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This article provides a brief description of the Masters in Government Analytics degree program, which subjects you will be studying to complete the degree, and why you may want to choose this particular degree as a career move. Furthermore, it will discuss a high quality online program for a masters in government analytics that you may want to consider.
What Is a Masters in Government Analytics?
A Masters in Government Analytics is a degree that has been designed to produce graduates who will become leaders in the current data revolution, but with a specific focus on government entities. The degree prepares students to become experts in analytical methods, including data collection and data mining. The government is becoming increasingly reliant on this type of data, as are nonprofit organizations. In fact, even the private sector will hire those with a Masters in Government Analytics, not in the least because federal decisions and government data have a significant impact on the functioning of the private sector. Students will enhance their skills by using cutting-edge tools, thereby enabling them to appropriately address government challenges, policy, and political demands.
Those who complete a Masters in Government Analytics degree have the skills and knowledge required to collect, interpret, analyze, and report on sophisticated and complex data analyses. They utilize the data to draw important and substantive conclusions, so that government functioning can be improved.
Generally, this degree program includes such courses as:
- Public Policy Evaluation and the Policy Process
- Nonprofit Program Development and Evaluation
- Managing Risk and Performing: Improving Decision Making In Government Agencies
- Financial Management and Analysis In The Public Sector
- Data Analytics in Health Care Policy
- Text as Data
- Economics For Public Decision Making
- Machine Learning and Neural Networks
- The Budgetary Process
- Math for Data Scientists
Essentially, graduates become data scientists with an in-depth understanding of public policy and its impact on the private, nonprofit, and public sector.
Why Earn a Masters in Government Analytics?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies those with a Masters in Government Analytics as political scientists. They earned a median annual salary of $114,290 as of May 2016. Political scientists can work in a variety of different organizations, such as:
- The federal government, across any of the departments and organizations, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)
- Technical, scientific, and professional services, including in the private sector
- Educational services at private, local, or state levels
- Nonprofit organizations
Obtaining a Masters in Government Analytics is a great way to open new career doors and to enhance a person’s job security. It also provides people with important personal satisfaction and professional pride. Furthermore, graduates can take on positions of leadership, inspiring others to work in appropriate manners and become the best they can be.
While the world is becoming increasingly global, there is a trend where people are becoming more nationalistic. International relations is at an all-time low across the world, particularly when looking at tensions between this country and Russia, North Korea, and China, or between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, to name but a few. While government analytics does not focus on conflict resolution, it does provide insights on the impact of these conflicts on geopolitical, social, and economical systems.
Online Option for Masters in Government Analytics
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University offers one of the most respected online Masters in Government Analytics programs. They have developed a curriculum that ensures students have the broadest possible set of foundational skills in areas relevant to statistical analysis, with a focus on government entities. They are respected for their expertise and skills, and are encouraged to choose a specific area of analytical interest. Some of the specializations offered include:
- Geospatial analysis.
- Statistical analysis.
- Policy analysis.
- Political behavior.
- Public management.
Interestingly, John Hopkins University has developed the program for anyone with an interest in this field. Hence, quantitative methods studies are not a prerequisite for admission on the course. This is quite rare in the field of analytics and demonstrates the urgent need for such professionals in the country.
Because the degree is offered online, the completion schedule is very flexible. In fact, it is so flexible that students also have the option to take some of their classes on campus, so long as they are able to come to Washington, DC, which is where the Johns Hopkins Center is located. These on campus classes are held in the evening so that students do not have to give up on professional time. Nevertheless, the degree is also available 100% online, so it can be completed by anyone in the country and, in fact, the world.
In most cases, students of the Masters in Government Analytics program are already employed full time. Hence, they usually undertake no more than two courses per term, due to time restrictions. In so doing, they can complete the degree in two years. Students can take as many or as little courses per term as is suitable to them.
The degree program offered by Johns Hopkins University includes the following courses as part of the core curriculum:
- Statistical And Political Analysis
- Quantitative Methods
- Advanced Quantitative Methods
- Big Data Analytics: Tools and Techniques
- Program Evaluation
- Data Visualization
- Big Data Management Systems
- Applied Performance Analytics
- Time Series Models and Forecasting
- A Capstone Project Focused Specifically on Government Analytics.
Those who complete the degree can take on a variety of positions, such as:
- Analytic methodologist
- Intelligence analyst
- Business analyst
- Government analyst
- Government operational researcher
- Policy analyst
Because there is an increased dependence on data that come from a variety of sources, there is also an increasing need for government analytics. Many government agencies with a focus on domestic and international security require analysts to determine the impact of a particular policy, but this is equally true in other areas, such as health care and education. Nonprofit organizations and private businesses alike are all affected by any government policy, so they also have a need for those with a greater degree of understanding in this field.
By earning a Masters in Government Analytics, you are setting yourself up for a great career in a variety of fields and industries. You will be at the heart of the efforts to determine the impact of government policies by studying and interpreting data, and reporting on this to senior officers ranging from CEOs to the President. You will be seen as a leader in your field, who is respected for your advanced skills and knowledge.
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- Political Scientists. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm
- Government Analytics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://advanced.jhu.edu/academics/graduate-degree-programs/government-analytics/