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Best Data Science Master’s Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Savanna Bruce - May 30, 2022


Earning a Master’s Degree in Data Science can be highly beneficial for career advancement. While a master’s degree isn’t compulsory to become a data scientist , it can help you with your professional growth. The best data science master’s degrees will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for executive, managerial, leadership, and specialist roles in the industry.

To help you explore different data science master’s degree programs, this article provides details on the top schools and programs for studying data science. It also includes information on the highest paying jobs for professionals with a Master’s Degree in Data Science. Learn more about the best Master’s Degrees in Data Science, the admission requirements, and more below.

What Is Data Science?

Data science involves collecting data from various sources using scientific processes to analyze and extract useful information that professionals can use to make decisions. It is primarily used to make predictions and better decisions for organizations to help them become more functional, productive, and profitable.

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To put it quite simply, data science is the study of data. People who work in data science are extremely important members of any organization that employs them. These are the people who take a company’s data and make use of it to further a business’ goals. Through rigorous study and analysis, data scientists are able to record, store and use data to provide valuable insights to a company.

Where Can I Get a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

The best colleges where you can get a Master’s Degree in Data Science include University of Michigan, University of Rochester, DePaul University, and University of Washington. In fact, there are a variety of colleges across the US that offer data science master’s degree programs.

What Schools Offer the Best Data Science Master’s Degrees?

  • Brown University
  • Purdue University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • New York University

What Are the Admission Requirements for a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

The admission requirements for a Master’s Degree in Data Science are having a bachelor’s degree, submitting letters of recommendation, and meeting minimum GPA requirements, which at some schools may be a 3.0 or above.

In addition, to meet other Master’s in Data Science requirements students may also need to provide other application materials such as GRE test scores, resumes, personal statements, and more. Further, aside from providing all of the necessary application materials, it is essential to adhere to the application deadline.

Data Science Master’s Degree Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA (only for some schools)
  • GRE test scores (only for some schools)
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

How to Get a Master’s Degree in Data Science

You can get a data science master’s degree by attending a graduate program and adhering to all of the school-specific graduation requirements. Though the precise graduation requirements may differ between schools, students will typically need to maintain a minimum GPA, complete a list of required core courses and elective courses, and complete a thesis or capstone project.

The best way to get a data science master’s degree is to attend the program in consecutive semesters until you have completed all of the degree requirements. This way, your education will not be interrupted. In addition, you need a qualifying bachelor’s degree before you can join a Master’s Degree in Data Science program.

How Many Credits Do You Need for a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

You may need anywhere from 30 to 40 credits for a Master’s in Data Science. Each individual graduate school will have different requirements for its particular data science master’s program. However, you can expect that the total program can be completed in one to two years.

Data Science Degree Requirements

  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA
  • Fulfill all core class requirements
  • Earn at least 30 credits
  • Complete an internship, thesis, or capstone projects
  • Maintain good academic standing within the university

Best Data Science Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Brown University Master of Science in Data Science New England Commission of Higher Education
Carnegie Mellon University Master of Science in Computer Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Columbia University Master of Science in Data Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
DePaul University Master of Science in Data Science Higher Learning Commission
Montana State University Master of Science in Data Science Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
New York University Master of Science in Data Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Purdue University Master of Science in Computer Science Higher Learning Commission
University of Michigan Master of Science in Data Science Higher Learning Commission
University of Rochester Master of Science in Data Science Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Washington Master of Science in Data Science Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Best Schools for Data Science: Top Data Science Master’s Degree Programs

Many graduate schools offer master’s programs in data science, but you might not be sure where to start searching for the top data science master’s programs. We’ve compiled a list including some of the best schools for a master’s degree in data science. Learn more about the application requirements and tuition costs of the best data science master’s degree programs below.

1

Brown University

Providence, RI

As one of the Ivy League schools, Brown University is known for being a leading research institution. The university was founded in 1764 and has a long history of producing top scholars. With 2,629 graduate students and 9,948 students overall, Brown University boasts of an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of just 6:1.

Master of Science in Data Science

This nine-credit program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the methods and algorithms of data science. The curriculum covers mathematics, computer science, statistics, machine learning, data mining, security and privacy, data visualization, and data management.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $9,152/course
  • Required Credits: 9 credits
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 95%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $100
  • Minimum Education: Not specified
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, personal statement, resume

Applying to Brown University

  1. Complete an online application and pay the application fee
  2. Submit your personal statement and resume
  3. Provide three letters of recommendation
  4. Submit your GRE General Exam score
  5. Provide your unofficial undergraduate transcripts

2

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University is a private institution that was founded in 1900. The university has 14,500 current students and 109,900 alumni from around the world. Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science is ranked number two on the US News & World Report’s list of the Best Computer Science Schools .

Master of Science in Computer Science

You do not need a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science to apply for this program. This program is open to students with basic analytics skills and a strong foundation in mathematics, programming skills, and logical reasoning.

The program isn’t fixed on a set of courses. Instead, students can choose their coursework, as well as decide between a research or thesis project. There are many concentrations available if you wish to specialize in one topic.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $727/unit
  • Required Credits: 108 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: GRE is highly recommended
  • Application Fee: $125
  • Minimum Education: Not specified
  • Other Requirements: Most recent college transcript, resume, a Statement of Purpose, three letters of recommendation

Applying to Carnegie Mellon University

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Pay the $125 application fee
  3. Submit your GRE score or explain why you cannot provide a score
  4. Submit your transcripts, resume, and Statement of Purpose
  5. Provide three letters of recommendation

3

Columbia University

New York, NY

Columbia University is an Ivy League research university founded in 1754 and one of the oldest schools in America. In 2020, the university had a total of 31,455 students. Throughout its long history, the institution has awarded 8,562 master’s degrees in various fields of study.

Master of Science in Data Science

Columbia University prides itself on having one of the most sought-after data science degree programs in the world. This program requires 30 credit hours and teaches students data science techniques that they can apply to any field.

The program allows students to conduct research, do a capstone project, and interact with the school’s industry partners. The curriculum of the program covers courses in engineering, statistics, and computer science.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $27,264.00/semester
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 96%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: GRE (optional for 2022 applicants)
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: personal statement, three recommendation letters, resume

Applying to Columbia University

  1. Fill out an online application and pay the $85 application fee
  2. Submit your personal statement and resume
  3. Provide three letters of recommendation
  4. Send your GRE scores (optional)
  5. Submit your undergraduate transcripts

4

DePaul University

Chicago, IL

DePaul University has a total of 21,670 students, 7,376 of those being graduate students. Founded in 1898, DePaul University is a private Catholic research institution. The university now offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs from its 10 different colleges and schools.

Master of Science in Data Science

The data science program provides students with the technical knowledge and advanced computational skills to start a career in data science. The program has courses covering computational methods, healthcare, marketing, and hospitality.

In this 52-credit program, students learn to manage and analyze complex data, develop data scientific models, and communicate analytical results effectively. Students can also choose from a variety of elective credits.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $900/credit
  • Required Credits: 52 credits
  • Program Length: Not specified
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 71%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Resume, completion of calculus courses

Applying to DePaul University

  1. Fill out an online application
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit your undergraduate transcripts
  4. Provide a resume
  5. Submit letters of recommendation (optional)

5

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT

Montana State University is a public institution that was founded in 1893. With 16,841 students, Montana State University is both the largest university in the state of Montana and the fastest-growing as well. Today, the school offers over 250 different academic programs.

Master of Science in Data Science

The data science master’s program is an interdisciplinary program that gives students a broad understanding of data science. With this, it pulls coursework from the fields of computer science, statistics, and math. Students in this program will have access to various facilities on campus such as The Software Lab and The Applied Algorithms Laboratory.

The 30 credits of coursework in the program cover data analysis, computing, machine learning, and more. Students may also choose to complete a three-credit internship course in order to gain real-world experience.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition (and Fees): $2,783/semester (in state); $8,844/semester (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 98%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Various prerequisite coursework in statistics and math, personal statement, resume, up to three letters of recommendation

Applying to Montana State University

  1. Fill out an online application form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Provide your undergraduate transcripts
  4. Submit your personal statement and resume
  5. Provide up to three recommendation letters

6

New York University

New York, NY

New York University is a private research university that comprises 19 schools and colleges. The university was founded in 1831 and currently has about 53,576 students. Collectively since 2000, the faculty at NYU have won five Nobel Prizes, five ​​Pulitzer Prizes, and have more esteemed achievements.

Master of Science in Data Science

The Master of Science in Data Science is a graduate school program that is only open to students with a strong background in statistics, computer science, and applied mathematics and focuses on developing new methods for data science.

The curriculum provides students with an in-depth understanding of data science, machine learning, big data, linear algebra, algorithms, programming languages, and database systems. Students must complete a capstone project before graduating.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $17,991/semester
  • Required Credits: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 88%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not specified
  • Standardized Tests: GRE
  • Application Fee: $130
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Three letters of recommendation, Statement of Academic Purpose, complete prerequisite courses in math and computer science,

Applying to New York University

  1. Fill out an online application
  2. Pay the $130 application fee
  3. Submit your GRE test scores electronically
  4. Provide you undergraduate transcripts
  5. Submit three letters of recommendation
  6. Submit your Statement of Academic Purpose

7

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University is a public land-grant research university. This university was established in 1869, and, in 1874, Purdue University held its first classes for just 39 students and with only six instructors. In 2021, 49,639 students were enrolled in Purdue programs and the school employed 16,818 faculty and staff members.

Master of Science in Computer Science

The students in the computer science program choose between a thesis, non-thesis, and ISCP option. The institution’s primary goal is to equip students with the job-ready skills necessary for a career in data science.

The 24 to 30-credit program has courses covering algorithms, bioinformatics, databases, data mining, security, software engineering, and systems. Students graduate with the specialized knowledge necessary to make them competitive applicants in the field.

Master of Science in Computer Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $4,859/semester (in state); $9,401/semester (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30 credits for non-thesis option; 24 credits with a thesis
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 83%

Master of Science in Computer Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.5
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Up to three recommendation letters, Statement of Purpose, resume, computer science supplementary form

Applying to Purdue University

  1. Fill out and submit the computer science supplementary form
  2. Submit your Statement of Purpose and resume
  3. Provide letters of recommendation
  4. Send you undergraduate transcripts
  5. Fill out the online application and pay the application fee

8

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Founded in 1817, University of Michigan is a public research university and the oldest in Michigan. The Ann Arbor campus hosts 15,377 graduate students and 32,282 undergraduate students. However, students can also attend classes at the Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Master of Science in Data Science

The 25-credit data science program focuses on providing students with core data science and practical training. The program divides data science skills into statistical skills and computational skills.

The courses are taught separately by the statistics and computer science departments. The curriculum includes mathematics, cloud computing, data science, data structures, database management systems, data mining, analysis, machine learning, statistical methods, and computational methods. Students need a relevant educational background to qualify.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,730/credit (in state); $3,132/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 25 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 93%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Recommendation letters, two semesters of college-level calculus, one intro to computing course, one semester of linear or matrix algebra

Applying to University of Michigan

  1. Fill out the online application
  2. Pay the $75 application fee
  3. Submit your undergraduate transcripts
  4. Provide recommendation letters

9

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

The University of Rochester was founded in 1850. It is a private research institution that offers several graduate and undergraduate degrees. With 12,000 students, the university has a student-to-faculty ratio of just 10:1.

Master of Science in Data Science

The Master of Science in Data Science is a 30-credit program that provides students with a strong background in the fundamental theories and applications of data science.

The program is open to students with a background in mathematics and technical fields including business, computer science, and engineering. The curriculum includes data structures, programming languages, applied statistics, computational methods, databases, data mining, and a capstone project.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,890/credit
  • Required Credits: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 86%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Minimum Education: Not specified
  • Other Requirements: Three recommendation letters, Statement of Purpose, resume

Applying to University of Rochester

  1. Complete an online application form
  2. Pay the $60 application fee
  3. Provide three letters of recommendation
  4. Submit your Statement of Purpose
  5. Submit a resume
  6. Provide your undergraduate transcripts

10

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

A public research school, University of Washington was founded in 1861. With 60,418 students, University of Washington offers a wide range of degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. In the 2020 to 2021 school year alone, the university awarded 4,920 master’s degrees.

Master of Science in Data Science

The data science degree program is for students who are starting or want to advance their careers in data science. The program consists of 45 credits and offers both part-time and full-time schedules.

This program covers topics like statistical modeling, data management, machine learning, data visualization, software engineering, research design, data ethics, and user experience.

Master of Science in Data Science Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition (and Fees): $1,085/credit
  • Required Credits: 45 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 82%

Master of Science in Data Science Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 (only for last 60 credits of undergraduate studies)
  • Standardized Tests: None
  • Application Fee: $85
  • Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Other Requirements: Completed coursework in multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and two intro to programming courses; four application essays, two letters of recommendation, resume

Applying to University of Washington

  1. Fill out the online application form
  2. Pay the application fee or apply for a waiver
  3. Submit your undergraduate transcripts
  4. Write and submit four of the application essays
  5. Provide at least two letters of recommendation, three is preferred
  6. Submit your resume

What Is a Data Science Master’s Degree?

A Master’s Degree in Data Science is a program that prepares you for career growth. The program typically lasts for one to three years, depending on various factors. The program covers courses in data visualization, machine learning, statistics, artificial intelligence, programming languages, data mining , and data analysis.

A data science master’s degree is a good option for mid-level professionals interested in advancing in their careers. Students with a master’s degree will have higher chances of securing senior-level roles in the industry as completing the program proves their advanced knowledge and skills in the field.

How Important Is a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

It is very important to have a Master’s Degree in Data Science to establish credibility in the field and access higher-paying roles. One of the main reasons a data science master’s degree is important is that it helps students deepen their understanding of data science and refine their existing data science skills. In a competitive, technical career, having a master’s degree will help you set yourself apart from other candidates.

What Types of Master’s Degree Can You Get in Data Science?

You can typically get two different types of Master’s Degrees in Data Science, which are either a Master of Science or a Master of Arts degree. Both of these two data science master’s degree types will help students advance their data science careers. In addition, both of these programs will provide both theoretical and practical knowledge.

Is It Better to Get a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Data Science?

It is better to get a Master of Science Degree in Data Science because it will provide you with more direct math and science knowledge than a Master of Arts program will. However, one thing to keep in mind when deciding which is better, a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Data Science, is your specific career goals.

Though both of the two data science master’s degrees will expand on your existing knowledge, a Master of Science program is generally more technical. On the other hand, a Master of Arts program will focus on various humanities, in addition to core data science content.

What Is the Difference Between a Data Science Master’s Degree and a Data Science Certificate?

The main difference between a data science master’s degree and a certificate in data science is that a master’s degree is typically more intensive, respected, and longer than a certificate program. A Master’s Degree in Data Science is an advanced education program that requires students to meet specific academic standards. For career growth, it is better to get a master’s degree vs a certificate .

Certificates, on the other hand, are helpful for establishing qualifications once you have already established a career path. For example, if you already have a Master’s in Business Administration , you may later work towards a data science certificate.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

According to NCES, the average cost of a graduate degree is $19,314 per year. Public institutions cost an average of $12,171, while private institutions cost $25,929. For-profit private institutions cost about $14,208 while nonprofit institutions cost $27,776 annually. However, there are many financial aid opportunities available for master’s degree students.

The typical data science master’s degree cost may also differ between in-state and out-of-state programs. In addition, the expected Master’s in Data Science cost may change if you choose to only follow a part-time rather than a full-time program.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Data Science Master’s Degree?

It takes anywhere from one year to two years to get a Master’s Degree in Data Science for full-time students. Many data science master’s degree programs offer accelerated options that allow ambitious students to complete the degree in as little time as possible. In addition, some programs also allow students to cut down on a Master’s in Data Science program length by taking classes during the summer.

How Hard Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

A Master’s Degree in Data Science is hard to get because it is an advanced degree program. As with any master’s degree program, a data science master’s degree will require students to dedicate a significant amount of time to their studies and research. Overall, getting a data science master’s degree is hard because advanced degrees require students to perform at a high academic level.

Why Should You Get a Data Science Master’s Degree?

The benefits of getting a Master’s Degree in Data Science include establishing greater credibility in the profession and expanding your career opportunities. Earning an advanced degree, such as a data science master’s degree, allows you to refine your knowledge in the field. In addition, attending a master’s degree program is a great opportunity to build your network.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in a Master’s Degree Program in Data Science?

Core courses in a Master’s in Data Science program will often focus on the important technical aspects of working as a data scientist. As such, you can expect typical Master’s in Data Science courses to include programming, machine learning, and data analysis topics. To learn more about what to expect, read through the Master’s in Data Science course list below.

Database Systems

This course teaches students the various key elements of, and how to properly utilize, database systems. Students will practice building database management systems and also gain familiarity with prominent database models. They will also learn different methods of data management.

Data Visualization

This course will help students develop the essential skill of proper data visualization. They will learn about the common analytical tools and software used in data mining and visualization as well as the current issues the industry faces. Students will also gain experience working with applications for data warehousing.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is an important part of the data science profession. As such, a machine learning course will help students learn how to implement machine learning algorithms. A machine learning course may cover topics such as searching and ranking, useful distributions, predictive modeling, and automatic personalization.

Statistics

A master’s-level statistics course aims at deepening students understanding and implementation of statistical models and formulas. This course may cover topics such as the law of large numbers, hypothesis tests, central limit theorem, and more.

Data Engineering

A course on data engineering cover programming and computer science topics involved in data science. Students will learn about various data structures and algorithms as well as how to apply them through hands-on experience. Concepts such as graph databases, test-driven design, and distributed computing may also be covered.

Continuing Education Paths for Data Science Master’s Degree Graduates

The best path to take with a data science master’s degree is to continue studying to earn a doctorate degree or a PhD. Obtaining the highest level of education in the data science field will allow you to position yourself as a highly valuable job candidate. In addition, attending a doctoral program will allow you to do extensive research within the field of data science in order to develop a better understanding of the field.

Related Data Science Degrees

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What to Look For in the Best Data Science Master’s Degree Programs

When deciding what to look for in a college for a Master’s Degree in Data Science, there are many different factors that you may consider. However, some factors may be more important than others. To learn more about how to choose a data science master’s degree program, read more about five key components below.

Employment Outcomes

Most people study for a master’s degree in order to unlock greater earning potential. As such, knowing the employment outcomes is a key factor in evaluating the quality of a master’s degree program. If graduates of a certain program are not able to find work, it may be a sign that the degree program didn’t properly prepare them for the workforce or that it is not respected by employers.

Cost

Higher education in the US can be very costly. It is important to not overload yourself with unreasonable debt just to obtain a degree. Therefore, you will need to compare the cost of a given program to the earning potential you will have after you graduate.

Accreditation

Programs that are accredited have been vetted by third-party institutions and have been proved to offer quality education. In order to ensure that your Master’s Degree in Data Science is respected within the industry, it is important to attend a program with the proper accreditation. This will also help you ensure that you learn the necessary skills to have a successful career.

Reputation of the School

As you will likely be paying a significant amount of money for a data science master’s degree program, you want to be sure that it will be worth it. If a school has a reputation of not supporting students or offering low-quality educational content, then it would be best to get your degree elsewhere.

Flexibility or Format

Many students that work towards a Master’s Degree in Data Science have already begun their professional careers. As such, it is important that master’s degree programs offer accommodating schedules such as evening classes and online learning opportunities. If you want to work while earning a master’s degree, make sure your program of choice offers flexible learning options.

What Is the Most Affordable Data Science Master’s Degree?

The most affordable Master’s Degree in Data Science is offered by Montana State University. Tuition for the Master of Science in Data Science program is just $2,783 per semester for in-state students. In contrast, some programs charge nearly $2,000 just for a single credit.

In addition, the program is still very affordable for out-of-state students at $8,844 per semester. This makes it one of the most affordable data science master’s programs regardless of what state you live in.

Salary and Job Outlook for Data Science Master’s Degree Graduates

Three people working at a table with a laptop, notebooks, and charts.
Most data scientists obtain master’s degrees to learn technical skills and advance their careers.

Data science is a field with a lot of in-demand jobs. With many companies and organizations making the transition to new technology, data science master’s degree jobs are projected to continue growing for quite a while. Learn more about these jobs and the typical Master’s in Data Science salary in the sections below.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Data Science Master’s Degree?

It is not hard not to get a job with a Master’s Degree in Data Science as it is a growing field. In addition, being a holder of a data science master’s degree sets you apart from other applicants and makes you an appealing job candidate. Nonetheless, having an effective cover letter and resume will still be important in the application process.

What’s the Average Data Science Master’s Degree Salary?

According to PayScale, $80,00 per year is the average salary for someone with a Master’s Degree in Data Science. However, this figure can change depending on factors like location and educational and professional experience. The average salary for a Master’s Degree in Data Science will increase as you gain more experience in the field.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Data Science Master’s Degree?

Jobs you can get with a data science master’s degree include working as a database administrator, business intelligence analyst, infrastructure architect, and more. However, as a master’s degree holder, you will be a suitable candidate for a variety of positions in many industries.

Data Science Degree Jobs

  • Data analyst
  • Statistician
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Financial analyst manager
  • Management analyst

Potential Careers With a Data Science Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

You can make between $55,000 and $140,000 with a Master’s Degree in Data Science. However, the average money that data science may earn out of college can be influenced by many factors. These factors include what state they work in, what company they work for, and what the exact job title is, among others.

Highest-Paying Data Science Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Data Science Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Enterprise architect $137,434
Infrastructure architect $112,995
Machine learning engineer $112,709
Database administrator $98,860
Statistician $93,290
Data engineer $93,276
Management analyst $93,000
Operation research analyst $82,360
Financial analyst manager $81,410
Business intelligence analyst $71,175

Best Jobs for Data Science Master’s Degree Grads

The best jobs for data science master’s degree grad include data scientist, machine learning engineer, infrastructure architect, and statistician. The best jobs for a Master’s in Data Science degree holder are those that offer great compensation as well as the ability to grow and be challenged. Learn more about the best paying data science master’s degree jobs and what their job outlook is below.

1

Enterprise Architect

Average Salary: $137,434

Enterprise architects oversee the implementation and maintenance of a company's computer networks and systems. These professionals work to improve and upgrade the various services, software, and hardware of the company.

2

Infrastructure Architect

Average Salary: $112,995

Infrastructure architects create and implement complex computer systems to support a company's enterprise infrastructure. In addition, they are in charge of all IT systems' security and functionality.

3

Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary: $112,709

Machine learning engineers design and build AI software to generate algorithms capable of learning and making accurate predictions. Some examples of this work include driverless cars and virtual assistants.

4

Database Administrator

Average Salary: $98,860

Database administrators are responsible for managing the computer systems of a company. They have the critical responsibility of ensuring that all systems are functional, secure, properly maintained, and updated.

5

Statistician

Average Salary: $93,290

Statisticians are mathematical professionals who collect, analyze, interpret, and present numerical data. They use various statistical techniques to collect and analyze practical information and determine how companies can use that information to make predictions.

6

Data Engineer

Average Salary: $93,276

Data engineers prepare, analyze, and interpret data to find trends and develop algorithms to make the data useful for a company. They utilize technical skills, such as advanced data modeling, to extract data from different sources and work with companies to extract meaningful information and solve computational problems. They may work as part of a larger data science team.

7

Management Analyst

Average Salary: $93,000

Management analysts assist and improve the efficiency of a company's operations by conducting and preparing operations and procedures manuals. In addition, they conduct research and evaluations to devise systems that help the company achieve its goals.

8

Operations Research Analyst

Average Salary: $82,360

Operations research analysts work in a variety of sectors. They use data science and data analysis methods to help make a company’s operations more efficient and cost effective. They gather various data sets to help managers and executives better understand how to allocate resources.

9

Financial Analyst Manager

Average Salary: $81,410

Financial analyst managers create financial plans, models, reports, and strategies for the economic benefit of a company. They are the primary people in charge of the financial management of a company.

10

Business Intelligence Analyst

Average Salary: $71,175

Business intelligence analysts work to improve a company’s overall efficiency, productivity, and profits. They accomplish this by analyzing data from collected sources to identify industry trends and potential issues and then making decisions to prevent them.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Is a Master’s Degree in Data Science Worth It?

Yes, a Master’s Degree in Data Science is worth it if you are interested in career advancement. A master’s degree makes it easier for you to apply for senior-level roles and, most importantly, land jobs. People who have a master’s degree are more likely to earn managerial jobs like management analyst than those with only a bachelor’s degree or a similar undergraduate degree.

You also get to earn more as you move up the job ladder. Even better, the degree isn’t limited to those with an undergraduate degree in data science only. People with bachelor’s degrees in other science courses like computer science, statistics, and computer engineering can also apply for a data science master’s degree program to access greater career growth.

Additional Reading About Data Science

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/data-science-processes/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/data-science-degree/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/types-of-data-science-jobs/

Data Science Master’s Degree FAQ

How long is a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

A Master’s Degree in Data Science lasts for two years on average, though it depends on the individual and school. Some programs offer accelerated programs that allow students to learn a data science master’s degree in as little as one year.

Can I get a job with a Master’s Degree in Data Science?

Yes, you can get a job in several fields with a Master’s Degree in Data Science. Graduate students in data science can apply to any technical or educational field relating to programming languages, computational modeling, and statistics.

Is a master’s degree necessary for a data science career?

A master’s degree is not necessary for a career in data science and many coding bootcamps present an affordable alternative to gain basic knowledge. However, a master’s degree is great for professionals who want to advance in their careers.

What is the best degree for data science?

A Bachelor of Science in Data Science is the best degree for those interested in a professional data science career. However, getting a Master of Science in Data Science is an excellent way to unlock higher-paying career opportunities and further refine your knowledge.

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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Savanna Bruce

About the author: As a writer at Career Karma, Savanna covers a wide array of topics in education, careers, and technology. Before joining the Career Karma team in June 2020, Savanna found success as a freelance writer and bookseller. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, she graduated with a bachelor's of Multidisciplinary Studies from the University of Nebraska Omaha. Savanna is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing to further enhance her career. Specifically, she aims to use her degree to start nonprofit animal welfare organizations in developing countries.

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