What Can You Do With A Data Science Degree

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

Data is sometimes referred to as the new oil, and it’s easy to see why. In the previous two years, humanity has generated more data than at any time in human history prior to that, which is another mind-blowing statistic.

Two things are true. As a result of the fact that even with data on such a scale, it is meaningless unless it can be interpreted by an individual.

This means that there is a wealth of opportunities for employees who are adept at organizing and drawing meaning from large amounts of information.

As a hub of organizational intelligence, data scientists employ programming languages like Python and R that are adept at handling massive datasets, have knowledge of statistically sound analysis tools, and have expertise in data visualization and use.

Additionally, you may make a great salary as a data scientist while doing important work. It’s no longer only about squeezing every last penny from a corporate operation that big data has made its way into decision-making.

Data science positions that have a big impact on society include:

  • Assisting pharmaceutical companies to focus their research on the most important areas in order to develop new medications
  • Helping huge school systems to find the unnoticed elements that affect student success
  • Providing assistance to municipal planners looking at the impact of global warming on their local communities
  • There are several more examples.

The following handbook is a great starting point for anybody considering a degree (and/or a job) in data science. The following are some of the most often asked questions by prospective data science students.

Which Degrees Are Available in Data Science?

The associate, master’s, and doctorate degrees in data literacy and computers are all offered. The majority of degrees in data science are master’s degrees.

The fundamental courses that can lead to a position in data science can be taken by students with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, though. 

Students can also get positions in data science using only their practical abilities. Data science jobs do not necessitate a college education since the technological abilities required for the position may be learned quickly enough.

There are just a few data science degree programs offered at the undergraduate level. For the most part, these degrees focus on core computer science or business programs with a focus on data science. 

At the bachelor’s degree level, you might be able to pursue a data science concentration in one of the following degree types:

  • Information Technology with a Concentration in Data Science
  • Data Science Concentration: B.A. in applied computing and B.A. in business administration, both with a data science focus

Analytical specialties may also be available in some business, marketing, and related degree programs.

In certain cases, individuals who complete this program may be more suited to work in the data science profession than those who pursue a degree in business analysis.

If you want to get a bachelor’s degree in data science, you’ll have to fulfill a variety of general education prerequisites.

All students must meet a certain level of general knowledge and skill set before they may graduate, which is why these standards are put into place. 

Bachelor’s level general education courses include:

  • English language and literature
  • Data Literacy
  • A Foreign Language
  • Calculus or College-Level Math
  • Natural Science Courses
  • Social Science Courses
  • Humanities Courses
  • Courses in the Arts
  • Physical Education
  • Among Others

Following the completion of general education requirements, most students will be eligible to study courses in their majors.

Despite the fact that most undergraduate degrees in data science also include coursework in a core area like computer science or business, students are likely to take the following courses as well:

  • Business Statistics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Intro to Machine Learning
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Science Tools and Techniques
  • Computer Vision Algorithms
  • And More

Many students might begin studying data science in earnest at the master’s degree level. There are a number of students that pursue different academic fields as undergraduates and then return to school for data science after working in the field for several years.

A variety of data science master’s degrees are available, however, the following are the most common:

  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Master of Applied Data Science
  • Master of Science in Analytics
  • Master of Business Administration in Analytics
  • Master of Science in Computer Science – Data Science

Master’s degree programs in data science typically contain courses like:

  • Data Science Toolkit
  • Data Wrangling
  • Data Warehousing / Data Management
  • Data Standardization
  • Data Visualization
  • Advanced Scripting Languages
  • Statistics
  • Applied Statistics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Data Security
  • Courses in Python and R
  • Among Others

A master’s degree program may also provide options for focusing on a particular subject area. To complete a concentration, students select three to five courses from a list of predetermined topics.

These clusters may focus on business intelligence, business analytics, machine learning, or natural language processing in the case of data science.

Students enrolled in master’s programs can also anticipate completing either a capstone project or a thesis as part of their degree requirements.

While a master’s thesis is often a 100+ page argument based on contemporary academic literature, an applied capstone project may be a hands-on collaboration with a potential employer.

Finally, the Ph.D. level permits students to concentrate on a specific area of data science in great detail. Ph.D. programs in computer science or data science are the most prevalent options for students interested in data science as a doctorate concentration.

Ph.D. programs are primarily research doctorates, with the primary goal of facilitating research and training the next generation of academics and researchers in a certain field of study.

As long as you don’t plan on going into academia, having a Ph.D. in data science might open the door.

Master’s-level coursework and a dissertation are both required for Ph.D. degrees. Dissertations are lengthy works of the original study, often exceeding one thousand pages.

When you finish your dissertation, you should be able to submit it to a peer-reviewed journal for publication though they do not have to be published.

In all probability, you’ll be taking classes to help you with your dissertation research all the way through your degree program.

When attending an in-person program, you’ll likely be asked to assist in teaching classes as a teaching assistant (TA).

As soon as you’ve successfully defended your dissertation and passed the comprehensive test on all the key disciplines you’ve studied in grad school, you’ll be given a Ph.D. in data science.

Can I earn an online degree in data science?

It’s no wonder that data science degree programs have embraced online learning methods in such a big way.

In order to succeed at the highest levels in data science, individuals should be able to learn whatever they need to know online.

It is therefore important for those new to online learning or who have previously taken an online course and didn’t do so well to carefully examine which method of instruction is most suited for them.

Online degrees are adored by students for the following reasons:

  • Lower Fees
  • No Need to Quit Your Job or Move
  • Access to the Same Degree
  • A Degree Program Built For Adults
  • Many of the Same Support Services As In-Person Degrees

The following are aspects of online degrees that students dislike:

  • Need to be More Independent if You Have Difficulty Meeting Peers or Professors
  • Absence of Networking Opportunities and Campus Events
  • Not as many Support Services are Available

However, millions of students have achieved success with online degrees, and many data science degree programs have completely embraced online delivery.

Let us know if you believe you are a suitable candidate for an online course in Data Science!

How can I gain admission to a degree program in data science?

Data science degree programs normally follow the same admissions criteria as other degrees of the same degree level, with significant distinction for master’s level admissions.

In order to be admitted to a bachelor’s degree, students must submit official high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, a CV, a statement of purpose, and either an SAT or ACT score for some programs.

Students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in data science often apply to the university’s undergraduate college, the school of business, or the school of computer science.

Two alternatives are available to students at the master’s level when it comes to getting into a program.

It is possible for students to earn a terminal master’s degree, which means that they don’t go to doctorate studies.

Direct entry into Ph.D. programs in computer science and/or data science is also an option for motivated candidates. 

They will receive a master’s degree on route to a doctorate if they successfully complete the program’s criteria.

Data science master’s degrees often demand a CV, letters of recommendation, and transcripts from undergraduate studies, as well as a statement of purpose. 

Students who plan to study computer science or data science often need to take the GRE exam.

Students who plan to pursue an MBA or business school with an emphasis on data science or analytics are more likely to be required to take the GMAT standardized test.

A bachelor’s degree (or a master’s) is required for admission to the doctorate program. For people with only a bachelor’s degree, entrance competition is likely to be higher.

In addition, students may want to consider taking a few years out of school to get job experience in order to boost their application.

A GRE score, undergraduate or master’s transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of intent are all required for data science or computer science Ph.D. applications.

Applicants may also check to see if instructors in a Ph.D. program are engaged in research that interests them.

In addition, prospective students should inquire with faculty members about the availability of mentors for their own research projects.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start looking for a mentor to help you through your Ph.D. studies.

With a degree in data science, what can I do?

A data science degree can help you get a job in the field of data science, which is a no-brainer. This is the final objective for many who are interested in pursuing a career in this field of study.

A bachelor’s or master’s degree is typically all that is required to land a data science employment, which has been dubbed the hottest job of the 21st century.

There are many opportunities for future management jobs inside data science teams or across all information systems disciplines if you’re just starting out as a data scientist, as well.

Individuals will usually specialize in one area of data science, such as machine learning, data mining, or data visualization:

  • Market Intelligence
  • Machine Learning / Machine Vision
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Product Analysis
  • News Mentions and Public Relations
  • Bioinformatics
  • And So Forth

At the beginning of one’s career as a data scientist, the following abilities will be sought:

  • Determining how to analyze data that is critical to a business in a statistically sound manner
  • Work with product, sales, marketing, and engineering teams to uncover 
  • Organizational data hold-ups, what data is useful, and which teams require what data at what times.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on the latest data science, machine learning, and data warehousing and processing developments.
  • Analysis of data trials should be communicated to the most important decision-makers
  • Fine-tune statistical models and procedures for data collection, warehousing, and visualization.
  • Help create data-centric products or services.
  • The list goes on and on.

As a result of the high need for data scientists across a wide range of industries, prospective data science students may want to consider enrolling in more practical courses within those subjects.

A few of the areas where data scientists are in high demand are as follows:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Health Care
  • Finance
  • Ecommerce and Consumer Goods
  • Technological Products
  • Machine Learning Research

An American data scientist currently earns around $113,000 per year on average. One’s educational background and work location can greatly affect the number of hours needed to complete a job.

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