Associate Degrees in Data Analytics are a great entry point for those with no prior experience in data analysis who want to find an affordable route to begin their education or career. The best data analytics associate degrees introduce students to the fundamentals of data analytics and prepare them for bachelor’s degrees or entry-level data careers.
Data analytics associate degree programs can be pursued at community colleges, universities, state colleges, and technical schools. This guide will highlight the best Associate Degrees in Data Analytics, program information, and career options.
What Is Data Analytics?
Data analytics involves examining large datasets to make more informed decisions. This field also involves techniques for interpreting raw data and uncovering patterns to find valuable insights. Experts in this field use specialized software and systems that integrate automation, machine learning, and algorithms to make the process easier.
Data analytics is a crucial field that helps businesses optimize their performance. Organizations can use data analytics to determine customer trends and make better business decisions. This practice helps businesses to come up with better services and products.
Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
You can get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics at a university, college, community college, or technical school that offers two-year degree programs. You can also get a data analytics associate degree online. Some of the best colleges where you can get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics are listed below.
What Schools Offer the Best Data Analytics Associate Degrees?
- Bismarck State College
- Coastline Community College
- Great Bay Community College
- Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
- Wilmington University
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
The admission requirements for a data analytics associate degree are a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, though these requirements may vary. Some schools may require transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a specific minimum GPA before they’ll accept you. There may also be specific Associate Degree in Data Analytics admission requirements at some colleges.
Data Analytics Associate Degree Admission Requirements
- High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- High school or previous college transcripts
- SAT or ACT scores
- School-specific application
How to Get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics
You can get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics by attending a community college or another two-year degree-granting institution. You do not need any prior knowledge to get a data analytics associate degree. Associate degrees provide core knowledge and teach basic skills so students can pursue higher-level degrees or start entry-level positions in the job market.
How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
You need around 60 credits for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics. Associate degrees are meant to cover the fundamentals of a subject and are usually equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor’s degree program. The credits needed for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics are made up of general education requirements, electives, and program-specific courses.
Data Analytics Degree Requirements
- 30+ credits of degree-specific courses
- Around 15 credits of general education classes
- 3 – 15 credits of elective courses
- 3 credits of a data analytics final or capstone project
Best Data Analytics Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Bismarck State College||Associate in Applied Science: Data Analytics Technician||Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Associate in Science, Data Analytics Option||New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)|
|Coastline Community College||Associate of Science in Data Science||Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)|
|Community College of Allegheny County||Associate of Science in Data Analytics Technology||Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)|
|Gateway Technical College||Associate of Science in Data Analytics||Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Great Bay Community College||Associate in Science in Analytics||New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)|
|Hocking College||Associate of Science in Data Analytics||Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Nashua Community College||Associate in Science: Data Analytics||New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)|
|Northeast Wisconsin Technical College||Data Analytics Associate Degree||Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
|Sinclair Community College||Associate of Applied Science in Data Analytics||Higher Learning Commission (HLC)|
Best Schools for Data Analytics: Top Data Analytics Associate Degree Programs
The best schools for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics offer hands-on learning opportunities and core data analytics knowledge. Since data analytics is a relatively new discipline, there are not many associate degree programs available. Below are some of the top data analytics associate degree programs for aspiring data analytics professionals.
What Is a Data Analytics Associate Degree?
A data analytics associate degree is a postsecondary program available for high school graduates who want to learn new skills or complete the first half of a four-year bachelor’s degree. The program usually takes around two years to complete, but it can be shorter. Some programs have accelerated options that allow you to finish in less time.
This type of associate degree is designed to develop students’ skills in data retrieval, processing, and storage. Graduates can pursue roles as business intelligence analysts, business analysts, data technicians, or data analysts.
How Important Is an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
An Associate Degree in Data Analytics is important for those who want an affordable entry into higher education or the tech job market. The main reason data analytics associate degrees are important is that they are generally affordable and not everyone can afford a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university.
What Types of Associate Degree Can You Get in Data Analytics?
You can get two types of Associate Degrees in Data Analytics. The main data analytics associate degree types are an Associate of Applied Science and an Associate of Science. The best type of Associate Degree in Data Analytics will depend on your personal goals after graduating.
The main difference between these types of data science associate degrees is that Associate of Science degrees prepare students for continuing education while an Associate of Applied Science prepares students for careers after graduation.
Is It Better to Get an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science in Data Analytics?
It is better to get an Associate of Applied Science in Data Analytics if you want to graduate and enter the job market as soon as possible. An Associate of Applied Science in Data Analytics can get you an entry-level data-related position. An Associate of Science in Data Analytics will create a foundation of knowledge for you to continue your education with a bachelor’s degree.
What Is the Difference Between a Data Analytics Associate Degree and a Data Analytics Certificate?
The difference between a data analytics associate degree and a data analytics certificate is that an associate degree is a two-year degree granted by a college or university while a certificate is a shorter program provided by colleges or other educational institutions. Getting a data analytics certificate vs an associate degree will depend on your educational and professional goals.
If you are a working professional who wants to upskill or make a career transfer to data analytics, consider a data analytics certificate. If you are a recent high school graduate who wants to begin your college education or career path, you should pursue an Associate Degree in Data Analytics.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
An Associate Degree in Data Analytics costs an average of $4,230 per year. This figure is from the National Center for Education Statistics average cost of tuition and fees at a two-year institution.
The average annual cost for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics at a two-year school is significantly less than the yearly cost of a bachelor’s degree at a four-year university, which averages $19,081.
Data Analytics Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Data Analytics Degree
You can pay for your data analytics associate degree through federal student aid options like grants and loans, or through scholarships or private student loans. The most common form of financial aid for an Associate Degree in Data Analytics is FAFSA. Some students might work part-time to cover some of the costs of their education.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Data Analytics Associate Degree?
It takes two years to get a data analytics associate degree. As a full-time student, this involves taking 15 credits of classes per semester over four or five semesters. As a part-time student, it could take over five semesters at less than 12 credits per semester, to get a data analytics associate degree.
However, the Associate Degree in Data Analytics length can be between one and three years. It will take less time to get a data analytics associate degree if you choose an accelerated degree program and more time if you attend a data analytics degree program part-time.
How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
It is not hard to get an Associate Degree in Data Analytics because an associate degree is meant to provide a low barrier to entry into education. You don’t need to have prior knowledge or education in data analytics, however, an interest in mathematics and statistics would be useful.
Why Should You Get a Data Analytics Associate Degree?
You should get a data analytics associate degree if you want to spend less money on the first two years of your data analytics degree or get an entry-level tech job as quickly as possible. The benefits of getting an Associate Degree in Data Analytics are affordability, length, and admission requirements.
What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Data Analytics?
In an Associate Degree in Data Analytics program, you need to take courses in math, science, business, and technology. The Associate Degree in Data Analytics courses listed below are based on the course list from Bismarck State College.
Database Design and Structured Query Language (SQL)
This course covers the fundamentals of databases and SQL. In addition to learning how to produce, create, and interact with databases, students will learn the relationship between databases and SQL.
Digital Forensics Fundamentals
Digital forensics is one of the core aspects of cyber security. In this course, you will learn how to investigate and report cyber crimes. You will also learn how to use cloud forensics and digital forensics software.
This course will teach you how to use Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets. Students will take the Microsoft Office Specialist Exam in order to complete the course, but passing this exam will not affect their final grades.
This course takes real-world business problems and uses them to teach limits, continuity, differentiation, integration, and differential equations. It will likely have prerequisites for lower-level math courses, which may be met through high school transcripts.
Computer Software Applications – Word
This course covers everything you need to know about Microsoft Word, one of the most commonly used office applications. This class is a great basic course to take at the beginning of your degree program. It will prepare you for the Microsoft Office Specialist Exam.
Continuing Education Paths for Data Analytics Associate Degree Graduates
The best continuing education path to take for a data analytics associate degree is to use the credits accrued at a community college or college and transfer them to a bachelor’s degree program at a college or university. A bachelor’s degree is the most common prerequisite for mid-level data jobs and having this credential could potentially earn you a higher salary.
Related Data Analytics Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Data Analytics Associate Degree Programs
The best associate degree programs in data analytics should be accredited and have courses that cover the core of data analytics. These programs should also leave space for you to pursue electives that interest you.
Most schools will provide employment outcomes for their data analytics associate degree programs. These can either be a list of potential careers to pursue after graduation or through graduate outcomes and testimonials.
Reputation of the School
The reputation of the school you attend shouldn’t influence your decision too much, but you should always make sure that the school you’re interested in attending is accredited and has not recently lost funding or its accreditation.
Graduation and Retention Rates
Many community colleges have low graduation rates, however, graduation rates are usually based on students enrolled within the last six years who have graduated within 150 percent of the standard amount of time. Numbers for recent years may not be available. Retention rates are important because it shows how many students remain at the school after the first year.
Continuing Education Options
Many students choose associate degree programs because these programs allow them to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs. You should make sure that the transfer options are clearly described on the program page or school website. Some community colleges allow you to transfer to any four-year university, while others recommend in-state institutions.
Curricular Content and Availability of Electives
Whether you plan to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program or find a job in data analytics, you should make sure that the courses offered either meet the first two years of requirements for a bachelor’s program or teach you the skills needed for your career.
What Is the Most Affordable Data Analytics Associate Degree?
The most affordable data analytics associate degree is offered by Coastline College. For California residents, the program is only $1,170 per year. This college will also allow you to transfer to schools within the University of California system, which includes prestigious schools like UCLA and UCDavis.
Salary and Job Outlook for Data Analytics Associate Degree Graduates
Data analytics associate degree jobs are entry-level jobs in data analytics, data science, and information technology. Associate Degree in Data Analytics salaries are not as high as they are for those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees, however, tech jobs have generally high average salaries compared to other fields.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Data Analytics Associate Degree?
It is not hard to get a job with a data analytics associate degree. Although a bachelor’s degree is the most common job requirement, the tech industry is open to people with lower-level degrees or non-traditional education from data analytics bootcamps.
What’s the Average Data Analytics Associate Degree Salary?
According to PayScale, entry-level jobs in data analysis pay an average annual salary of $56,478. However, an associate degree may not be enough to qualify for one of these jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently found that the average person with an associate degree earns about $915 per week, equivalent to $47,580 per year.
What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Data Analytics Associate Degree?
You can get business, IT, tech, or data science jobs with a data analytics associate degree. Most of the positions on the lists below are entry or mid-level analyst jobs. You can also find work as an IT support technician.
Data Analytics Degree Jobs
- IT systems analyst
- Quantitative analyst
- Data operations analyst
- Marketing analyst
- Logistics specialist
Potential Careers With an Associate Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Data Analytics?
You can make between $43,000 and $78,000 with an Associate Degree in Data Analytics. Data analytics is a profitable industry. As you explore the list of data analytics jobs in the next section, keep in mind that you may need additional degrees, training, or certifications to reach the salary levels listed.
Highest-Paying Data Analytics Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Data Analytics Associate Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|IT Systems Analyst||$78,645|
|Data Operations Analyst||$67,938|
Best Jobs for Data Analytics Associate Degree Grads
The best jobs for data analytics associate degree graduates are entry-level data analysis positions. However, you can find analyst positions in different fields and industries, including business and healthcare.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is an Associate Degree in Data Analytics Worth It?
A data analytics associate degree is worth it if you want to enter the tech industry. The program only lasts for two years, so you can apply for jobs and begin your career in a short amount of time. An Associate Degree in Data Analytics is ideal if you want to enter the tech field because the program gives you the foundational knowledge you need.
It prepares you to further your education in a bachelor’s degree program, or you can enter the workforce directly. Professionals with associate degrees earn good salaries and enjoy the benefits that come with working for data-focused companies. The skills you learn from this degree also make it possible to switch careers in the future. Data is all around us, so you can work in virtually any industry.
Additional Reading About Data Analytics
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Data Analytics Associate Degree FAQ
You can work in several organizations as an operations analyst, business intelligence analyst, data engineer, data scientist, business analyst, or data analyst. You can work in the healthcare, entertainment, tech, or retail industries.
The amount you can earn with an Associate Degree in Data Analytics depends on several factors, such as the location, the organization, and the industry. According to PayScale, most entry-level data analysts earn salaries in the range of $41,000 to $75,000.
Most Associate Degrees in Data Analytics require 60 credits to complete and this can be done in about two years. The program often includes an internship or a capstone project.
Yes, you can become a data analyst with any degree, although a bachelor’s degree is the most common educational requirement. However, with the right combination of technical and soft skills, you can make yourself desirable to any prospective employer.
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