Homeonline collegesdata science degrees To respond to industry demands, more online schools have started to offer data science degrees. Data scientists are a new kind of data analyst. They use their math, statistics and computer skills to make sense of big data. If you enjoy spotting risks and trends, a data science degree may ready you for this growing field. What is an Online Data Science Degree? A data science degree studies the skills that turn big data into usable info. Then applies the meaning derived from this data to help all kinds of business. One may find these type of online degrees at all levels. Bachelors, masters and PhDs. At each level, you may learn methods to comb through data. Things such as data mining and machine learning. At the bachelor’s level, a data science degree is intro level. It often looks at technologies, tools and methods. Grads may leave with a solid knowledge of theory. Plus, the practical skills to manage and analyze complex data. Masters in data science are the more common form of the degree. These programs tend to dive deep into the ways of how to capture and organize data. Then prepare you to scale it for specific fields. E commerce, health care, finance and business are a few. PhD in data science programs are research focused. They often have broad course plans and foster thought leadership. This may mean being able to forge new theory through research. Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science Online bachelors in data science programs award a bachelor of science (BS) degree. Most are BS degrees in computer science (CS), software development or data analytics. You may be able to focus your studies in data science or big data and analytics while learning other basics. A BS in one of these fields is often an entry point to careers in computer and IT. Most BS programs will thus cover a wide range of topics, tools and skills – in about 120 credits. This can take a full time online student about four years to complete. BS courses may touch on operating systems (OS), how to program, hardware, and security. While learning these things, you may gain a problem solving mind set. This is key to uncovering hidden patterns in oceans of data. Also, you might learn how to work with the processes and people within a business. If you worry about ‘getting in’ each online school sets its own standards. You may need some high school statistics and computer courses under your belt. But things like GPA, SAT/ACT scores and other entrance standards will differ. Another variable is tuition. At last check, the average cost of a CS degree from an in state college is $6,478. For an out of state school, this cost is $31,584. This means you may find online programs that either cost less or more than those. Master’s Degree in Data Science Online masters in data science programs award a master of science (MS) degree. A MS in data science is a professional degree. This means that these programs will help prepare you for a career as a data scientist. Most analysts working with big data have a master’s degree or higher. Many MS in data science programs study data science from all sides. Plus, how to apply tools and methods to a certain business. For instance, how to use data mining to design custom medicine. Or create large scale data storage systems. Most masters programs cover these areas in 33 to 39 credits. They often take between a year and two years of full time course work. Longer programs include extra courses on how to program, and in statistics and math. This often makes up for courses not already finished as an undergrad. To apply to one of these masters program, you need a bachelor’s degree. You may also need a strong background in a few key areas. Linear algebra, statistics, data bases, and some programming languages. But if your undergrad degree did not cover all these areas, don’t stress. Many online schools start their programs with the basics in math and computer courses to bring you up to speed. PhD in Data Science An online PhD in data science is a research degree. They are the highest level of award a data scientist may achieve. Many are only available on campus, but online schools do offer them. To get a PhD requires a lot of academic work and from 60 to 71 credits. Most students need between three and five years (and sometimes more) to complete one. The first few years you may take a menu of courses and electives. Once you complete these courses, you may need to pass an exam. Students that pass this exam then move on to their dissertation work. Some programs also have practical training. This is a way to apply one’s skill and research knowledge to real world problems. PhD grads may choose to remain in academia. Some programs thus instruct students on effective teaching methods. There may also be a research rotation. Here, data science PhD students design and carry out research projects. As an online student, you may need to factor in some campus presence for these parts. You may be able to enroll in an online PhD program with a bachelors or masters degree. But keep in mind, each school sets its own admissions requirements. Relevant degrees might include a math degree or a degree in statistics, CS, engineering, etc. How much might it cost to earn a masters in data science or PhD online? The average cost of a grad degree from a public college is $11,617. This means you will be able to find online programs in this field that are both easier to afford and more expensive than this amount. What can I do with an Online Data Science Degree? This degree may be a gateway to a wide range of current and up and coming fields. Big data is creating opportunities in business, healthcare, e commerce and more. As data science careers are still evolving, there may be jobs for all levels of education. In many computer and tech fields, one needs a bachelors for entry level roles. Apart from having a bachelor’s degree, most analysts who work with big data have a master’s or higher degree. Those who use big data may also need education in the field in which they work. 1. Data Scientists Data scientists have skills that go beyond math, IT and CS. They also have a knack for turning high tech ideas into profit. As such, they are in demand in many places. Jobs for data scientists vary but often include lots of collaboration. One often needs to know how to manipulate large raw data sets. Then produce reports that are intuitive and easy to read/understand. 2. Chief Data Officers Chief data officers or chief information officers (CIOs) are managers who work with big data. They are the ones who create policies for how their business will use data. They also oversee analysts, programmers and other workers. Many of these jobs require a masters degree. 3. Software Developers Software developers write computer programs. These programs organize, process, analyze and visualize the data. Many of these pros enter the field with a bachelors degree. But many employers prefer those with a masters degree and relevant skills. 4. Computer and Information Research Scientists Computer scientists are problem solvers. Part theorist, part designers and part inventors. These pros come up with the systems that process and make sense of big data. Most have at least a master’s degree. 5. Computer Systems Analysts Also called systems architects, computer systems analysts have business and IT skills. They will have a solid grasp of modelling, programming and beyond. A bachelors degree may be good for entry level roles. But the industry is changing and a masters may suit very tech based roles. 6. Bio statisticians Bio statisticians often work in the pharma industry. They may use data gathered from drug trials for evidence based drug therapy. Or to track disease outbreaks in real time. Most have a masters or PhD. Is an Online Degree in Data Science worth it? Expertise in data science may provide a wide range of skills, opportunity and above average earning potential. Jobs in math occupations (data science is one) are among the fastest growing. Per the U.S. BLS, if you have strong data analysis skills, the future is bright. Jobs in these areas predict growth between 28% and 34% to 2026. This is well above average (7%) for all occupations. People who can interpret and present data in a clear way face many good prospects too. This is something that many data science degree programs highlight. Beyond the technical skills of harnessing the data. Being able to communicate in ways the lay person can understand. Such skills may be useful to these industries: E-commerce – many commercial websites use predictive models and monitor purchase transactionsBusiness – big data informs every part of the supply chainFinance – working with financial market data, and transaction dataGovernment – working with big data informs policyHealthcare – working with big data maps genetic makeup and medical treatmentsScience – working with big data might inform climate science, chemistry, etc.Social networking – working with big data helps marketing, online maps, product developmentTelecommunications – working with big data informs phone companies about products and servicesEducation – research to advance the field of data science and complex math Salaries in all these industries vary. But many jobs that look for these complex data skills paid an average annual salary of $101,900 in 2018. If you favor computer and IT, jobs in this area are in demand too. The need for data mining services and cyber security is creating yet other jobs. One example is computer research scientists. This field is growing by 19% to 2026. Salaries are also above average ranging from $69,230 to $183,820 and more. Data Science Degree Jobs & Salary Occupation Average Salary Jobs Computer and Research Scientist $122,840 31,700 Database Architect $88,550 412,800 Information Systems Analyst (ISA) $96,160 589,060 Mathematician $104,700 2,730 Top States for Jobs as a Data Scientist State Jobs Annual Mean Wage CA 147,930 $98,460 TX 19,640 $90,570 D.C. 17,020 $116,670 GA 16,580 $88,190 IL 16,050 $92,960 What classes will I take with an Online Data Science Degree? Most of these degree programs draw from math, statistics, and programming. These areas help students understand big data and the five stages of the data science life cycle. Capture – data entry, data extractionMaintain – data warehousing, data processingProcess – data mining, modeling, classifyingAnalyze – predictive analysis, text miningCommunicate – business intel, decision stage You may study many of these topics when you are going for a data science degree online. But each level of degree is likely to do this in a different way. Below are some of the classes you may find at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels. Bachelor’s Degree Courses BS in data science classes may help you build a well rounded knowledge of problem solving and coding. At the same time, you may learn how to mine and analyze large data sets. This may mean learning about how to scrape data, data crawling and other areas. Among them, networks, security, and ways to trouble shoot. The following classes may also be part of your program: Business Intelligence These courses may help you analyze business performance data. Students may learn to use findings to support business planning and decision making. Visualizing Data This type of course explores methods to explain data stories to clients. It may include learning Excel, Powerpoint and other software. Data Science A course in data science deals with questions like what is data? It often includes topics like statistics and probability. It may also explore modern issues like data privacy. Data Mining In this type of course often explores the ethical use of data. It may have a practical side. Students learn to apply the data analysis process to collected data sets. Apart from your major, you may also need to complete gene ed classes and a final project. Graduate Degree Courses MS classes focus on how to clean, organize, analyze, and interpret big data. As such, you may learn how to detect hidden patterns in the data to derive meaning. They also highlight application. In other words, what to do with these findings. How to then take results and portray them in a clear way using various methods to visualize the data. Some of the other topics you might study are: Semantic WebArtificial IntelligenceMath for Data Scientists Apart from these topics, many course plans feature a class in project management. This is about how to budget, schedule, assess risk, build a team and other aspects of the life of a project. This can also include how to explain technical details to clients. Often, a PhD will focus on using data systems to analyze trends and build models. This usually means a broad and deep course plan. One that also includes research methods, statistics and advanced computer science topics. This may mean learning about how to scrape data, data crawling and other areas. Among them, networks, security, and ways to trouble shoot. The following classes may also be part of your program: Machine Learning This class is about algorithms. Which enable artificial systems to learn from data and experience. You may learn to use various methods to solve problems that involve large data sets. Mathematics for Data Scientists This class looks at topics like differentiation and integration of functions. It may also cover optimization techniques, matrix operations and discrete math. Natural Language Processing (NLP) This class is about the methods and algorithms for NLP. It often covers linguistics, probability and statistics. Also, how to apply them to develop computer apps. Data Visualization This class is about presenting data in either a pictorial or graphical format. It is a tool that makes big data easier to analyze. How long does it take to get a Data Science Degree online? It may take a full time student about four years to earn a bachelors degree in data science online. If you have transfer credits from an associates program, you may be able to complete this sooner. Most master’s degree programs take between a year and two years of full time study. Although if your background is not data science, you may need up to three years. These programs often have you take a few extra courses. To earn a PhD online, you may need between three and five years. Often, the first three years are set aside for courses. The final years for your dissertation. But, some online schools build the dissertation work into the program, to help reduce length. University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete DeVry University Bachelors 121 8 32 Salem University Bachelors 120 Monthly 48 Saint Louis University Bachelors 120 6 48 Illinois Institute of Technology Masters 33 2 12 Lewis University Masters 33 4 18 St. Mary’s College Masters 36 4 24 Northcentral University PhD 60 Weekly 50 Colorado Technical University Doctorate 100 3 36 Grand Canyon University Doctorate 60 Multiple 39 15 Online Data Science Degrees Many online schools offer data science as a focal area within CS programs. There are also more broad data science degrees. Here are 15 schools with online degrees in data science at all levels. DeVry UniversitySalem UniversityOttowa UniversityWashington State UniversitySaint Louis UniversityIllinois Institute of TechnologyLewis UniversityDe Paul UniversitySaint Mary’s CollegeCUNY School of Professional StudiesNorthcentral UniversityColorado Technical UniversityUniversity of MinnesotaUniversity of North TexasCapitol University FIND AN ONLINE DATA SCIENCE DEGREE Let’s take a closer look at the online data science degrees that these 15 schools have to offer. 1 DeVry University Bachelor of Science in Software Development – Big Data and Analytics Fully Online This online entails 121 credits. Part of the program focuses on a Tech Core. This aims to help you build many skills that are key for the Internet of Things (IoT) economy. You’ll also study large and varied data sets to help you uncover patterns of information. Sample courses might include: Database ManagementData MiningData Interpretation and Analysis Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $17,803Grad $17,552Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$4,720 Average Net Price:$31,417 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 2 Salem University Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Data Science Fully Online This online BS focuses on data science. You’ll take ten courses that go into key CS topics. This includes topics like operating systems, networks, databases and how to program. Another five courses focus in data science. These cover areas like: Security Data SciencesData MiningData Analytics Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $16,700Grad $15,800Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$7,625 Average Net Price:$17,774 Military Programs:Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 3 Ottawa University Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Technology Fully Online This online BS entails 120 credits. Some of the courses are core business topics which includes ethics, discrete math and statistics. You are also likely to study intro level computer programming and other tech areas like: NetworkingHacking and Network DefenseAdvanced Database Systems Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $12,316Grad $11,770Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$3,888 Average Net Price:$39,071 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training & dedicated point of contact. Accredited:N/A 4 Washington State University Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics Fully Online This online BS requires 120 credits. It focuses on the analysis of vast data sets. As such, some courses discuss ways to extract information and develop predictive models. Apart from data skills, the program also has many business topics like: Enterprise Business Process AnalysisBusiness IntelligenceManaging IT Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $26,419Grad $26,850Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$9,532 Average Net Price:$17,297 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 5 Saint Louis University Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems Fully Online This online BS consists of 120 credits. You can also take 2 extra courses to add a certificate with an emphasis in data analytics (or cyber security). Some classes you may take are: Survey of Machine LearningData Mining Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $45,424Grad $21,534 Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$24,674 Average Net Price:$31,460 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 6 Illinois Institute of Technology Master of Science in Data Science Fully Online This online MS entails 33 credits of course work and includes a 6 credit summer practicum. In core topics, you’ll explore data using high level math, statistics, and computer science. Also, there are courses in project management and public engagement for scientists. These round out more technical areas that include: Data intensive ComputingMachine and Statistical LearningData Prep and Analysis Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $49,280Grad $30,937Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$30,918 Average Net Price:$25,814 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact & recognized student vet organization. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 7 Lewis University Master of Science in Data Science Fully Online This online MS requires 33-39 credits. It focuses on data mining, data visualization, predictive analysis and data management. You may also study artificial intelligence and natural language processing. Plus, there are two focal areas to choose from: Computational Biology and BioinformaticsComputer Science Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $33,430Grad $14,550Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$15,701 Average Net Price:$18,899 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 8 De Paul University Master of Science in Data Science Fully Online This online MS consists of 52 credits. Some of the courses are beginner topics in statistics, data analysis and programming. Others build skills with data mining, neural networks and machine learning. You’ll have the opportunity to choose an area of focus in one of the these areas: Computational MethodsHealth CareHospitalityMarketing Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $41,202Grad $19,974 Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$19,363 Average Net Price:$30,584 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 9 Saint Mary’s College Master of Science in Data Science Online plus one short visit to campus each year This online MS requires 36 credits including practicum credits. It is a Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program. As such, the study plan blends math and computing with work place skills. Things like project how to manage and communicate. While learning these areas, other courses might include: Entrepreneurship for Data ScientistsData Analytics and Outcomes ImprovementData Mining Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $43,900Grad $25,929Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$27,104 Average Net Price:$25,610 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 10 CUNY School of Professional Studies Master of Science in Data Science Fully Online This online MS entails 30 credits. Apart from courses, students have the opportunity to refine work place skills. This includes using popular programming languages to work on portfolios of complex projects. Also, giving presentations and reviewing each other’s work in the virtual space. Core topics include: Business Analytics and Data MiningKnowledge and Visual AnalyticsComputational Mathematics Tuition and Fees:Undergrad N/AGrad N/A Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:N/A Average Net Price:N/A Military Programs:N/A Accredited:N/A 11 Northcentral University Doctor of Philosophy – Technology Innovation Management – Data Science Fully Online This online PhD TIM focuses on data science and entails 20 courses. It highlights current statistical and modeling tools to help you make sense of big data. Other topics help students with the research needed to prepare their final dissertation. Apart from research methods, course topics might include some of these: Data VisualizationLeadership in Project ManagementBig Data Interpretation Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $12,474Grad $18,095Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$3,888 Average Net Price:$39,071 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission, WASC Senior College and University Commission 12 Colorado Technical University Doctor of Computer Science – Big Data Analytics Online with residency component This online Doctor of Computer Science entails 100 credits. It covers both tools (XML, Hadoop) and methods (AI, data visualization). Some of the courses deal with research and presentation. Others cover topics in: Analytics for Big DataInnovationBusiness Intelligence Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $12,529Grad $14,321Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$4,270 Average Net Price:$15,478 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 13 University of Minnesota Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) Online with some campus presence This online PhD requires 55 credits. It consists of three main parts: courses, research and thesis prep. As such, you may refine skills in writing, analysis and synthesis. This school also offers a Data Science MS. Some of the course topics for the PhD include: Data Communications and Computer NetworksMachine LearningArtificial Intelligence Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $33,325Grad $28,845Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$9,087 Average Net Price:$16,961 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Higher Learning Commission 14 University of North Texas Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science – Data Science Online with some campus presence This online PhD in Information Systems (IS) entails 60 credits. As a research focused degree, it includes directed study and independent research. You’ll take many courses relating to IS and design. The data science courses include core topics and electives such as: Computational Methods for ISUser Experience AssessmentData Analysis and Knowledge Discovery Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $21,172Grad $15,384Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$7,842 Average Net Price:$12,600 Military Programs:Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges 15 Capitol Technology University Doctor of Philosophy in Business Analytics and Decision Sciences Online, low residency This online PhD consists of 54 credits. These cover literature review, research, theory, ethics, dissertation prep, and more. One aim of the program is to build problem solving skills and managerial skills using Big Data. Some course topics are: Big Data Warehousing and Analytic SystemsOrganizational Change and ISApplied Statistics and Visualization for Analytic Tuition and Fees:Undergrad $26,308Grad $11,466Special rates available for military students. Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:$13,491 Average Net Price:$21,816 Military Programs:Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, recognized student vet organization & member of SOC. Accredited:Middle States Commission on Higher Education *Unemployment Earnings. Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.