Statistics on Statistics StudentsπŸ“ˆπŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“οΈπŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ“Š

by Yifei Hu

"The second effect, one that struck me at the time as tragic, was a strange surge in the study of economics. At Harvard in 1987 the course in the principles of economics had forty sections and a thousand students; the enrollment tripled in ten years."
- Michael Lewis, Liar's Poker


Every year, the Statistics Departments at Rice, Harvard and Duke publish lists of recent undergraduate alumni who studied statistics. I collected data about these alumni who graduated in 2018 and hoped to discover interesting insights about the statistics students at these schools. Below are my discoveries, visualized in graphs.
Popularity of statistics experienced explosive growth at all 3 schools in recent years. On average there is a 850% growth in number of statistics students from 2009 to 2018.
Across the 3 schools, about 34.8% statistics students are women. Duke has the hightest at 40%, while Harvard has the lowest at 31%. In 2016 42.4% is the national percentage of mathematics and statistics undergraduate degrees awarded to women (source).
Many statistics students paired statistics with other subjects in their undergraduate degree. The 2 most common ones are computer science and economics. Economics is the most popular among Rice stats students (at 43%), and Duke stats students preferred CS the most (at 37%), while the majority of Harvard stats students chose statistics alone (at 63%).
Post graduation, finance, technology and consulting are the top industries statistics students who pursued full-time work ended up. 45% of Rice stats students went into finance, while Harvard has the highest percentage of stats students going into consulting, at 35%.
Unsurprisingly, the top employers of statistics students across the 3 schools all come from the 3 aforementioned industries. Many are well known, leading companies in their respective industries.
The prevelance of the catch-all, nebulous "analyst" and "associate" in job titles of these students reflects most of the statistics students got white collar, service sector jobs. On the other hand, frequently used nouns like "software", "data", "research" and "business" give clues to their specific job functions.
Houston managed to retain 27% Rice statistics students, becoming the top 1 metro area where Rice stats students live after graduation. Following Houston, New York and Bay Area attracted many of the rest.
NYC attracted a whopping 46% percent of Harvard stats students, while another 19% chose to stay in Boston, and another 15% went to the Bay Area on the other coast.
Raleigh-Durham tied Bay Area in the number of Duke statistics students, with both at 21%, while New York came in third at around 16%.

Across these schools, we see significant amount of stats students going to major metro areas on both East Coast and West Coast after graduation. Still many chose to remain in the areas where the schools are located, reflecting the local employer's tendencies to hire students from nearby schools.
Data compiled from alumni pages from Statistics Departments at Rice, Harvard and Duke, with additional data collected from Linkedin profiles of alumni
Tools: Highcharts, Scrollama
Location analysis inspired by WSJ's Where Graduates Move After College