online-masters

30 Best Online Data Science Masters Degree Programs 2022

By DSD Staff

Data Science Degree Programs Guide - Top Online Masters Degrees - New-01

According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025 there will be 463 exabytes of data generated each day. Data science professionals have an important role to fill in organizations and businesses as they make sense of that vast amount of data. Their unique skill set is in demand by employers in every sector. They have the knowledge and skills needed to properly:

  • collect
  • store
  • analyze and
  • understand data.

This allows business leaders to make better decisions. using data analysis.

Currently, there is a national shortage of data science professionals as companies strive to leverage their data to drive business success. Earning an online master’s in data science can be a great way for those transitioning into the data science field or those seeking specialized training to advance their career and help fill this shortage.
Methodology

We created this ranking to showcase some of the best online data science masters programs. We used information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics to find programs offering an online master’s in data science or a closely related area. We narrowed our focus to only those schools holding regional accreditation. We believe the best online master’s in data science are those:

  • taught by expert faculty
  • offer hands-on training opportunities
  • have a curriculum with course content that meets the needs of the field

We based our data science program ranking on the following considerations and assigned points accordingly.

Average Graduate Tuition Rate:

  • Less than $10,000/year – 5 Points
  • $10,000-$15,000/year – 3 Points
  • Over $15,000/year – 1 Point

We understand that finding an affordable master’s program is a key factor for online students. We reviewed each school’s average graduate tuition rates from College Navigator, a website provided by the National Center for Education Statistics that provides information on institutions of higher education around the country. We recognize that your actual tuition rate may vary based on your personal financial circumstances, so it is always a good idea to check with the school to determine your cost. Many universities offer financial aid packages to their students, resulting in a lower tuition rate!

Concentration Areas – 2 Points
We felt that schools offering an area of concentration within their online master’s of data science were worthy of a higher ranking. Concentration areas enable students to specialize in an area of interest or complete coursework required for their specific area of data science. Schools received points for this element only if they offer a concentration within their data science program.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 12:1 or less= 3 Points
  • 13:1 to 17:1= 2 Points
  • Greater than 17:1= 1 Point

We felt the student/faculty ratio at each school was important so we awarded more points to schools with a lower ratio. While this may be less important in an online environment, we recognize that not all online learners are independent learners.  Knowing that individualized support is readily available can be very important.

Below are the best online data science masters rankings based on our criteria. We believe our list highlights the best data science masters programs online.

Best Online Data Science Masters Rankings


#30. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois

Master of Computer Science in Data Science Online

U of I Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $15,016/year in-state; $27,187/year out-of-state
Total Points: 2
One of the best online masters in data science is offered through the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. The Master of Computer Science with a specialized track in data science is a non-thesis program with courses covering innovative areas like machine learning and data visualization. Students can choose elective courses to tailor the program to meet their professional goals. The program is open to students with an undergraduate degree in any area, but students should have prerequisite coursework or experience in data science related areas.

#29. University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

MS in Data Science Online

University of Virginia Master of Science in Data Science Online

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $17,076/year in-state and $28,604/year out-of-state
Total Points: 3
The best online data science degree from the University of Virginia features a highly integrated curriculum that emphasizes hands-on learning. Courses are taught by world class faculty from across different disciplines and departments. Students benefit from a supportive cohort experience that fosters network-building and collaboration. The five-semester curriculum covers areas like:

  • natural-language programming
  • machine learning
  • text analytics

Students work together to complete a team capstone project, applying their classroom knowledge to the real-world. Applicants should have strong quantitative and communication skills to be considered for admission.

#28. Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

MS in Data Science

Johns Hopkins Master of Science in Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $57,010/year
Total Points: 4
The data science master’s programs online from Johns Hopkins University is a part-time program to address the demand for qualified data science professionals. The program is designed specifically for working professionals who need modern, relevant courses to meet their learning objectives. Online classes are taught by subject matter experts and include:

  • Data Visualization
  • Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Data Structures
  • Statistical Models and Regression

Students without an engineering background are welcome to apply but they may need to complete pre-requisite courses to gain full acceptance to the program.

#27. Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts

MS in Applied Data Analytics Online

Boston University Online Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $56,854/year
Total Points: 4
Boston University offers one of the best online data science programs with their MS in Applied Data Analytics. The program is designed for mid-career IT professionals who want to study the latest industry tools and approaches in a rigorous academic framework. Applied data science program courses are taught by full-time, PhD level faculty and professionals with years of industry experience. Students are engaged in hands-on class projects to develop a portfolio of analytics-focused work to showcase their data analytics skills.

#26. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

MS in Applied Data Science Online

USC Online Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $47,880/year
Total Points: 4
The University of Southern California features one of the best online data science degrees. UCS offers a flexible program that prepares students from diverse backgrounds for a career in data science. Students will develop an understanding of data science techniques while working with databases and big data infrastructure. Students can complete their degree full-time in two years or less. While there are no fieldwork or internship requirements for this program, students are immersed in hands-on type experiences to “live in the data” and build their professional skills.

#25. Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago, Illinois

Master of Data Science Online

Illinois Institute of Technology Master of Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $29,075/year
Total Points: 4
The affordable online data science master’s from Illinois Tech is an innovative program that teaches students how to think through real problems and not just apply data science tools. The comprehensive curriculum emphasizes high-level applied and computational mathematics and statistics with computer science skills. Students become data scientists with the skills to make a complicated world more comprehensible to their audience. Core courses for this data science master’s include:

  • Data Preparation and Analysis
  • Big Data Technologies
  • Statistical Learning

Students can choose to complete a data science practicum, solving real-world data analysis problems for actual clients or an internship as their capstone experience.

#24. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Master of Applied Data Science Online

University of Michigan Master of Applied Data Science Online

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $24,344/year in-state and $49,120/year out-of-state
Total Points: 4
The University of Michigan offers one of the top online data science programs for students seeking a practical and flexible experience. Students will learn how to put data to work across a variety of different organizations and industries. Courses cover areas like:

  • data collection
  • computation and analytics
  • statistics

Students will gain hands-on skills through coursework and applied projects focused on real-world problems. There are no on-campus residency requirements.

#23. Villanova University – Villanova, Pennsylvania

MS in Analytics Online

Villa Nova University Online Master of Science in Analytics

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $20,619/year
Total Points: 4
Villanova University created their high-quality online data science master’s degree program to develop well trained business analytics leaders. The curriculum reflects current business and industry needs. Coursework addresses areas that include:

  • business intelligence
  • predictive and prescriptive models
  • data management

Courses are taught by industry-experienced faculty who understand the current business climate. A capstone project with an organization provides students with the opportunity to solve real-world problems and gain hands-on industry experience. Students can complete their degree entirely online in just 24 months.

#22. University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado

Master of Science in Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,826/year in-state; $31,284/year out-of-state
Total Points: 4
The online MS in Data Science from the University of Colorado Boulder is an interdisciplinary program hosted online by Coursera’s learning platform. The performance-based admissions system means students can get started on their degree today without submitting an application or transcripts.

Courses are taught by the same top-tier faculty who teach on-campus. Flexible eight-week terms and self-paced courses are ideal for working professionals. Students complete 30 credit hours of coursework that include hands-on projects that build professional skills. Most students complete their degree in about two years.

#21. University of California Riverside – Riverside, California

MS in Engineering in Data Science

UC Riverside Online Master of Science in Engineering in Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,442/year in-state; $26,544/year out-of-state
Total Points: 4
The University of California Riverside features an affordable online MS in Engineering with a specialization in Data Science that students can complete in just 13 months. The program is delivered 100% online with no on-campus residency requirements. Students complete 16 credits of engineering courses and 16 credits of data science classes, tailoring the program to meet their professional goals. Data science courses include:

  • Statistical Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Information Retrieval and Web Search

Capstone courses spread throughout the program provide students with a rich learning experience. Data science engineering graduates have the skill set needed for a variety of professional opportunities across several different industrial sectors.

#20. University of California Berkeley – Berkeley, California

Master of Information and Data Science

Berkeley Online Master of Information and Data Science


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,442/year in-state and $26,544/year out-of-state
Total Points: 4
The Berkeley School of Information features a top Master of Information and Data Science with a rigorous, holistic curriculum. The multidisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the latest tools and methods to analyze different types of data. Students can choose from three different program paths including:

  • Accelerated Path- Earn your degree in just 12 months
  • Standard Path- Take two courses each term and finish in 20 months
  • Decelerated Path- Complete one course each term and finish in 32 months (or less)

Students learn by working with complex unstructured data sets, making sense out of the chaos. All coursework can be completed online through an innovative mobile app.

#19. DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois

Online Master’s Degree in Data Science

DePaul University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Program Website

Specializations: Computational Methods, Health Care, Marketing, Hospitality
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $19,370/year
Total Points: 5
The College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University features a high-quality online data science master’s degree program offering the same level of rigor as their traditional on-campus program. Courses cover areas like:

  • statistical modeling
  • data mining
  • Big Data
  • data warehousing

Capstone options include a thesis and an internship to support students in their unique educational and professional goals. Online students have access to faculty advisors and career services who can help guide them during their time in the program and beyond. New students are admitted at the start of each enrollment quarter.

#18. The University of Texas at Austin – Austin, Texas

Online Master’s in Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $12,028/year in-state; $22,886/year out-of-state
Total Points: 5
The online MS in Data Science from The University of Texas at Austin is a joint program of the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Statistics and Data Science.  This 10-course data science program combines ideas and perspectives from statistics and computer science.  Courses cover key areas that include:

  • machine learning
  • visualization
  • optimization

New students are admitted for the fall semester each year.  Graduates are well prepared for data science roles in a variety of innovative industries.

#17. University of North Dakota – Grand Forks, North Dakota

Online Master’s in Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,060/year in-state; $16,590/year out-of-state
Total Points: 5
The affordable data science master’s from the University of North Dakota can help you gain the data skills in demand by top employers. Students can complete the 30-credit hour curriculum in two years without ever stepping on campus. Elective courses in areas like scientific visualization and cyber security allow students to tailor the program to meet their professional goals.

Students can take advantage of exciting research opportunities in high-tech engineering and unmanned aerial systems. Graduates have the skill set needed to work with large data sets in different industries and organizational settings.

#16. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin

Online Master’s in Data Science

University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $10,728/year
Total Points: 5
The affordable data science master’s online from the University of Wisconsin was created for busy adults who want to use data to drive business insights. Data science program courses are taught by expert instructors in a flexible online learning format. There are no on-campus meetings or requirements and no need to be online at specific times for class. The streamlined application process does not require GRE or GMAT scores. The best part of all? Students receive the same great low tuition rate regardless of their state of residence!

#15. Bellevue University – Bellevue, Nebraska

Online Master’s in Data Science

Bellevue University Online Master of Science in Data Science

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $10,710/year
Total Points: 5
The online data science master’s degree program at Bellevue University offers students hands-on experience with data collection and application. Students learn how to make relevant discoveries from large data sets. Practical coursework exposes students to cutting edge technologies including PowerBI and Python. Required data science program courses include:

  • Data Mining
  • Data Exploration and Analysis
  • Statistics for Data Science

Students can complete assignments on their own schedule, day or night. Most students can complete their degree in two years.

#14. Northwestern University – Evanston, Illinois

Online Master’s in Data Science

Northwestern University Master's in Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, Analytics Management, Technology Entrepreneurship
Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $56,067/year
Total Points: 6
Northwestern University features a budget friendly online master’s in data science with five unique areas of specialization. Students focus on their unique professional goals with concentration areas that include:

  • Analytics and Modeling
  • Analytics Management
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Engineering
  • Technology Entrepreneurship

Students can further customize their data science program by choosing elective coursework that aligns with their career interests. Courses are taught by faculty who bring their real-world, practical experiences to the online classroom.

#13. Southern Methodist University – Dallas, Texas

Online Master’s in Data Science

SMU Online Master of Science in Data Science

School Profile

Program Website

Specializations: Machine Learning, Business Analytics
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $40,896/year
Total Points: 6
Southern Methodist University features a low-priced online data science master’s degree program for current and aspiring data science professionals. The curriculum is delivered through a blend of:

  • interactive coursework
  • collaborate group activities
  • online face-to-face classes

Students can choose from two unique specialization areas including machine learning and business analytics. Featured courses include:

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Business Intelligence
  • Machine Learning

Students develop long lasting connections with industry professionals, faculty and peers throughout the program. There are four start dates offered throughout the year. Southern Methodist University students can complete their degree in under 28 months.

#12. Utica College – Utica, New York

Online Master’s in Data Science

Utica Online Master of Science in Data Science

School Profile

Program Website

Concentrations: Social Science Analytics; Business Analytics; Cybersecurity; Financial Crime; General
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $21,480/year
Total Points: 6
The Master of Science in Data Science from Utica College can help you prepare for an exciting career interpreting data and solving real-world problems. The curriculum is offered 100% online with customizable coursework. Small class sizes allow students to develop meaningful professional relationships with their peers and instructors. Four career focused specializations are available including:

  • Business Analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Financial Crime
  • Social Science

Students can choose to complete a hands-on capstone project or online thesis as their culminating experience. There’s no GRE or GMAT required for admission and the application process is streamlined and straightforward.

#11. Bay Path University – Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Bay Path Master of Science in Applied Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Specializations: Generalist Track and Specialist Track
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $19,235/year
Total Points: 6
Bay Path University offers a flexible online master’s in applied data science with generalist and specialist program tracks. The generalist track is a well-rounded program for students breaking into the field of data science. Students planning to pursue more technical roles on data science teams will benefit from the specialized skills set provided through the specialist track.

The hands-on curriculum allows students to gain experience working with Python and SQL. Students learn to solve real-world business challenges through the project-based curriculum. A project-oriented capstone experience synthesizes the skills students gain throughout their time in the program. One and two-year program plans are available to meet the diverse scheduling needs of working professionals.

#10. Regis University – Denver, Colorado

Online Master’s in Data Science

Regis University Master of Science in Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,322/year
Total Points: 6
Regis University offers a top online data science graduate degree covering both analytics and engineering to develop well rounded data scientists. Accelerated courses are offered in a flexible eight-week format designed for working professionals. Students are engaged in a variety of practicums and project-based learning opportunities that prepare them for career advancement. Courses include:

  • Data Visualization
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Machine Learning

New students are accepted to the online program at six different start points throughout the year. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and be proficient in the Python programming language.

#9. Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science in Analytics Online

Georgia Tech Online Master of Science in Analytics

Program Website
Concentrations: Analytical Tools, Computational Data Analytics, and Business Analytics
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,064/year in-state and $29,140/year out-of-state
Total Points: 6
The online MS in Analytics from Georgia Tech is an interdisciplinary program taught by experts in a variety of areas including statistics and high-performance computing. Students will learn how to identify analytics problems and tap into relevant data streams to solve complex issues. The 11-course program includes courses that cover:

  • data mining
  • Big Data
  • various programming languages
  • statistical analysis

All students complete an applied analytics practicum within their own organization or through a self-secured internship. Students can complete the program in one-to-two years with no on-campus residency requirements.

#8. Western Governors University – Salt Lake City, Utah

Online Master’s in Data Analytics

Western Governors University Online Master of Science in Data Analytics

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 42:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $7,500/year
Total Points: 6
The online affordable master’s in data analytics from Western Governors University teaches students how to take raw data and transform it into critical information for better decision making and evaluation. Students will use cutting edge technology to learn about:

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • data mining

Students gain hands-on experience with modern analytics tools like Python and Tableau. Most students can complete their degree in just 22 months. Graduates are prepared for exciting roles including database administrator and business intelligence analyst.

#7. University of Oklahoma – Norman, Oklahoma

MS in Data Science and Data Analytics Online

OU Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $6,943/year in-state; $21,602/year out-of-state
Total Points: 6
The Gallogly College of Engineering at The University of Oklahoma developed their online master’s degree in Data Science and Analytics through a collaborative effort with the Schools of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering. Students receive the advanced education needed to take advantage of exciting career advancement opportunities. The curriculum consists of 24 credits of core courses and nine credits of electives. Core courses include:

  • Intelligent Data Analytics
  • Database Management Systems
  • Advanced Analytics and Metaheuristics

Most students complete their degree in 24 months.

#6. Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, Georgia

MS in Computer Science Online – Data Mining and Data Warehousing Concentrations

Georgia Southern University Online M.S. in Computer Science - Data Mining and Data Warehousing Concentrations

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $4,986/year in-state; $19,890/year out-of-state
Total Points: 6
Georgia Southern University features one of the cheapest data science master’s in the country. Students can choose from four distinct specialization areas that emphasize hands-on practical skills and experience that prepare students for a successful career. Coursework is delivered in a flexible hybrid format that supports the needs of working professionals. Thesis and non-thesis program plans are available. Students can complete this 30-credit hour curriculum in just two years.

#5. Lewis University – Romeoville, Illinois

MS in Data Science

Lewis University Online Master of Science in Data Science

School Profile

Program Website

Concentrations: Cognitive and Prescriptive Analytics, Data Engineering, Cybersecurity Data Science, Data Science Research, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,580/year
Total Points: 7
The low-cost online master’s in data science degree from Lewis University is a flexible program with a diverse curriculum that can be applied to a variety of fields. Concentrations allow students to customize their degree using real-world examples and practical skill building. Courses are taught by faculty who emphasize real world application to help students easily transition classroom knowledge to their career.

Part-time students take one course each term (two courses each semester) and can complete their degree in two years. Not quite ready for a master’s program? Lewis offers two data science certificate options that can be applied to a full degree when the time is right!

#4. Cabrini University – Radnor, Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Data Science

Cabrini University Master of Science in Data Science Online

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $2,115/year
Total Points: 7
One of the most affordable data science degree programs is offered by Cabrini University. The program is an affordable option for students looking to advance their career. Courses are designed to fit around students’ busy schedules without sacrificing quality. Course offerings include:

  • Data Access and Transformation
  • Data Visualization
  • Information Systems Management

Small class size promotes close mentoring relationships between students and faculty. An internship or capstone project allow students to gain real-world experience before completing their degree. Most students can complete their data science degree in 24 months while working full-time.

#3. CUNY School of Professional Studies – New York, New York

Master of Science in Data Science

CUNY Master of Science in Data Science Online

School Profile

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $9,930/year in-state; $23,160/year out-of-state
Total Points: 8
One of the top online data science programs in New York is offered by the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Whether just starting out or pursuing career advancement, students will gain the skills and credentials needed to be competitive in the job market. Hands-on courses are designed around employer needs and projects allow students to gain experience with industry tools like R and Python. The program concludes with a comprehensive capstone project synthesizing the knowledge and skills attainted through the program as students develop solutions to complex real-world problems.

#2. The University of West Florida – Pensacola, Florida

Online Master’s in Data Science

University of West Florida Master of Science in Data Science Online


Program Website

Specializations: Analytics and Modeling, Analytics of Business Decisions, Health Analytics
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $7,088/year in-state and $22,166/year out-of-state
Total Points: 8
If you are looking for an online master’s in data science that offers the skills you need to succeed in a data-rich world, the University of West Florida’s Master of Science in Data Science could be a great fit. Students can join researchers and graduate students from areas like computer science and information technology on innovative projects. Three concentration options are available including:

  • Analytics and Modeling
  • Analytics of Business Decisions
  • Health Analytics

Courses are delivered through a blend of asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities that give students maximum flexibility. Graduates are successful working in a variety of professional roles that include database administrator and statistician.

#1. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana

Online Master’s in Data Science

IU Online Master's in Data Science

School Profile

Program Website

Concentrations: Cybersecurity; Intelligent Systems Engineering; Data Analytics and Visualization
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition: $9,786/year in-state; $31,932/year out-of-state
Total Points: 9
Students can earn their master’s in data science without giving up their day job at Indiana University. This specialized program is taught by the same faculty and requires the same coursework as the traditional on-campus program. Students view recorded lectures at their own convenience and participate in guided discussions and group chats to stay connected to faculty and peers. Students choose data science courses in areas like:

  • Machine Learning
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Mining

An immersion weekend takes place each spring, providing students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and participate in presentations with national experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an online master’s in data science a good degree?

A master’s degree in data science is a great career move for individuals just entering the field of data science or those seeking career advancement through specialized training. A data scientist can help organizations make sense of complex data. There is a national shortage of professionals with advanced skills in data and computer science. Organizations and businesses without the expertise of a data scientist are missing out on critical business insights. A data scientist can be beneficial to an organization by providing:

  • real time intelligence-

A data scientist can create automated dashboards that display real-time data analytics which allow businesses to rapidly respond to fluctuations.

  • integrated data analysis-

A data scientist can integrate data from different areas of a business or organization. They can use their skills to provide a more wholistic picture of what’s happening across an organization.

  • improvements in data security-

A data scientist has the knowledge and skill set needed to identify fraud, correct issues with access, and identify issues with data architecture.

Why Should I Consider a Master’s in Data Science?

There are many reasons to pursue a graduate degree in data science. Some of the best reasons include:

  • Better positioned for career opportunities

Let’s face it, organizations want to hire the brightest and the best. Employees with advanced degrees have advanced knowledge and training. Due to their experience, they may work more efficiently and be more knowledgeable across critical areas like data security and database administration. Their experience and education put them in the position to advance into leadership roles.

  • Specialized training

Many master’s degree programs allow students to select a concentration or specialization in an area of application. For example, data science students interested in healthcare can tailor their degree to align with the data needs of the healthcare industry.

  • Gain valuable real-world business experience

There’s really no substitution for hands-on learning. Master’s in data science programs recognize the value of real business experience and include projects and career experiences in their curriculum. Students learn to work as part of team and communicate with stakeholders. They also learn about deliverables and connect with other departments or business areas to understand requirements.

Graduate students will learn to use industry relevant programming languages that will help them succeed in a variety of data science careers.  

How much money can you make after earning an online data science master’s degree?

There are a variety of job opportunities for professionals with a master’s in data science due to the demand for data scientists. Some of the best paying jobs in data science according to payscale.com include:

  • Data Scientist: $91,857/year (average salary)
  • Senior Data Analyst: $84,458/year (average salary)
  • Data Engineer: $91,185/year (average salary)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for data science roles like Database Administrator and Data Architect are expected to grow by 8% through 2030. Salary is largely determined by the level of responsibility and training a job requires. Data scientists with a master’s in data science have the advanced training needed to secure higher paying jobs with greater responsibility. Entry level positions pay new graduates well due to the relevant nature of their skill set.
Most graduates with an online master’s in data science receive a significant salary increase after completing their degree.

How much does it cost to get an online master’s in data science?

According to information published through the Education Data Initiative, the cost of a master’s degree can range between $30,000 and $120,000 with the average cost coming in at $66,340.

As a general guideline, public schools are more affordable than private school and in-state tuition rates are lower than those charged to out-of-state students. An online data science master’s cost can be further reduced through employer tuition assistance programs. Students can save a considerable amount of money by completing their data science master’s degree online.

The best data science programs online are flexible so students can continue working while going to school. Since online students can complete coursework from home, they don’t incur the added expense of on-campus housing and pricey meal plans. They also save money on travel expenses by eliminating the commute to class.

Many online data science degree programs offer online textbooks and use open-source software to keep costs low. Online programs may offer special tuition rates to their students or offer a lower in-state tuition rate regardless of the students’ primary state of residency.

How long does it take to complete an online master’s in data science?

The best online masters programs data science are offered in a variety of formats to accommodate the diverse needs of adult learners. A master’s degree typically takes full-time students two years to complete.

Accelerated online programs can cut that completion time down to just 12 months. Accelerated programs are a great choice for students with considerable experience in data science and have the time available to pursue their degree on a full-time basis.

Part-time data science online programs may offer shorter courses (eight weeks is common) to allow students to complete two courses each term and finish their degree in two years. Students with busy schedules and less time to dedicate to completing their degree will take longer to finish.

What are the requirements for a master’s in data science degree program?

Each online data science degree has its own unique admission requirements. Applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be considered for admission. Students should have a quantitative background with experience in a related area like computer science or statistics. Many master’s in data science programs will admit students who don’t meet their experience criteria by requiring them to complete prerequisite coursework that gets them caught up with their more technical peers.

Most online data science degree programs are competitive. Applicants should have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0 to be considered for full admission. Schools may also require entrance exams like the GRE.

Due to the technical nature of an online master’s in data science, many data science programs allow students to choose between a hands-on capstone course or a thesis as their culminating experience. A thesis can be a great choice for students in online master’s programs who are planning to pursue doctoral study. It’s also a great choice for those interested in the research aspect of data science. A hands-on capstone course is a good option for students who want to build their professional portfolio with field experience.

Will I need to complete an internship to get an online master’s in data science?

Internships provide students with a valuable hands-on training opportunity in a professional work setting but they may not be required as part of an online master’s in data science. Since many online students are working professionals, they can use their new skills in their current employment setting. They may not be required to complete an external internship. Many online master’s in data science programs incorporate real-world data sets into their curriculum, allowing students to practice their skills without completing an internship.

Other online data science degree programs give students the opportunity to complete an internship or practicum experience as an elective course. Students without professional work experience can benefit from an internship or practicum experience and should consider an internship as part of their online master’s in data science program.

What are some examples of courses needed for an online master’s in data science?

Online master’s programs require a unique set of core courses. Popular course offerings for online master’s in data science programs include:

  • Statistical Modeling
  • Data Structures
  • Data Mining
  • Data Analytics
  • Computer Science
  • Data Management
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Business Intelligence

Will I need any licenses or certificates to get a job in data science?

You won’t need any specific data science certificate or license to get a job in data science. Certificate programs are available, but aren’t necessary for students with a master’s in data science.

Are there any professional organizations for people with a career in sports science?

There are several great professional organizations for data science professionals.

  • Association of Data Scientists:

The Association of Data Scientists (ADaSci) is the “premier global professional body of data science and machine learning professionals.” They encourage education and professional development in data science and promote high professional industry standards. The ADaSci:

  • publishes peer reviewed scholarly journals
  • organizes national and international conferences
  • provides certification and continuing education opportunities to members and others
  • The American Statistical Association:

The American Statistical Association was created in 1839 to promote the quality and practice of the profession of statistics. They offer the Accredited Professional Statistician certification to data scientist professionals with an advanced degree and significant professional experience. They have over 19,000 members in the data science field from:

  • academia
  • research
  • government
  • business
  • The Data Science Council of America:

The Data Science Council of America (DASCA) is an independent organization designed to elevate the quality of data science professionals. They create standards, knowledge frameworks, certifications, and knowledgeware that reflects industry-leading initiatives to advance the profession. DASCA offers certifications for Big Data Engineers, Big Data Analysts, and Data Scientists.

Popular Programs

Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Master’s in Data Analytics

The data science online program from Southern New Hampshire University is a comprehensive program that students can complete in just 15 months. Students will develop skills in programming languages like Python and SQL. They will learn to appropriately identify and apply effective data solutions in a variety of settings. Core courses cover:

  • predictive analytics
  • data analytics life cycle
  • descriptive statistics and analytics

Pennsylvania State University World Campus – University Park, Pennsylvania

Online Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics

Penn State World Campus offers a 30-credit hour online data analytics master’s program designed for the data science professional with a busy lifestyle. Students will gain hands-on experience working with big data platforms and tools that include Tableau and Hadoop. The flexible asynchronous format allows students to work at their own pace while balancing the demands of work and school.

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