The Two Types of College Statistics Courses

I've tutored two students in statistics in the last few months that offer a case study in choosing your statistics course wisely (if you have a choice).

Colleges seemed to offer to types of Introduction to Statistics courses:
Business Statistics (usually taught by the business school)
Intro to Statistics (usually taught by the math department)

Business statistics is "easier." That is, it is less math-intensive and focuses heavily on concepts and applications to real-world problems. Math department statistics is more math-intensive and may or may not focus on application to real-world problems (in my experience, this part depends on the professor!)

My students:

One student is in a business program.
One student is going back to school to become a nurse.

The student in the business program took a "business statistics" course. The student becoming a nurse took a regular intro to statistics course from the the math department.

Because the student in the business school was very good with math concepts, he would have benefited more and challenged himself academically by taking a more traditional statistics course.
Because the nursing student hadn't studied math in 15 years, he would have struggled less and ultimately learned much more from a "business statistics" course.

I was tutoring both of these students at the same time and I just wished they could switch places because they would both be learning so much more.

If you're reading this blog, you've probably already made the choice on which type of statistics class to take. But try to make the right choice! And the best course for you may not be the "easy" one.


Jake Y.

Mathematics, Finance and MS Excel Guru

50+ hours
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