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The Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021

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The Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021
RankSchoolLocation
1Syracuse UniversitySyracuse, New York
2Penn State World CampusCentre County, PA
3Southern Methodist UniversityDallas, TX
4Pepperdine UniversityMalibu, CA
5University of DenverDenver, CO
6Villanova UniversityVillanova, PA
7Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, GA
8Saint Joseph’s UniversityPhiladelphia, PA
9University of DaytonDayton, OH
10Regent UniversityVirginia Beach, VA
11Southern New Hampshire UniversityHooksett, NH
12Maryville UniversitySt. Louis, Missouri
13Northcentral UniversitySan Diego, CA
14American UniversityWashington, D.C.
15Northern Illinois UniversityDekalb, Illinois
16Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, UT
17Full Sail UniversityWinter Park, FL
18Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN
19Walden UniversityMinneapolis, MN

This is a ranking of the Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021 for universities in the US. We design college degree program rankings for the benefit and guidance of students.

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This ranking is designed to inform online students what the best options are for Data Science master’s degrees online. We have done the research and collected the data for making the best college decisions for students.

In the age of big data, organizations of all kinds are employing Data Scientists for making decisions. Data Scientists take large data sets and make them intelligible and meaningful.

Colleges and universities across America are increasingly offering online master’s degrees in Data Science.


The Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021

Ranking Methodology

We ranked these master’s degrees in Data Science (Data Analytics) by looking at each program individually. We selected the best programs based on the variety of courses and their relevance to Data Analytics careers, online resources available, and academic prestige.

1.Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse offers two online data analytics master’s programs. The Online Master of Science in Applied Data Science is a collaborative program across the management and information schools. The program aims to apply analytical concepts to big data.

The program courses focus on four key learning competencies. Students study how to capture and organize information to analyze. They’ll also study visualization methods for communication and application. Students specialize in one or more areas but create a portfolio across competencies. Students can also take collaborative classes in business to apply knowledge toward big business problems.

Students in the Master of Science in Business Analytics study analytic business tools. They’ll hone decision-making skills in business-oriented data courses. Students can take courses in both departments and in the engineering school.

The coursework is split into three cores: analytics application, analytics depth, and business analytics. With a variety of technical and business electives to choose from, students can specialize in their desired industry or role.

Both programs take advantage of live online class sessions once a week. Students can engage on the virtual campus with social groups.

Credit requirements: 36 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Big Data Analytics
  • Data Analysis and Decision Making
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Principles of Management Science

Online instruction style: Asynchronous with weekly live classes.

Length of program: Students graduate in 18 to 24 months.

Start dates: Four start dates

Admission and transfer information: Students submit a resume, transcript, two letters of recommendation, personal statement and optional test scores. Applicants are able to transfer up to 6 credits.

2.Penn State World Campus

Centre County, PA

Penn State World Campus offers an online Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics. Three departments collaborate on the degree program. This gives students access to faculty across disciplines and expertise.

The core focus of instruction is on big data and database design processes. Students also solve business problems of structured and unstructured data. Students can choose to focus on business or marketing analytics.

Coursework includes technical expertise and analytical skills. Students will learn to frame analytics problems, identify data sources, and design analytics systems. They’ll be trained in modeling and mining as well. These skills apply to working with large data sets. Students are prepared to enter businesses and make profitable, informed decisions.

Practical courses in hands-on experience prepare students for the tools at their disposal. Students work with programs like Tableau, R, SQL, Python, Apache, and NoSQL, and Hadoop.

The online program can be completed on students’ own schedules.

Credit requirements: 30 credits required

Selected coursework:

  • Large-Scale Database and Warehouse
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Applications in Applied Demography
  • Enterprise Analytics Strategies
  • Data Collection and Cleaning
  • Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission and transfer information: Applicants are preferred to hold an undergraduate degree in a quantitative science. All students submit a resume, transcripts, GRE scores, and a reference letter.

3.Southern Methodist University

Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University offers an online Master of Science in Data Science. The program is designed for current and future data science professionals looking for advanced skills. They’ll learn to manage, analyze, mine and understand complex data to prepare them for intelligent decision-making.

Courses include online face-to-face classes, and collaborative projects and coursework. The skills-based curriculum begins with computer science and continues with data visualization.

Students can choose to specialize in machine learning or business analytics. The machine learning specialization is for students who want highly technical careers. They will study algorithms to advance automation and provide solutions. Their courses allow them to practice building models that expand on machine learning capabilities.

Business analytics students study how to harness data from those algorithms. They’ll apply their analysis to improve performance and business decision-making. Their courses allow them to practice balancing high-level business strategy and data consumption. They’ll study how to translate technical findings into clear, marketable language.

Both programs include the same core courses with various elective options. Students have access to tutoring, career services, and small live online courses.

Credit requirements: 33.5 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Business Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Statistical Foundations for Data Science
  • Quantifying the World

Online instruction style: Both asynchronous and synchronous aspects

Start dates: Four start dates per year

Length of program: 20-28 months

Admission and transfer information: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree and a basic understanding of programming. They must also submit their online application, GRE scores, resume, letter of recommendation, and statement of purpose.

4.Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University offers an online Master of Science in Applied Analytics. The master’s program prepares students to become data translators. Students learn to harness and predict data to solve business challenges.

The curriculum is split between two main areas: decision sciences and information systems. Courses cover finding data, cleaning corrupt data, and making decision trees. Students continue their decision-making training while creating algorithms and communicating data.

Students also study management and leadership to be able to communicate to their future teams. The program begins with an in-person orientation and leadership development workshop. Exercises lead students to strengthen communication skills, ethical decision making, and beginning career guidance.

The program has a 13:1 faculty to student ratio. Faculty are able to directly guide and mentor students in weekly live classes. Beyond decision-making goals, faculty guide students toward in-depth knowledge essential methods and tools. Students can expect to master Tableau, SQL, Hadoop, and Excel to identify data patterns.

Credit requirements: 31 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Big Data Management
  • Optimization Modeling
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Analytics for Customer Insights
  • Project Management
  • Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Length of program: 12 to 24 months

Admission and transfer information: The program requires a bachelor degree and three years of relevant professional experience. Students submit the online application, statement of purpose, resume, transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores.

5.University of Denver

Denver, CO

The University of Denver offers an online Master of Science in Data Science. The program guides students at any point in their careers toward advanced knowledge of data. The University offers three Bridge courses to give programming competency to students of any background.

Students take 15 courses at the university. Those courses are organized around programming, data mining, machine learning, database management, and data visualization. Throughout these courses, students will learn both how to create data systems and how to analyze their results. Courses gives students in-demand technical skills, like advanced mining and software development.

Students will be able to interact with faculty and students regularly. Courses are offered through live video. With small breakout sessions, students work together on coursework.

Career services and access to WeWork locations gives online students a community with shared physical spaces. Students are supported through the same resources as the on-campus Master of Science in Data Science.

Credit requirements: 48-60 total credits

Selected coursework:

  • Algorithms for Data Science
  • Parallel and Distributed Computing for Data Science
  • Python Software Development
  • Data Mining

Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Length of program: 18 to 24 months to complete

Start dates: Four start dates throughout the year

Admission and transfer information: Students submit their official transcripts, statement of purpose, resume, letters of recommendation and GRE test score.

6.Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University offers an online Master of Science in Analytics. Their program trains professionals to analyze data to make meaningful decisions. The program prepares graduates to give businesses a competitive edge.

The MSA program is part-time. This allows professionals to enroll concurrently while pursuing their careers. There is also no on-campus requirement. Small online classes allow all students to engage with their peers and be mentored by faculty. This includes online discussion sessions and virtual office hours.

Students in the analytics program have technical skills that have already been demonstrated professionally or through prior course work. The program excepts some knowledge of statistics, business intelligence, or past analytics work.

Credit requirements: 36 credits

Selection of core courses:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Introduction to Programming in R and Python
  • Analytical Methods for Optimization and Simulation
  • Analytical Methods for Data Mining
  • Analytical Methods for Text and Web Mining
  • Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence Applications with Python
  • Enterprise Data Management
  • Advanced Business Applications
  • Analytics Practicum

Online instruction style: Synchronous and Asynchronous

Length of program: 24 months

Start dates: Fall or Spring

Admission and transfer information: All applicants must have completed an under graduate or graduate statistics course with a minimum grade of a B. Students submit an online application, resume, two essays, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, optional GMAT or GRE scores, and TOEFL scores if applicable.

Accreditation: The Villanova School of Business receives accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

7.Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Institute of Technology offers the Online Master of Science in Analytics. This analytics/data-science program offers an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on faculty from top-10 departments in computing, statistics/operations research, and business analytics. Georgia Tech offers this both on campus and online, with the same courses and taught by the same faculty. Because Georgia Tech’s online courses are taught at scale, the university is able to offer them at a lower cost. Tuition for the entire degree online is slightly below $10,000, so this is truly a top-10 degree at an affordable price.

The curriculum is split into five required core courses and five electives. The core courses supply students with broad interdisciplinary analytics/data-science skills, and electives provide flexibility to customize the program to match each student’s individual interests and career goals.

The core focuses on identifying analytical problems and key data inputs, data preparation and pipelining, employing mathematical models and harnessing computational resources and techniques for large analytics/data-science projects, and how to apply all of these to address business questions to maximize their impact in an organization. Students can choose between the Analytical Tools Track, the Business Analytics Track, and the Computational Data Analytics Track. The Analytical Tools track focuses statistical and operations research methodology, like data mining, forecasting, optimization, and machine learning. The Business Analytics Track explores the framing and solutions to business problems. Students can study a variety of business applications for data analysis, like marketing or finance. The Computational Data Analytics Track explores how to capture, store, analyze, and visualize data. Students study visualization methods and advanced algorithms, including deep learning, neural networks, AI, and big data applications.

All students are required to do an applied practicum project at the end of the program, where they solve real-world analytics/data-science problems for a company or organization that really cares about the results; for students whose jobs are analytics/data-science related, the project may be done with their employer.

In addition to outstanding academics, students in this program are also supported by a cadre of dedicated high-touch, caring advisors who assist students from pre-application through graduation, and a large cohort of fellow students who provide mutual help and support while building strong professional networks.

Credit requirements: 36 hours

Selected coursework:

  • Data and Visual Analytics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Digital Marketing
  • Machine Learning
  • Simulation

Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Length of program: Two to three years (part-time), one to one-and-a-half years (full-time)

Start dates: Spring and Fall

Admission and transfer information: All students are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree and basic prerequisite coursework in probability/statistics, Python programming, linear algebra, and calculus. Students submit an online application, unofficial transcripts, resume, letters of recommendation, and optional GRE/GMAT scores. TOEFL scores are required for international students who do not hold a degree from a US university.

Accreditation: Georgia Tech’s online degrees receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

8.Saint Joseph’s University

Philadelphia, PA

Saint Joseph’s University offers an online Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics. The entirely online program lets students specialize in Managerial, Data Analytics, Cyber Analytics, or Data Science.

The program offers many opportunities for students to advance their careers. The International Journal of Business Intelligence Research is a peer-reviewed journal available for students. Students publish their research in close collaboration with faculty. Graduates earn a coinciding Business Intelligence Certificate from SAS, Inc., a software developer. These opportunities set students apart.

The curriculum covers front-to-back analytics skills. Students study data mining and warehousing all the way through data-driven communication and decision support. The four concentrations ensure students tailor their skills.

Cyber Analytics students focus on applying analytics to pattern detection. They tell the story of data to help make secure decisions. Data analytics students focus on applying data technique to large sets of data. These students have a quantitative background and want to aide business performance with data evidence.

Data science students learn both open and closed source programming languages. Managerial students enhance organizational performance in data. With leadership training, these students have the knowledge of analytics and decision making to aide large teams.

All students receive career mentoring and access to scheduled classes. They’ll be able to collaborate with faculty and fellow students in real time.

Credit requirements: 30 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Database Management Theory and Practice
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Analytics with Machine Learning
  • Fundamentals of Cyber Security
  • Python Programming

Online instruction style: Synchronous

Admission and transfer information: Students submit an application, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, resume, official transcripts, and GRE/GMAT scores. GPA explanation and TOEFL scores may be necessary.

Accreditation: The Erivan K. Haub School of Business at St. Joseph University is accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

9.University of Dayton

Dayton, OH

The University of Dayton offers an online Master of Business Analytics. The program accepts students from many backgrounds, including those with extensive professional experience.

The curriculum focuses on key elements of the analytics process. The curriculum provides intensive analytics coursework as well as a broad view of the analytics professional role, while exposing students to real-world applications.

Students learn statistical, math modeling, database, and programming skills using various analytics software. Supplemental courses teach business intelligence, data mining, machine learning, problem definition and communication. A culminating “capstone” experience with a real business firm develops student capabilities in the real practice of business analytics.

Students receive full access to their faculty, including one-on-one office hours.

Credit requirements: 33 credits

Length of program: 12 to 18 months

Selected coursework:

  • Statistical Analysis for Business Decisions
  • Advanced Business Analytics
  • Data Management for Analytics
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Introduction to Machine Learning

Start dates: January, April, July and October

Admission and transfer information: All students must have earned a bachelor’s degree, preferably in mathematics, engineering, business, science and computer science, but all majors are eligible to apply. No GMAT or GRE scores are required to apply. Students must submit an online application, personal statement, official transcripts, resume, and TOEFL scores if applicable.

Accreditation: The University of Dayton’s School of Business Administration is accredited by Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

10.Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University, ranked among top national universities, offers both an online MBA with concentration in Small Business Technology Management and an online Master of Science in Business Analytics.

The MBA program’s concentration prepares students work with small businesses to harness their data for strategic decisions. The program explores the techniques of data analytics to deepen understanding and exposure to data systems while learning traditional business administration best practices.

The M.S. program provides comprehensive training in the technology and execution of data. The program fills in the technological and soft skill gap for current professionals. Courses teach data-driven decision-making skills across industries and will equip students to make effective decisions that improve the performance of their organization.

Credit requirements: MBA requires 42 credits, MS requires 30 credits (can be completed in 12 months)

Selected coursework:

  • Small Business Data Mining and Management
  • Small Business IT analytics
  • Business Decision-Making
  • Enterprise Data Management
  • Predictive Analytics

Online style: Fully online

Start dates: Eight dates throughout the year

Admission and transfer information: Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Regent offers a generous transfer policy (up to 90 credit hours). To apply, complete the online application at regent.edu/apply and pay a $50 application fee. Students must submit unofficial college transcripts and government ID, and complete an admissions questionnaire.

Accreditation: The MBA program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs.

11.Southern New Hampshire University

Hooksett, NH

Southern New Hampshire University offers an Online Master of Business Administration in Business Intelligence.

The program centers around principles of the global economy. This includes ethics, social responsibility and communication practices. They’ll learn how culture influences global business. They’ll incorporate legal and ethical principles into their studies.

Students learn to analyze data, problem solve, lead teams and communicate. The program offers 20 concentrations for further specialization. Popular choices include human resources, project management, entrepreneurship and accounting. Students gain hard and soft skills as they take technical and leadership based courses.

Students enter the program and choose a real-world business project based on their own professional experience. Students work with their project, tailoring their solution to their concentration. By the end of the program, students will have created a complete business plan to present to prospective companies.

All students round out their program with the cumulative classes in their interest. Students walk away with tangible skills and the demeanor to succeed.

Credit requirements: 36 credits, as few as 15 months

Selected coursework:

  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
  • Franchising
  • Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Consumer Behavior and Marketing
  • Project Management

Online instruction style: Asynchronous

Start dates: 5 start dates with rolling admission

Admission and transfer information: Students submit an application and transcripts, with no GRE or GMAT required. Students can transfer up to 12 graduate credits.

Accreditation: The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

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12.Maryville University

St. Louis, Missouri

Maryville University has one of the fastest growing online student enrollment, and is the 2nd fastest growing private university, in the US. Maryville offers the fully online Master of Science in Data Science degree. Students may be eligible to transfer in credits (if they qualify) for this online master’s program.

There are no entrance exams or fees to apply, and students can choose from 3 start dates throughout the year. One benefit of this online master’s, is that students who are still getting a bachelor’s degree may enroll into the “Early Access” program, and get accepted before graduating. Undergrad students may get up to 12 hours of master’s degree credit to be used towards getting the master’s degree.

About the degree:

Students can get instruction in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Big Data, and Data Mining. Coding language instruction includes SQL, Python, SAS and R.

Credits: 36

Courses include:

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Experimental Design

13.Northcentral University

San Diego, CA

Northcentral University offers an online Master of Science in Data Science. The program offers a one-on-one approach, where students begin their own track on their own time.

Students gain a broad knowledge base with technical skills. They’ll learn how to harness data throughout its life cycle for organizational decisions. Courses cover data science, mining, integration and visualization. Students also learn strategic management of data for business and legal professional careers.

The program is taught by experienced professionals who are able to offer support through online learning tools. With start dates every Monday, students can begin their education immediately.

Credit requirements: 30 credits, completed in recommended 23 months

Selected coursework:

  • Data Visualization
  • Critical Analysis, Interpreting and Reporting Data
  • Big Data Integration
  • Quantitative Research Design
  • Data Mining

Admission and transfer information: Students most hold a bachelor’s degree. Students submit the online application and then receive an academic evaluation.

Accreditation: The Business School receives accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

14.American University

Washington, D.C.

American University offers an online Master of Science in Analytics through the Kogod School of Business.

At the heart of the program is the capstone experience, where students collaborate with classmates to solve challenges using real data from companies like Capital One and Special Olympics International. Students also have the opportunity to focus on four pre-designed elective tracks–including business foundations, cybersecurity, financial analytics, and consulting–or create their own.

American University also offers a Masters in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics. This program is available through the through the School of Professional and Extended Studies.

The Instructional Design and Learning Analytics master’s program teaches students to improve training methods. Graduates are ready to work in the corporate, government, and educational sectors. They study professional evaluation methods for organizations. The curriculum comes in four phases.

Students train to build workplace communication, leadership and decision-making skills. They’ll study cross-cultural techniques for varying approaches for learning. They’ll take their findings to create innovation strategies for learning initiatives. The program also offers a 12-credit online Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics. Those credits can be transferred to the master’s program.

Credit requirements: 33 total credit hours – 6 core courses, 4 elective courses, and 2 in-person practicums in Washington, D.C.

Selected coursework:

  • Managerial Statistics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Database and Big Data
  • Business Insights through Analytics
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Business Intelligence

Online instruction style: Flexible, fully online.

Admission and transfer information: Students submit a personal statement, a completed application, $100 application fee, current resume/CV, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts.

Accreditation: American University’s Kogod School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

15.Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

Northern Illinois University offers an online Master of Science in Analytics. The program includes technical programming courses and intensive analysis.

The program consists of two phases. Phase one is meant to cover ground from undergraduate coursework needed for phase two. Phase two courses include big data analytics, business and visual communication, statistics and programming. Students will learn many coding programs and languages. Faculty are trained in SAP Predict Analytics, R, Tableau, Python, Hadoop, SQL, SAS, among others.

Students study beneath the same faculty as the the school’s nationally ranked operations programs. All graduates also get a Data Analytics Certification, in cooperation with the university and SAS.

Credit requirements: 30 to 36 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Data Analytics Project Management
  • Business Intelligence Applications and Tools
  • Machine Learning and Advanced Predictive Analytics
  • Business Statistics
  • Business Data Visualization

Online instruction style: Fully online

Length of program: 12 months minimum

Start dates: Four start dates

Admission and transfer information: Students with a bachelor’s degree must submit official transcripts, resume, two letters of recommendation. Students without a bachelor’s degree must also submit GMAT or GRE scores.

Accreditation: The Northern Illinois University College of Business receives accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

16.Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

Western Governors University offers an online Master of Science in Data Analytics.

The MS program is competency driven, not credit driven. This means that students are evaluated on their ability to demonstrate skill sets. This lets students who have professional knowledge to accelerate through the program. A pre-assessment is offered at the start of courses for each student to define their unique course path.

Each student is assigned a program faculty mentor from the start. That mentor helps them fill their competency gaps and stay on track. The mentor sculpts a student’s degree plan, based on how many courses they’ll need and how much time they plan to devote per week.

Degree plans can include the fundamentals, data manipulation, communication, and programming. Students also earn certifications, with exams covered by tuition. Students can become both an SAS Certified Statistical Business Analyst Using SAS 9 and an SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9.

Credit requirements: 11 total courses

Selected coursework:

  • SAS Programming I: Fundamentals
  • Programming in Python
  • Advanced Data Visualization
  • Statistics for Data Analysis

Online instruction style: One-on-one and group style learning

Length of program: 18 months on average

Admission and transfer information: Students must hold a bachelor’s degree in STEM or a non-STEM degree with at least two years of related work, coursework, or training. Students submit an application and official transcripts. Up to three credits can be transferred.

17.Full Sail University

Winter Park, FL

Full Sail University offers an online Master of Science in Business Intelligence. The program prepares students to work in Big Data across roles and industries.

Students receive technical, business, and analytic competencies. They’ll study data management, analysis and technologies for decision-making. Through interconnected learning experiences, students learn to mine and model data. Toward the end of the program, students refine their communication skills to best present their analysis skills.

Students examine real-world problems in case study courses led by experienced faculty. Throughout their study at Full Sail, graduate students in the MS program cultivate a thesis project. They’ll build a data warehouse and deliver it in their final month. Students graduate able to implement front-to-back business intelligence functions.

Credit requirements: 36 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Enterprise Data Management
  • Data Mining
  • Processing Modeling and Analysis
  • Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership
  • Business Intelligence Leadership and Communication Skills

Start Dates: Classes begin monthly

Admission and transfer information: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher with a 2.0 GPA or greater. Students beneath a 2.0 must also submit a letter of intent. Students complete an interview with an admissions counselor and then submit their application, with no GRE scores required.

Transfer credit may be offered in the form of credit by examination for up to five courses. Students must have at least five years of professional experience to be considered.

Accreditation: Full Sail is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

18.Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Capella University offers an online Master of Science in Analytics. The program prepares students to become IT professionals with expertise over analytic business tools.

Students will work with programs like Python, R, SAS and Tableau to study topics like data mining and modeling. They’ll learn to take that data and transform into helpful information for business decisions. They’ll put those skills to the test with a virtual internship. They can also earn vouchers to take several SAS certificate exams for free.

Students engage in weekly assignments and classroom discussions in 1-3 courses per ten week quarter. Students receive guidance throughout their enrollment. Enrollment counselors, advisors, and faculty are there to help students progress and grow.

Credit requirements: 48 quarter credits

Selected coursework:

  • Visual Analytics
  • Text Mining
  • Applied Forecasting
  • Data Sources for Analytics

Admission and transfer information: Students must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.3 GPA. Students submit official transcripts, a background acknowledgment form, and English proficiency scores if applicable. Students do not have to submit GRE scores.

Up to 12 credits can be transferred.

19.Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Walden University offers an online Master of Science in Data Science. Students focus on harnessing data and tools to solve critical problems across industries.

Courses in the program focus on building practical skills. Designed by experienced professionals, coursework includes case studies, visualizations, and applications. The program focuses on harnessing big data in a positive way. Courses include ethical models for data management and organizations.

Students study to become data scientists with expertise in technical tools for problem-solving. They’ll explore current and evolving technologies. They’ll begin to differentiate how those tools can be used to add business value.

Credit requirements: 30 credits

Selected coursework:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Visualization
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Big Data
  • Data Mining

Admission and transfer information: Students must have either a Bachelor of Science in Data Science, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, or an equivalent bachelor’s. Proficiency in at least one modern programming language is recommended, though it isn’t required. Applicants must provide their online application and transcripts.

Up to 15 credits can be transferred.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a data science master’s worth it?

Earning an advanced data science degree does not necessarily ensure professional advancement within the field of data science. However, getting an advanced degree can separate graduates from those with only a bachelor’s in data science or related undergrad degrees. Careers in data science do not always or necessarily require an advanced degree. Much depends on the position that’s being sought and the company doing the hiring.

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How much do Data Scientists earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, Occupational Handbook, Data Scientists had a median annual wage of $94,280.00. Employment is expected to increase by 10,300 new jobs by the year 2029 (a growth rate of 31%).

The highest paying career field is Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing, earning $143,670.00 a year. The second highest paying industry is Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments, earning $143,080.00 a year. Other Schools and Instruction Data Scientists earn $127,540.00. Data Scientists working in Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses earn $123,740.00, and Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services earn $121,330.00.

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Do you need a master’s degree to be a data scientist?

Oftentimes, no! Most mid-level careers in data science prefer career experience over a master’s in Data Science. However, a master’s in Data Science is often required if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in Data Science and Data Science work experience, and you are seeing employment as a Data Analyst or Data Scientist.

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What jobs can you get with a master’s degree in Data Science?

With a master’s degree in Data Science, professionals can begin careers within diverse fields of technology, engineering, and computer science. This includes: Statistician, Machine Learning, Engineer, Data Engineer in Predictive Data or Data Mining, Data Analyst for Businesses and Corporations, and Database Architect.

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How long is a data science master’s?

A data science master’s program is typically two years long when a student is enrolled full-time. Usually graduate students in data science must complete 30 credits to earn their MSDS. There are various online master’s programs that allow for students to complete their degree while working full-time.

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Data Scientist | Career Information

Q: Where do Data Scientists work most?

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Data Science
IndustryHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services$47.89$99,600.00
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing$49.83$103,640.00
Computer Systems Design and Related Services$51.17$106,440.00
Cable and Other Subscription Programming$48.92$101,760.00
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Highest Levels of Employment for Data Science
IndustryHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Computer Systems Design and Related Services$51.17$106,440.00
Management of Companies and Enterprises$49.05$102,030.00
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services$47.89$99,600.00
Scientific Research and Development Services$51.31$106,720.00
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools$31.08$64,650.00
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics