How to Get a Masters in Data Science Degree

Data science has been developed in the 21st century to better handle the huge flood of data that is coming from all of the technology of our world today. Data science is essentially a blend of statistics, computer science and creative thinking.

Today’s data scientists have the skills to collect large amounts of information and to process and extract value from it. They also have the imagination to grasp, visualize and communicate their complex findings in a non complex way to the layman. Last, data scientists have the ability to create solutions driven by data to increase revenues and cut costs in most types of organizations.

Data Is Big and Getting Bigger

Given the massive amounts of data that countless companies and organizations generate every day, it is not a surprise that one of the most in demand jobs of the 21st century is only getting bigger. A recent McKinsey report estimated that by 2018, the US could have a shortage of up to 190,000 data scientists and 1.5 million managers and analysts who understand how to use ‘big data’ to make critical business decisions.

One of the best ways to enjoy a career in this growing sector of the business world is to earn your master’s degree in data science. Earning this degree will help you to land a good-paying job in one of these popular areas:

  • Management analyst: These are management consultants who propose different ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They provide information and counsel to managers on making organizations more profitable by reducing costs. Being able to analyze large amounts of data is of great importance to be an effective management analyst; analyzing large databases of financial information is very important in providing the proper recommendations for a company.
  • Financial analyst: This financial professional provides careful, detailed guidance to businesses and professionals who need to make investment decisions. A critical part of the job is to assess the performance of stocks, bonds and many other investments. Being able to provide accurate financial advice depends upon being able to analyze a large amount of financial data in a short time period, so having a master’s degree in data science or business analytics is very important.
  • Market research analyst: The marketing professionals study the conditions of the current market to determine what the possible sales potential could be for a service or product. They help firms to better understand the types of products that people want, who will want to buy them, and the price they are willing to pay. This job requires the analyst to gather massive amounts of data on competitors and consumers, and to perform this with statistical software. It also is necessary to convert the complicated data into graphs and charts.

Why Earn a Degree in Data Science?

The New York Times reported in 2015 that data science is likely to revolutionize how every industry conducts business, from government, to manufacturing to academia and healthcare.

As datasets get bigger, organizations need to bring in professionals who have the skills and expertise to be able to analyze the data and to give meaning to those growing numbers. And then, business decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently based upon the data, to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Glassdoor.com also recently ranked data scientist as one of the hottest jobs in America, and it also stated that several million jobs in the US will require advanced data analysis skills in just a few years.

Earning your master’s degree in data science will provide you with huge opportunities for success in this quickly growing technical field. Many who graduate in data science will have more than one excellent job offer.

Admission Requirements

To maximize your chances to be admitted into one of these competitive master’s program, you should keep these qualifications at top of mind:

  • Official transcripts from your bachelor’s program
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering or a related technical field is recommended
  • GRE test scores required
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Updated resume showing several years of technical business experience

Curriculum and Courses

Berkeley at the University Of California offers a Master of Information and Data Science that is designed to educate you to become a data science leader. This in demand degree will prepare you to pull deep insights quickly from large data sets with the latest methods and tools.

You further will be able to communicate and interpret the findings in a way so that business decisions can be made. This program draws material from social sciences, computer science, management, law and statistics.

Professionals who graduate from this two year online program will be able to do the following:

  • Imagine innovative and business changing ways to use huge sets of data
  • Be able to apply creative and highly disciplined methods to interpreting data results and asking questions
  • Be able to organize, retrieve, combine, store and clean data from several sources quickly
  • Apply advanced statistical analysis and machine learning skills to find the patterns and make accurate predictions

Required courses in this data science master’s are:

  • Research Design and Application for Data and Analysis
  • Statistics for Data Science
  • Applied Machine Learning
  • Storing and Retrieving Data
  • Data Visualization and Communication
  • Experiments and Causality
  • Behind the Data – Humans and Values
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Machine Learning at Scale

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

After graduation, you may work in these types of jobs:

  • Management analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Business analytics manager
  • Financial analyst
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Data scientist

Job and Salary Outlook

  • Management Analyst — Management analysts will see a 14% rise in demand. Companies are seeking management consultants who can analyze large sets of data to see where efficiency can be improved and costs can be controlled. Median pay is $81,000 per year.
  • Financial Analyst — This profession will see a 12% increase in job demand by 2024. Investment portfolios are more complicated than ever, and being able to analyze large reams of financial data quickly and make decisions based upon reasoned analysis is important. The median salary is $80,300.
  • Market Research Analyst — Job demand in this field is set to soar by 19% by 2024, which is much faster than average. Demand in this field is being caused by a much greater use of data and market research in every industry. To better understand the wants and needs of consumers, it is increasingly vital to conduct deep data analysis to make better business decisions. Taking as much guesswork out of the development of new products can greatly increase profits and cut costs. The median wage in this job is $62,100.

Scholarships and Grants

  • Texas A&M University: Students who are getting a master’s in Analytics at A&M may qualify for several different grants and scholarships.
  • Monsanto: This corporation offers scholarships each year to students who are earning a Master of Science in Analytics at various national universities.

Additional Resources