Major in Statistics
Professors in the B.Sc. degree in Statistics prepare students for the workplace by teaching them how to collect, analyse and present data. Students learn how to extract information from surveys, databases and carefully designed experiments, in order to obtain understanding of the underlying phenomenon, or to decide on a suitable course of action. They learn programming, problem solving and data visualization skills, and they become sensitive to the applications at hand.
Students who read a major in Statistics and qualify for an Honours degree have the option to specialize in either (a) Data Science or (b) Finance and Business Statistics. They can also choose not to have any specialization. They fulfil their specialization requirements by reading 6 modules from within a prescribed basket of elective modules.
Students who specialize in Data Science learn how to collect, store and analyse large unstructured datasets. They learn the relevant computing concepts and emerging methods in statistics that tackle the challenges that big data bring.
Students who specialize in Finance and Business Statistics learn about the applications of statistics in investment and financial analysis, in insurance and in marketing research and management.
Due to the explosion of data in the last five to ten years, many organizations and businesses increasingly rely on quantitative methods to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Statisticians are equipped to take on this challenge due to their training in programming and data analysis. They can be employed as statisticians in government bodies, in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, in manufacturing and engineering companies, in banking and financial institutions, and in research and tertiary institutions. They can also take on other roles such as business, risk and financial analysts, as quality assurance or pharmaceutical engineers, as marketing professionals, as banking or telecommunications executives, and as actuaries.
In recent years, our graduates have been employed as analysts in Goldman Sachs, as actuaries in Munich Re, as account managers in Amazon, as engineers in the Defence Science and Technology Agency, as bid managers in Singtel, as revenue analysts in Scoot, as statistical specialists in the Ministry of Manpower, as data science engineers in Micron, as data analysts in Garena, as forecast executives in Sanofi-Aventis, and as credit risk analysts in the Risk Management Institute.
Statistics Major vs Data Science & Analytics Major
A frequently asked question is how the major in Statistics differs from the major in Data science and Analytics (DSA). The DSA major is jointly offered by the Statistics department and the Mathematics department in NUS, with support from the School of Computing. There are more compulsory mathematics and computing modules in the DSA program. In contrast there are fewer compulsory mathematics and computing modules in the Statistics major. Statistics majors can still read these mathematics and computing modules by choosing them as electives. In addition the needed mathematics and computing background for specific statistical applications are also taught within the statistics modules.
Admission to the Statistics major programme
You should apply for admission to Faculty of Science. After admission you can read any open major programmes in the Faculty, including Statistics. To read first year core modules, at least a pass in A-level H2 Mathematics (or its equivalent) is required. Students without this background can major in Statistics by first reading the bridging module MA1301 Introductory Mathematics.