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Best Data Science Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Data Science Programs

Sunday Erhunmwunse - June 30, 2022


If you are one of the many people who want to study data science and break into the tech industry, then you should learn about the best schools for data science. A key step in the path to becoming a data scientist is to get an education. Attending the best data science universities will give you the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the industry.

We’ve created a list of the best data science colleges based on academic reputation, opportunities for students, and a wide range of other factors. In this article, you’ll find just about anything you need to know about applying to and attending a data science school, plus useful information on the best data science schools and how to get a job in data science .

Best Data Science College and University Rankings: Top 10 Data Science Schools at a Glance

School State Formats Available US News Ranking
Carnegie Mellon University PA In-person #25
Columbia University NY In-person, online #2
Georgetown University DC In-person, online #23
Indiana University IN In-person, hybrid, online #68
Northeastern University MA In-person, hybrid, online #49
Northwestern University IL In-person, online #9
University of Houston TX In-person, hybrid #179
University of Maryland MD In-person, online #59
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI In-person, online #23
University of Washington WA In-person, online #59

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Data Science School Rankings: Best Data Science Colleges and Universities

Attending the best data science colleges ensures you get the right education for a rewarding career as a data scientist. Here are the best data science schools with excellent data science degrees and certificates according to our selection criteria, which include graduation rate, acceptance rate, programs offered, academic reputation, and national ranking.

1

Carnegie Mellon University

Graduation Rate: 93%

Carnegie Mellon University was established as Carnegie Technical Schools in 1900 and merged with Mellon Institute in 1967 to become the university it is today. The private research university has over 14,500 students and offers undergraduate and graduate programs through its seven schools and colleges.

Carnegie Mellon University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 14%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #25
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #28

Best Carnegie Mellon University Data Science Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Machine Learning. This four-year undergraduate program has a 360-unit curriculum. This degree is only offered on campus.
  • Master of Statistical Practice. This professional master’s program can be completed in just two semesters. It’s an intensive program for full-time students that teaches data analytics, predictive modeling, and linear modeling.
  • Joint PhD in Statistics and Machine Learning. This PhD program will feature courses in statistics and machine learning. Students will learn technical skills and practice them through an advanced data analysis project using real-world data.

Carnegie Mellon University Data Science Key Takeaway

Carnegie Mellon’s data science programs are taught by the statistics department, unlike other schools where data science can be taught through computer science departments.

2

Columbia University

Graduation Rate: 97%

Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University has grown into a full-fledged university with 17 schools. Columbia has over 31,400 students, earning degrees at both undergraduate and graduate levels .

Columbia University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 4%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #2
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #11

Best Columbia University Data Science Programs

  • Bachelor of General Studies with Data Science Major. This program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to explore data science topics while learning critical thinking skills in a wide variety of topics in STEM and social science fields.
  • Master of Science in Data Science. The 30-credit curriculum consists of computer science courses, an engineering course, statistics courses, and electives. Students will do a group capstone project with guidance from Columbia faculty and industry partners.
  • PhD with specialization in Data Science. PhD students enrolled in applied mathematics, electrical engineering, operations research, computer science, statistics, and industrial engineering can specialize in data science. Students will take five courses in data science while also completing all requirements for their base program.
  • Certificate of Professional Achievement in Data Sciences. This certificate program is offered both online and in person, and it requires a minimum of 12 credits to complete. It is only available for part-time study.

Columbia University Data Science Key Takeaway

Columbia University has a strong reputation as an Ivy League school, and a degree from Columbia sets students apart in their professional careers.

3

Georgetown University

Graduation Rate: 95%

Established in 1789, Georgetown University currently enrolls 17,000 students from 135 countries. The university offers on-campus and online programs, with several continuing education programs for working professionals. Georgetown is affiliated with the Jesuit tradition, but students from all faiths and secular backgrounds are welcome.

Georgetown University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #23
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #130

Best Georgetown University Data Science Programs

  • Bachelor of Science or Arts-Master of Science in Data Science & Analytics. The accelerated dual degree program allows students to complete their Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Data Science and Analytics in just five years.
  • Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics. The master’s program can be completed in one and a half to two years. Classes are offered in person with a few online options. Programming experience is suggested but not required.
  • Master of Science in Data Science for Public Policy. The 39-credit master’s program takes two years to complete, and students must enroll full-time, on-campus. The program focuses on using analytical tools to drive public policy.
  • PhD in Computer Science. In this PhD program, students can focus on data science topics like machine learning, data mining, and artificial intelligence.
  • Certificate in Data Science. This is a six-month program made up of eight courses. It takes place Friday evenings and Saturdays, with a live online format. This program is targeted toward mid-career professionals.

Georgetown University Data Science Key Takeaway

Georgetown University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to one, so students have the opportunity to interact directly with their professors.

4

Indiana University

Graduation Rate: 81%

Indiana University , founded in 1820, has just over 43,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled. Indiana University has international students from 140 different countries. Students studying at Indiana University can take advantage of the school's 200-plus research centers and institutes on campus or take their studies abroad with more than 380 overseas study programs.

Indiana University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #68
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #167

Best Indiana University Data Science Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science. This degree is a great start to a career in data science. Over the course of the four-year program, students complete foundation courses, which include Statistical Computing, Analytics Management, and Predictive Analytics.
  • Undergraduate Minor in Data Science. This data science minor requires 16 credit hours of coursework, including an introduction to computing and programming, discrete structures for computer science, and data representation.
  • Online Master of Science in Data Science. Spanning two to five years, the online Master of Science in Data Science program at Indiana University consists of 30 graduate-level credits. Online students will complete a capstone project and get to customize their degree with half of all credits reserved for elective courses.
  • Residential Master of Science in Data Science. If you’re a graduate student who prefers on-campus learning, then you can enroll in the residential master’s program at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. Students in this program can specialize in subjects like applied data science, big data systems, computation and analytical, or managerial data science.
  • PhD with a minor in Data Science. PhD degree students from any program can complete a minor in data science by completing 12 credits in graduate-level courses. These courses can be taken in person or online.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science. The 12-credit program is designed for working professionals and is only available online. Students will learn about statistical models, statistical computing, marketing analytics, and analytical methods.

Indiana University Data Science Key Takeaway

Ninety-three percent of Indiana University’s Master of Science in Data Science graduates were employed or enrolled in further education within 12 months of graduating.

5

Northeastern University

Graduation Rate: 91%

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university in Boston that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. The university has nine schools and colleges that together offer over 90 bachelor’s degree majors and concentrations.

Northeastern University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 18%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #49
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #168

Best Northeastern University Data Science Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science. This BS curriculum covers 132 credits of general education requirements, data science courses, and elective courses. Students who take the program in four years will complete two co-ops which are hands-on work opportunities for students.
  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Business Administration. This dual major program has a total of 134 required credit hours. Students will learn about the role of data science in business analytics.
  • Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Mathematics. This dual major program focuses on the mathematical theories behind data science. Requiring a total of 128 credit hours, this program covers linear models, statistical analysis, and database design.
  • Master of Science in Data Science. This program lasts between two and two and a half years and provides students with in-depth technical skills in data science. Students can choose to take the program full-time or part-time, and they must complete 24 semester hours of core courses and 12 semester hours of elective courses.
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics. This is an interdisciplinary program that applies technical skills in data science to social science fields. The certificate is offered online and can be completed in under a year.

Northeastern University Data Science Key Takeaway

Northeastern University’s cooperative education program, known as a co-op, gives students the opportunity to explore their career goals through work experiences while earning their degree.

6

Northwestern University

Graduation Rate: 95%

Established in 1851, Northwestern University has 12 schools offering degree and certificate programs , as well as pre-college programs for high school students. This private university is research-focused, offering extensive research opportunities to its more than 8,000 undergraduate and over 13,000 graduate students.

Northwestern University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s, PhD
  • US News Ranking: #9
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #24

Best Northwestern University Data Science Programs

  • Undergraduate Major in Data Science. This program will be offered for the first time in Fall 2022. Program requirements will include 11 major courses and eight related courses.
  • Undergraduate Minor in Data Science. Students have to apply to join a Data Science Minor cohort. With their cohort, students will take six courses and will learn how to program with Python or R.
  • Master of Science in Data Science. Students in this master’s degree program can choose to focus on one of five different tracks, including Analytics and Modeling, Analytics Management, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, and Technology Entrepreneurship. Students can enroll online or on-campus, and they must complete six core courses, two elective courses, two specialization courses, a project management or leadership course, and a thesis or capstone project.
  • Accelerated Master of Science in Data Science. This accelerated master’s degree option is only open to students who have graduated from MIT’s Micromasters in Statistics and Data Science. Because these students have already completed the prerequisite courses, they can finish their master’s degree with only nine courses.

Northwestern University Data Science Key Takeaway

Northwestern University emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship, with more than 100 innovation-based courses offered every year.

7

University of Houston

Graduation Rate: 62%

Founded in 1927, the University of Houston has over 47,000 students and offers 255 undergraduate majors and minors, 111 master’s degrees , and 51 doctoral and professional degrees. This public university is devoted to research, with research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at 36 research centers.

University of Houston Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #179
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #601 - 800

Best University of Houston Data Science Programs

  • Undergraduate Data Science Minor. This data science minor has a coursework requirement of 15 credit hours. This minor is not open to students with a computer science major or minor.
  • Master of Science in Statistics and Data Science. With a 30-credit curriculum, students can complete this MS program in one year. This program includes an internship and is offered in a hybrid format, with some courses offered on campus and some offered online.
  • Master of Science in Engineering Data Science. Students in this master’s program have two options, a thesis option and a non-thesis option. For the thesis option, students have to complete 21 coursework credits and nine thesis credits. For the non-thesis option, students have to complete 30 coursework credits.
  • Certificate in Engineering Data Science. This certificate program has five courses. Students already enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program at the school are eligible to request to be admitted to this certificate program.

University of Houston Data Science Key Takeaway

The University of Houston has lots of research and internship opportunities for students.

8

University of Maryland

Graduation Rate: 88%

The University of Maryland is a public research university that was founded in 1856 as a state agricultural school. The university has 12 colleges and schools and has more than 41,200 students earning 301 different degrees.

University of Maryland Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #59
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #93

Best University of Maryland Data Science Programs

  • Master of Professional Studies in Data Science and Analytics. This is a 30-credit, non-thesis master's program. Students cover a wide range of data science topics before finishing their degree with a capstone project.
  • Online Master of Professional Studies in Data Science and Analytics. This online data science Master of Professional Studies program follows the same 30-credit structure as the in-person program. Online students will also complete a capstone project.
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Science. The graduate certificate program is offered on campus. Students will take 12 credits of coursework in statistical analysis, data visualization, and databases.
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Data Science. This program is an online option for students who can’t attend the in-person version. Like its on-campus counterpart, this is a 12-credit program covering foundational data science topics.

University of Maryland Data Science Key Takeaway

The University of Maryland is serious about research, in 2019 it spent over one billion dollars on research at its College Park and Baltimore campuses.

9

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Graduation Rate: 94%

Founded in 1817, the University of Michigan has 19 schools and colleges that teach more than 48,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The University of Michigan has the largest research budget of any public university , just ahead of the University of California, San Francisco.

University of Michigan Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 20%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #23
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #24

Best University of Michigan Data Science Programs

  • Undergraduate Major in Data Science. This major is available to undergraduate students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In addition to general education requirements, students will take 42 credit hours of coursework and complete a capstone project.
  • Data Science Master’s Program. The program balances statistical analysis and computational skills. This 25-credit program takes an average of two years to complete.
  • Online Master of Applied Data Science. The Master of Applied Data Science is a completely online program that can be completed in two years. Students will take courses in data science ethics, data manipulation, and data mining. A unique aspect of this program is the focus on communication skills.
  • Graduate Data Science Certificate Program. The Michigan Institute for Data Science only offers this graduate certificate program to the University of Michigan’s current graduate students. Core courses include Data Management, Algorithms and Application, and Statistical Analysis Methods.

University of Michigan Data Science Key Takeaway

The University of Michigan provides free tuition to students from families with a total income of less than $65,000 per year.

10

University of Washington

Graduation Rate: 84%

The University of Washington was founded in 1889 and currently offers more than 180 undergraduate majors and 300 graduate degrees. Students attend one of three campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, or Bothell. Over 8,000 undergraduate students participated in one or more quarters of research.

University of Washington Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Degrees offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: #59
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #29

Best University of Washington Data Science Programs

  • Undergraduate Data Science Minor. The data science minor requires 25 credits of coursework. Undergraduate students at the university’s campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell can add a data science minor to their bachelor’s degree program.
  • Master of Science in Data Science. Students can take this master’s degree program either part-time or full-time, but they must attend in person. Graduates are prepared to work at government agencies, non-profits, or businesses of any kind.
  • Online Certificate in Data Science. This online program takes nine months to complete. Classes are held in the evening, making the program a perfect fit for professionals looking to achieve their career goals.

University of Washington Data Science Key Takeaway

University of Washing offers community-engaged learning courses, where students work with local organizations and businesses.

The Best Schools for Data Science: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered

The types of data science degrees you can earn at a college or university are a community college certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, graduate certificate, and doctorate. In this section, we’ll tell you what makes each degree unique.

1

Data Science Community College Certificate

A data science community college certificate is an undergraduate certificate program that provides a foundation for students who might continue on to an associate degree or bachelor’s degree. It usually takes a year to complete, and typical courses include an introduction to data science, data analysis, and statistical methods.

2

Data Science Associate Degree

An Associate Degree in Data Science is earned after completing an undergraduate degree program that takes two years to complete. An associate degree is earned by completing a 60-credit program that exposes students to the same introductory courses as a community college certificate and additional topics in programming or analysis.

There are two major types of associate degrees offered in data science. One is an Associate of Science (AS), which prepares students to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. The other is an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), which prepares students to join the workforce after graduation.

3

Data Science Bachelor’s Degree

A data science bachelor’s degree equips students with the technical skills and hands-on experience to apply data science techniques to real-life situations. Most data science jobs require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification. A bachelor’s degree vs an associate degree gives students more critical thinking skills to solve problems independently.

A bachelor’s degree is earned by taking a four-year program that covers 120 credits or more. Some schools offer an accelerated option that takes two and a half or three years. Most universities offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Science. A BA degree gives students the flexibility to take many classes in the social sciences, while a BS degree is a focused STEM program.

4

Data Science Master’s Degree

A two-year data science master’s degree is a graduate degree that could be a Master of Science in Data Science or a Master of Professional Studies in Data Science. Graduate students take advanced data science classes, including Statistical Modeling, Statistical Computing, Predictive Analytics, and Deep Learning.

A master’s degree program prepares students for more advanced roles on the data science career path. An online data science master’s degree is a great option for working professionals or other part-time students.

5

Data Science Graduate Certificate

A data science graduate certificate is an eight-month to one-and-a-half-year program that brings students up to date with the latest trends in data analytics, research, and programming. Graduate certificates are for students who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree, and most programs have prerequisite courses.

6

Data Science Doctorate

A data science doctorate degree is a research-based degree for students who want to work in academia, lead companies, or advise government agencies. During this program, students conduct their own research, write a dissertation, and defend their findings in an oral presentation.

A data science doctoral program typically takes four to five years. The first two years are dedicated to advanced coursework. After passing a qualifying exam, students moved on to spend the next two to three years conducting independent research and writing their dissertation.

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Best Data Science Schools: Other Data Science University Rankings

Attending the best data science schools sets you up to achieve your career goals. In our best data science university rankings, we have categorized the schools according to online programs, community colleges, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, dual degrees, and accelerated programs.

Best Online Data Science Schools

  1. Harvard Extension School. The Harvard Extension School offers an online graduate certificate program and an online Master’s Degree in Data Science. Considering the school’s academic reputation, it’s a great credential to list on your resume.
  2. Northwestern University. Northwestern University offers a 100-percent-online master’s program in data science. The university has an enviable student-to-faculty ratio, making learning easier for its online students.
  3. University of Maryland. University of Maryland offers an online Master of Professional Studies and a graduate certificate in data science. The online programs follow the same curriculum as the in-person versions, so students can choose a learning format without worrying about which classes are available online.

Best Community Colleges for Data Science

  1. Austin Community College District. Austin Community College provides opportunities for students to earn different certificates and undergraduate degrees in data science. The school offers apprenticeships for interested students to gain work experience.
  2. Collin College. Collin College is a community college in Texas offering a data science certificate series with an Introduction to Data Science Certificate, a Business Analytics Certificate, and a Programming Certificate.
  3. Carroll Community College. Carroll Community College has a 23-credit data science certificate program that prepares students to work in data science or to transfer credits to a bachelor’s degree program.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Data Science

  1. Northeastern University. Northeastern has several combined majors in data science for students who want to learn business analytics or focus on statistical analysis. The faculty at Northeastern are focused on making sure undergraduate students get the most out of their education.
  2. Indiana University. Indiana University has a Bachelor of Science in Data Science program, which prepares students for a career in data science and other fields in applied sciences.
  3. Carnegie Mellon University. Programs at Carnegie Mellon include a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics and Machine Learning, which is an intensive program that prepares students for jobs in data science or to continue on to graduate studies.

Best Graduate Schools for Data Science

  1. Carnegie Mellon University. Carnegie Mellon offers four master’s programs in data science or data analytics. This number of programs gives prospective students a lot of options.
  2. University of Houston. With two data science master’s degree options offered by the statistics department and the engineering department, students at the University of Houston can choose what they want to focus on.
  3. University of Michigan. Students can choose from two data science master’s degrees and a graduate certificate program. Students will also benefit from the University of Michigan’s academic reputation and investment in research.

Best Data Science Schools With Dual Degree Programs

  1. Eastern University | Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Data Science Dual Degree. Students can graduate with an MBA in Organizational Management and a Master of Science in Data Science in as little as 20 months. This dual degree is can be completed online, and it is a great option for students who want to work in business analytics or marketing analytics.
  2. University of Southern California | Master of Science in Communication Data Science/Master of Journalism and Communication Dual Degree with Tsinghua University. Graduates of this dual degree program earn a Master of Science in Communication Data Science and a Master of Journalism and Communication. This degree is offered in partnership with Tsinghua University in China.
  3. University of Virginia | Master of Science in Data Science/Master of Business Administration (MBA). This two-year dual degree allows students to combine the Master of Science in Data Science curriculum with an MBA. Graduates are prepared for managerial roles in any industry that uses large amounts of data.

Best Schools With Accelerated Data Science Programs

  1. Loyola University | Accelerated Bachelor of Arts or Science-Master of Science in Data Science. The program allows you to complete both your bachelor’s degree and Master of Science degree in five years. Students can choose to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Data Science or a Bachelor of Science in Data Science.
  2. Northwestern University | Accelerated Master’s Degree in Data Science . This accelerated master’s program is only open to graduates of MIT’s Micromasters in Statistics and Data Science. Students can choose from concentrations in Analytics and Modeling, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, or Analytics Management.
  3. University of Colorado | Data Science Accelerated Master’s Degree. The data science accelerated master’s program at the University of Colorado allows you to take twelve credit hours of graduate courses while you complete your undergraduate program, and these credits will apply to both your bachelor’s degree and your master’s degree.

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Is Graduate School for Data Science Worth It?

Yes, going to graduate school for data science is worth it. A graduate degree is critical for career advancement and learning high-level analytical skills. Although students have to complete intensive core courses and elective courses, the benefits of better job opportunities and higher pay make it worthwhile.

What Jobs Can You Do With a Data Science Degree?

The jobs you can do with a data science degree include data analyst, data scientist, business intelligence analyst, clinical data manager, and computer network analyst. Any industry that uses large amounts of data needs data scientists to make sense of all the information.

A data science degree ensures that you meet the education requirement for certain jobs, and it show potential employers how committed you are the field. If you get your degree at a school with career services or a career center, then you use these resources to help land your first job after graduation.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Data Science?

You can earn an average of $66,000 per year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science . More advanced degrees increase your earning potential. With a Master of Science in Business Data Analysis, you earn an average of $80,000 annually , and the average yearly salary rises to $131,000 with a PhD in Computer Science .

Highest-Paying Data Science Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Chief Executive Doctorate $213,020
Data Science Director Master’s degree $157,441
Computer and Information Research Analyst Master’s degree $131,490
Computer Network Analyst Bachelor’s degree $120,520
Data Scientist Associate degree $108,660
Database Architect Bachelor’s degree $98,860
Clinical Data Manager Bachelor’s degree $99,270
Business Intelligence Analyst Bachelor’s degree $93,000
Operations Research Analyst Bachelor’s degree $82,360
Data Analyst Associate degree $62,970

Best Jobs With a Data Science Degree

The best jobs with a data degree science degree are management and technical roles either overseeing teams of data scientists or working directly with data. These jobs differ by the minimum education requirement, and you may need to have some additional work experience to land some of these jobs. The plus side is that data scientists are needed in a variety of industries, so you’ll have plenty of jobs to choose from.

Best

2

Data Science Associate Degree

Jobs

Most data science associate degree graduates work as data analysts, data scientists, data modelers, and business analysts. In these roles, they use their analytical skills to provide solutions with available data. Earning an additional data science certificate or certification can help prove your skills with this less advanced degree.

Top Data Science Careers With an Associate Degree

Best

3

Data Science Bachelor’s Degree

Jobs

Data science bachelor’s degree jobs involve using analytical methods and developing statistical models to solving complex problems. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be expected to work with less supervision, and you will eventually lead your own projects after a few years on the job.

Top Data Science Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

Best

4

Data Science Master’s Degree

Jobs

The best data science master’s degree jobs require a deep understanding of data science with critical thinking skills, project management skills, and communication skills. In addition to critical thinking abilities, applicants may need to present relevant work experience. Master’s degree jobs are usually research or management positions.

Top Data Science Careers With a Master’s Degree

Best

6

Data Science Doctorate

Jobs

The best data science doctorate jobs are chief executive, university professor, and senior data scientist. These jobs require a PhD because they involve data-driven decision-making and research. For some careers, like postsecondary teaching, doctorate holders have to be proficient in teaching data science and related subjects.

Top Data Science Careers With a PhD

5

Best Internships for Data Science Students

Data science students can find internship opportunities with tech industry companies and other organizations that use big data. Your school's career services department will have ideas for internship options for students in data science. Some internships require an application, while for others you just need to reach out to the company or organization that you are interested in.

Top Data Science Internships

  • Lockheed Martin Data Scientist Asc Intern: $51,498
  • Iron Mountain Lead Data Science Intern: $49,927
  • Oakley Data Scientist Business Intelligence Summer Intern: $40,660

How Can I Pay for Data Science School?

You can pay for data science school with federal student aid, scholarships and grants, teaching or graduate assistantships, and private loans. Let’s take a closer look at these funding options for data science schools.

  • Federal Student Aid. All students can apply for federal student aid with FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student aid. This application determines your eligibility for federally subsidized student loans and several federal grants to help you pay for data science school.
  • Scholarships and Grants. Unlike loans, data science scholarships and grants don’t need to be paid back. Both have an application process, but scholarships are often merit-based and grants are usually need-based.
  • Teaching or Graduate Assistantships. Graduate students can work as teaching or research assistants during their degree to earn a salary. These roles can be competitive and not every school offers them.
  • Private Loans. Students can take out private loans to pay for their data science education, but the loans will need to be paid back in full plus interest. Private loans should be avoided when possible.

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Choosing the Best Data Science School for You

To choose the best data science school for you, you should consider the program offered, accreditation, and faculty reputation. The college where you get your degree could be as important as the school itself. Here are some important criteria to consider when choosing the best data science school for you.

Accreditation

You should only consider attending programs offered by an accredited university or college. Accreditation from a valid agency means the university meets the requirements to offer the program. If you don’t go to an accredited university, you could be spending time and money on a program that prospective employers won’t respect.

Learning Format and Flexibility

Does the school offer all courses on campus or are some available online? Can you take the program full-time or part-time? Asking these questions will help you the best program for you. If you are a working professional, you want to make sure you can complete your data program conveniently, without affecting your professional life. If you live and work in San Diego, for example, but you’re interested in the University of Notre Dame, which is in Chicago, you’ll want to make sure the school offers online courses.

School Reputation

A school’s reputation usually reflects the strength of faculty, research, and graduate outcomes. Read reviews and rankings to make sure you choose a program at a school that is well-respected in the data science field.

Cost

While attending the best schools is important, you have to make sure you can afford the program. How much is the tuition for the program? What are other costs and fees associated with the programs? Explore different funding options and reach out to the school’s financial aid office to make sure you know about all the financial aid options for students.

Employment Outcomes

Employment outcomes are a reflection of the strength of the program and its reputation among employers. Look for the employment outcome of your program or the department or college that offers it. This number is usually shared as a percentage of students employed after graduation.

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Does It Matter What College I Go to for Data Science?

Yes, it does matter what college you go to for data science. Some schools are accredited while others aren’t, and that could be the factor that helps you land a job in the future. A school with a good reputation, solid academic programs, relevant core coursework, respected faculty, and strong industry connections has more opportunities for students in the job market.

Data Science University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Data Science

We ranked the best data science schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our data science university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of data science degree program offerings.

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Best Data Science Schools FAQ

What are the admissions requirements for a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

The admissions requirements for a Master’s Degree in Data Science include a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a minimum GPA of around 3.0 usually, and GRE scores. Some master’s programs require a few years of work experience. In the application, you will have to include official school transcripts, a statement of purpose, one or more recommendation letters, and a resume.

Is a data science degree the same as a business analytics degree?

No, a data science degree is not the same as a business analytics degree, but they are similar and have some content overlap. Data science is about broad analysis and a wide range of applications for data, while business analytics is focused on applying data science techniques to business problems.

Should I get a Master’s Degree in Data Science or a certificate?

You should get a data science certificate if you already have a master’s degree or significant experience in a related field because a certificate takes less time to earn. However, some jobs have a master’s degree education requirement, and a certificate won’t satisfy that requirement.

Should I study data science online?

Yes, you should study data science online if you want to continue working while you complete your degree. Make sure the program is offered by an accredited university or college, and make sure that you meet all the technical requirements for the program. An online program can offer a flexible schedule, one-on-one support, and an education-work balance.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Sunday Erhunmwunse

About the author: Sunday is an experienced content writer and passionate educator. His professional interests include coding, data science, and product management. He holds a Doctor of Optometry from the University of Benin.

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