Advisers will also be able to provide guidance in choosing appropriate programs for the individual students and to help in the application process. Almost all graduate programs require the applicants to take GRE (or similar) exams as part of the application procedure.
Operation Research and its related areas of Management Science and Industrial Engineering play ever more important roles in our society given the increasing complexity and quantification of the decision-making that arises in engineering, business, and the planning sciences. Operations researchers analyze the factors that influence decisions and the effects of particular decisions and then attempt to identify those decisions that are “best”.
Examples of typical decision problems might include finding an efficient assignment of aircrews to flights for a large airline or determining the areas of responsibility for the fire stations in a large city so as to maximize the overall fire protection. In the latter case, the lives and property of the city’s residents are at stake; in the former, an efficient assignment might save the company millions of dollars per year. More details and examples of operations research in action can be found at the Resource Center of INFORMS, the professional society associated with Operations Research.
There are a number of excellent graduate programs in Operations Research around the country. A fairly comprehensive list of these and related graduate programs is given at the INFORMS Academic Program Database. One of the best of these graduate programs is in the UNC Statistics & Operations Research Department, where both the MS and Ph.D. degrees are offered. For qualified students wishing to obtain an MS degree in one additional year of study beyond the undergraduate STAN program, the 5 year program offered by the UNC Statistics & Operations Research Department is an attractive possibility.
Statistics is a vigorous and exciting field with continually expanding areas of application. Statistical methods apply in virtually every area of scientific inquiry from the hard sciences, such as physics, chemistry and biology, to the social sciences and humanities. The American Statistical Association ASA is the leading professional society for statisticians and its web pages contain a wealth of information on this profession. For a detailed description of the role of Statistics in our society see their “What is Statistics?” page. You can also find information on careers in Statistics. Currently, there are excellent employment opportunities in these careers in academia, business, industry, and government.
Virtually every major university has a graduate program in Statistics. Here you can find a comprehensive list of these programs and contact information.
Actuarial Science can be described as the analysis, using mathematical and statistical methods, of the financial consequences of future events. As a consequence, actuaries are extremely important contributors to the economic and financial state of our society. They are involved in almost all situations where the likely costs or benefits of a certain activity need to be computed.
For example, a government agency may wish to know want the effect of a major outbreak of a strain of influenza will be on hospitalization costs in the next decade. Or, in the private sector, an insurance company may want to know how to adjust insurance rates for certain automobiles, for example, convertibles, to take into account the increased risk of serious injuries in accidents. Actuaries also play major roles in corporate and labor union financial decisions; for instance, determining the future value of companies in merger negotiations or evaluating the future values of labor contracts and pension funds.
Actuaries, like engineers, lawyers, et cetera, are accredited by a professional society, in this case either by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), or the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS). To become a full-fledged actuary, one must pass a series of examinations covering the mathematical, statistical, and financial foundations of the subject as well as more specialized topics. Actuaries who have passed all of these examinations are among the most highly paid of all professionals; it is not uncommon to find them as top executives in insurance and other financial institutions.
However, even those who do not pass all of the exams can find rewarding careers in insurance, investment, and accounting firms, consulting companies, and government agencies. In recent publications that rate jobs, the actuarial profession has always ranked in the top five in terms of overall satisfaction. For more information on the actuarial profession, visit the professional society websites of SOA and CAS given above.
The University of North Carolina has an established tradition of graduating students well-prepared for entering the actuarial profession. Courses can be taken within the STAN major that will enable the serious student to pass two or more exams before graduation. In particular, the two-course sequence STOR 471-472, taught by a professional actuary, is a fundamental requisite for future actuaries. The fact that so many of the program’s graduates have succeeded in this field assures that a steady stream of companies seeking future actuaries visit or contact UNC each year.