July 23, 2021
“As with almost anything, you benefit most by being taught by someone who has a solid knowledge of the fundamentals, has real world experience in the area, and has the ability to communicate effectively.”
― Ron Glaser, P.H.D., retired US Government statistician and retired UC Davis Statistics Professor, on finding the right statistics tutor.
If you are looking for a statistics tutor, there is a good probability you are looking at a math syllabus full of unusual words: biostatistics, linear models, regression analysis, data mining, survey sampling—that kind of thing.
Statistics isn’t like algebra or geometry, it’s a whole other animal. Even calculus professors can be lousy when it comes to statistics. And if you need help, you may find your math tutor doesn’t make the best statistics teacher either. So, where do you find the elusive statistics pro? Craigslist? The local college career office? Is there a young, fun descendant of the Father of Modern Statistics Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher living in Portland?
If you actively seek out a statistics specialist, there’s a ninety-nine percent chance you will find what you’re looking for. But if you want a 100% guarantee, here’s what you need to do…
Where to Find a Statistics Tutor
If you sense you need help in statistics, you are already ahead of the curve. Many struggling students can be too stubborn to get help and end up tanking their grade point average by attempting to take on statistics on their own. If they pursue a career that uses statistics, such as sales or computer programming, they might be at a loss, frantically searching the internet for a review course. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
It’s important for anyone seeking a career that involves statistics to find a statistics tutor with a well-rounded understanding of both statistical computations and how it relates to a career in data science or statistics. The best place to find private statistics tutors is online. Don’t be overwhelmed with all the tutoring websites out there because there are ways to trim the fat and find the perfect fit.
Look for websites that have been around for a while, have helpful contact information, and use official email addresses or phone lines (as opposed to tutors’ personal contact information, which can be a sign of inexperience as a business). Another trait of a trustworthy tutoring site is a review section where users can provide feedback on their tutoring experience. This way you can validate a good reputation within your local tutoring community.
What Qualifications Should Your Tutor Have?
According to Ron Glaser, a retired Lawrence Livermore Lab statistician and university statistics professor, it’s ideal to find a tutor who has a degree in math or statistics, or a college student with marked success in statistics coursework. Glaser would not recommend engineers or scientists who have not had formal statistics training as tutors, because they tend to bluff on knowing lessons students need, but don’t actually know themselves.
You will need someone who can prepare you for college-level coursework in statistics, which translates to someone who has at least a B.S. in statistics or a closely-related field, such as biostatistics, applied mathematics, or computer science. If you are searching on the Internet, think grad student. If a tutor is actively working toward a Masters or PhD in statistics, they will have the necessary experience to teach course material and apply it to everyday life.
However, having academic experience isn’t always enough. Consider finding someone who has experience applying statistics in the workforce or has experience teaching or tutoring. The combination of education and experience in the field will be your best bet for a statistics tutor.
To take the search one step further, here is a checklist for just some of the key elements we look for when hiring statistics tutors at Tutor Portland:
- Can this tutor explain tough concepts in five different ways?
- Can this tutor use metaphors that relate to the student’s life?
- Can this tutor adopt an active approach with in-depth discussions about statistics?
- Does this tutor embody integrity and virtue?
- Can this tutor effectively teach us, the Tutor Portland team, before we hire them?
How much does a good statistics tutor cost and how to ask?
Okay, so you found yourself a qualified tutor named Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher Jr. and he’s fabulous, but you need to know how much he charges per hour. Here’s a statistic for you: The cost of living in Portland is 29 percent higher than the national average. On a college student’s salary of $21,000 per year, with a meal card from the folks, can you afford a tutor?
Here’s the rundown on the costs:
At Tutor Portland, for instance, we offer online and in-home tutoring backed by a Better Grades Guarantee for our Portland peeps with different budgets. Let’s say you need a statistics tutor for your coursework at Portland State University. We charge $96 per hour for our Silver Plan academic coaching or $384 monthly for one hour per week. Your hours never expire, rolling over to future months, and the more hours you book, the more discounts you receive.
If you decide to hire an independent tutor without such payment models, you should consider asking their rates upfront. The more education, work experience, and overall skills the tutor has, the higher the rates may be. And don’t be shy— after all, statistics tutors are used to talking numbers.
How to Get the Most out of a Tutoring Session
It’s all about your personal needs. So the key to maximize your time with a tutor is to study between sessions. By being observant (and hopefully excited) about how statistics play out in the news, in school, in work-life, and at home, you will be mastering the subject in a meaningful way. Then when you meet with your tutor to review the lessons, you can have a deeper understanding of the course material in less time.
Now that You’ve Aced Statistics …
If statistics clicks with your brain after a tutoring course, you may even choose it as a career. Among the industries that hire statisticians, the median wages range from $70,000 to more than $100,000 per year. Statisticians are in high demand, and according to Northeastern University, employment for mathematicians and statisticians is expected to grow 30 percent from 2018 to 2028.
Now that you found your tutor who is qualified, affordable, and can get you ahead in your statistics class, what’s next? Maybe another class! TutorPortland offers tutoring in test prep, science, Spanish, and English, so contact us if you’re looking for some extra help.