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The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Misericordia University is introducing a bachelor of science degree program and minor in statistics beginning with the fall 2017 semester in response to rapid advances in technology, the growing reliance on quantitative research, and demand in the marketplace.

The Misericordia University statistics program — the only four-year degree program available in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties — provides training in contemporary statistical techniques, as well as theoretical background. By way of electives, the academic program can be tailored to lead students to a wide variety of career choices in business, industry, government or graduate school. Statistics majors will be required to take core classes and specially designed courses in mathematics, computer science and statistics

Statistics — the science of learning from data — requires 53 credits of statistics classes in the mathematics-based program. It consists of 38 credits of specifically required courses and a minimum of 15 credits of elective courses in statistics.

The curriculum for the 18-credit minor in statistics is designed so students can tailor their minor sequence to their particular areas of interest or discipline. Students are required to take nine credits of required courses, plus at least nine credits of elective courses in statistics.

Professional statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, health care and many other fields. They work in the fields of business and industry, biostatistics, computer science, education, finance, marketing, psychology, sports, government, health care, research and development, and any other field that requires the collection and analysis of data, according to the 2016-17 U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The job outlook for statisticians is robust, according to several jobs reports as they attribute growth from the more widespread use of statistical analysis in making informed business and health care decisions. The National Center for Education Statistics and the Education Advisory Board recently noted that statistics is the fastest growing STEM degree.

Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for statisticians will increase 34 percent by 2024, much faster than the average for other occupations.

“A bachelor’s degree in statistics should be of interest and benefit to students who are seeking career-oriented majors,’’ said Jay Stine, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Misericordia University. “The job market for statisticians is currently very favorable and salaries for statisticians are highly attractive.’’

Call (570) 674-6452 or log on to misericordia.edu/statistics for more information.