Campus News

Biostatistics named best master’s degree for today’s jobs

Department of Population and Public Health Sciences December 20, 2016

Forbes has named biostatistics as the best master’s degree for jobs.

Using compensation data site Payscale, Forbes takes an annual look at mid-career data on 45 popular master’s degrees. The ranking considers pay growth from early to mid-career, job satisfaction, stress, projected employment growth of jobs associated with each degree, and more. 

Among master’s degrees like software engineering (#10) and speech-language pathology (#3), biostatistics ranked the highest, with early-to-mid career pay approximately $68,000 to $104,000, respectively, and projected job growth at 18 percent.

Biostatistics is the study and application of statistical science to human health and disease “with the ultimate goal of advancing the public’s health,” according to the Oxford Journal of Biostatistics.

Recognizing the field’s emergence as a major aspect of population health sciences, USC offers several master’s degrees and a doctoral program in biostatistics.

Among the two Master of Science offerings, the master’s biostatistics focuses on the theory, data analytic methods, experimental design (including the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials), statistical methods in human genetics, biomedical informatics and advanced statistical computing methods. The master’s of applied biostatistics and epidemiology focuses on applied biostatistics, epidemiological research methods, research applications including cancer, infectious disease, chronic disease and environmental epidemiology from a practical, “hands-on” perspective. The Doctor of Philosophy in biostatistics prepares biostatisticians with in-depth statistical and analytic skills.

USC also offers a biostatistics and epidemiology concentration as part of its Master of Public Health degree, which is both a resident and online MPH program.

— By Larissa Puro