How to Learn Statistics and Probability

Discover how to learn statistics and probability through bootcamps and online courses. See where a career in statistics and probability can take you.
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  • The field of statistics and probability involves data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Statistics and probability positions include statistician and budget analyst.
  • Bootcamps can provide in-depth education and student support services.
  • Online courses are often shorter, cheaper, and more flexible than bootcamps.

Statistics and probability are branches of mathematics that deal with data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Statistics and probability play important roles in many professional fields, including meteorology and finance. These branches of mathematics also play a vital role in the medical field.

In this guide, readers can discover how to learn statistics and probability through coding bootcamps and online courses. Readers can also find sample career paths for professionals interested in statistics and probability and answers to frequently asked questions about this field.

How to Learn Statistics and Probability

Readers can learn statistics and probability in a number of ways. Traditionally, students enroll in a two- or four-year university program to study this subject. However, students may now pursue options that cost less money and time. Readers interested in this field should explore a statistics and probability bootcamp and/or enroll in online courses.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps can offer students an in-depth education without the same commitment of time and money as a traditional college degree program. On average, coding bootcamps take 16.5 weeks to complete. Graduates may receive a certificate of completion after finishing the bootcamp. Almost all bootcamps offer career services for enrolled students.

In coding bootcamps, courses usually cover programming languages, version control, front-end and back-end development, and database design These classes begin with the fundamentals of coding and allow students with no prior coding knowledge to gain practical coding experience.

Computer science fields, including coding, rely heavily on probability and statistics. Computer programs often deal with chance and uncertainty, meaning coders must build probabilistic reasoning into their programming. Not only will students learn practical coding skills at a coding bootcamp, but they will also learn the basics of statistics and probability.

Online Courses

Online courses can provide students with flexibility in price, time commitment, and learning format. Students may enroll in individual courses or a series of online courses. These classes take place remotely, allowing students to enroll from anywhere in the country. Typically, online courses do not last as long as bootcamps.

Prices vary depending on each course. Generally, online classes are cheaper than a bootcamp. Some students may even find free online classes in statistics and probability.

Students can find different scheduling formats as well, such as synchronous or asynchronous and part-time or full-time options. Full-time, synchronous courses (courses that take place at specific times and dates) have the strictest time requirements. Part-time, asynchronous classes (courses that students can take at any time) are more flexible.

  • Outlier: Students may take this class online or in person. The course covers the basics of statistics and how statistics are applied to the real world. Graduates earn three transferable credits after completing either the 14-week class or the 7-week intensive. Outlier offers a monthly payment plan for all students.
  • Harvard Business School: In this business analytics course, students learn basic descriptive statistics and progress to regression analysis. The 8-week course covers 40 hours of material, including how to interpret data to inform business decisions and recognize trends in data sets. Students follow each module at their own pace.
  • Coursera: Coursera's probability and statistics courses show students how to find meaningful data points, analyze patterns, and predict results. Students can find many different classes through Coursera, including classes that offer certification in data science and data analysis. Courses differ in price and length, so students should choose a class that suits their needs.
  • Open Learning Initiative: Students can find an open and free introductory course in probability and statistics and statistical reasoning. These courses require no previous knowledge in statistics — students only need basic algebra skills. The open and free versions of these courses provide all expository texts, simulations, and learning exercises.
  • Khan Academy: Khan Academy's statistics and probability course covers topics like theoretical probability, basic set operations, randomness, and simulation. This program offers free online courses with practice quizzes for students in grades K-12 and early college. Students can find additional courses in data science on the site.

Pros and Cons

Online Course Pros

  • Check
    Range of prices, including some free courses
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    Flexible scheduling
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    Shorter time commitment than a bootcamp

Online Course Cons

  • X
    Less time to cover subject material in depth
  • X
    Less student support than a bootcamp
  • X
    Fewer career services

Bootcamp Pros

  • Check
    More in-depth coverage of material than an online course
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    Career services often provided for students
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    Full-time and part-time scheduling often offered

Bootcamp Cons

  • X
    More expensive than an online course
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    Bigger time commitment, especially for full-time bootcamps
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    Not accredited

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Statistics and Probability

Bloom Institute of Technology

CIRR Member
Career Services

Bloom Institute of Technology offers online courses with live instruction and hands-on projects. According to data from the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), 85.9% of graduates from Bloom's 2018 online web development bootcamp were employed within 180 days of completing the bootcamp. These professionals reported a median salary of $60,000.

Graduates of this bootcamp pay nothing upfront until they begin earning $50,000 or more in a new career.


BrainStation

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Start for Free

BrainStation offers 400-hour, project-based bootcamps. This program boasts over 6,500 hiring partners, giving graduates a built-in network for their career search. Students can also earn certificates through BrainStation's part-time certificate program.


CareerFoundry

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $6,555
  • Technical Disciplines: Data Analytics, UX/UI Design, Web Development
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Self-Paced

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Money-Back Guarantee
Start for Free

CareerFoundry guarantees graduates will find a job in six months or will receive a refund for the bootcamp. Students receive mentors who help them build career portfolios throughout the program. Past CareerFoundry students have found jobs at companies like Amazon and Google.


University of North Carolina at Charlotte

  • Location: Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $11,495
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Web Development
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options
Start for Free

This bootcamp provides online courses with live instruction paired with self-paced assessments and assignments. Graduates receive a non-credit certificate of completion from the UNC Charlotte School of Professional Studies. Students learn to use tools such as Excel, Python, and API Interactions.


University of Texas at Austin

  • Location: Austin, Remote
  • Programs Starting At: $12,495
  • Technical Disciplines: Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, UX/UI Design, Web Development
  • Learning Format: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

UT Austin's bootcamp utilizes real-world data sets from industries like financial services, human resources, and healthcare to help students learn statistical modeling and analysis. Students receive access to services like a learner success team and the university's free tutor network. Graduates earn a certificate from UT Austin at the end of the bootcamp.

Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

Statistics and Probability Jobs

Below are some of the most profitable jobs that for professionals with knowledge in statistics and probability.

Statistician

Statisticians gather data to answer questions and solve problems. These professionals design and administer surveys, opinion polls, and experiments to collect data. Then statisticians analyze the data to find important patterns and trends. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 33% growth in this career between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for statisticians was $93,290 in May 2020.

Budget Analyst

These professionals help businesses plan their finances. Budget analysts review budget proposals and decide whether the projected results are within the company's means. Budget analysts must examine past data from the company to determine projected growth and spending for upcoming years. The BLS projects 5% growth in this career between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for budget analysts was $78,970 in May 2020.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers design surveys and analyze the data for businesses, government agencies, and political candidates. These professionals must conduct thorough research into their target audience to ensure their surveys will be effective and produce results. The BLS projects 4% growth in this career between 2020 and 2030. The median annual salary for survey researchers was $59,870 in May 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Statistics and Probability

Is statistics and probability easy to learn?

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Basic statistics and probability are considered fairly easy to learn. However, each student must consider their own learning styles and needs as they dive into this topic. Some students may perform better with instructor-led classes; others may prefer self-paced courses. Students should take their own learning style into account when selecting a statistics course.

Coding bootcamps and online courses offer plenty of flexibility for all types of learning needs. When researching which type of course to take, students should consider several factors, such as the length of the course, the teaching style, and the amount of time they can spend on each topic.

Where can I learn statistics and probability for free?

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Readers can find some free online courses to learn the basics of statistics and probability. Nonprofits like Khan Academy offer free material for levels K-12 and early college. Online classes are sometimes free, but the same is not true for bootcamps.

While most bootcamps require payment, some offer free introductory courses. Readers may also find a sampling of free courses through coding bootcamps. These courses generally only cover introductory material, while paid bootcamps go into depth about the given subject.

What is the best way to learn statistics and probability?

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Each student has their own learning needs. To determine the best way to learn statistics and probability, students must assess which learning formats and time limits work for them.

In general, the best way to learn statistics is through the use of real-world examples. Statistics and probability are used in many aspects of daily life, including sports, playing games that involve dice, and card games. Students can use their basic familiarity with these areas to learn simple and complex theories in statistics and probability.

Feature Image: Tom Werner / DigitalVision / Getty Images