The Best
Online Data Science Master's Degree Programs of 2021

Data science professionals with a master’s degree may qualify for a more lucrative career. They can find high-paying jobs in different industries as the demand for data scientists increases.

If you want to pursue a master’s degree in data science but cannot manage an in-person program, consider taking an online program. Some of the perks include reduced costs, zero commutes, and autonomy over your own schedule. This means you are likely able to work full-time while learning new skills at the same time.

Top 20 Online Data Science Master’s Degrees of 2021 at a Glance

Many colleges and universities offer online data science master’s degree programs. Some run hybrid programs where students attend a portion of the classes online and the rest on campus. The tuitions differ according to the institution, location, and program that you choose.

Below is a list of the top 20 online data science master’s degree programs. The information in the table below was sourced from the university websites.

School and Degree Tuition Notes
Averett University
Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics
$21,030 All Students
Ball State University
Master of Science in Data Science
$15,040
$21,824
In-state
Out-of-state
Bellevue University
Master of Science in Data Science
$18,850 All Students
California State University-Fullerton
Master of Science in Information Technology / Data Science
$23,015
$34,895
In-State
Out-of-state
Central Connecticut State University
Master of Science in Data Science
$22,010 All Students
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$18,000 All Students
Concordia University-Saint Paul
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$18,750 All Students
CUNY Graduate School and University Center
Master of Science in Data Science
$14,810 All Students
East Carolina University
Master of Science in Data Science
$8,077
$27,414
In-State
Out of State
Grand Canyon University
Master of Science in Data Science
$22,700 All Students
Indiana University Online
Master of Science in Data Science
$14,364
$46,962
In-State
Out of State
Johnson & Wales University
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$28,296 All Students
Lewis University
Master of Science in Data Science
$29,160 All Students
Maryville University
Master of Science in Data Science
$30,240 All Students
National University
Master of Science in Data Science
$27,846 All Students
Northern Illinois University
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$26,761 All Students
Oregon State University
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$25,550 All Students
Texas Tech University
Master of Science in Data Science
$26,170 All Students
University of Maryland Global Campus
Master of Science in Data Analytics
$17,330 All Students
University of North Dakota
Master of Science in Data Science
$25,643 All Students

Benefits of an Online Data Science Master’s Degree

There are a lot of reasons to obtain an online data science master’s degree. It can help you explore an interesting career path with prestigious and lucrative opportunities. According to the Quant Crunch Report, 39 percent of data science and advanced analyst roles require a master’s or PhD. This illustrates how a master’s degree can improve your chances of securing a job. Other benefits are listed below.

  • The degree makes you highly proficient in data management technologies.
  • The degree can make it easier to move up the ladder in your career.
  • The degree gives you cutting-edge skills that will remain relevant for the coming years.

What Are the Requirements for an Online Data Science Master’s Degree?

Each university has different requirements for students who want to enroll in its online data science master’s degree programs. In most cases, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject with a GPA of 3.0 or more.

Some other schools require basic grasps of algorithms, linear algebra, data structures, analysis of algorithms, or programming languages. GMAT or GRE is not a general requirement. Letters of recommendation may be required.

Choosing the Right Online Data Science Master’s Degree Program

There are so many things to consider before choosing an online data science master’s degree program. To ensure that you’re enrolled in a program that best fits your career goals and personal circumstances, it is recommended that you do some research on the program’s curriculum, tuition, and schedule, among others.

Tuition

A master’s degree is an investment toward your future. As such, you’d want to consider the potential return on this investment. This means making sure that you’re getting the skills you need at a tuition rate that you can manage. It is helpful to also browse through the financing or scholarship options that can help cover the tuition.

Program Duration

The duration of a program is a crucial element to consider. Some of the questions that might help you make a decision are: How much time can you put into the program? What does a realistic schedule look like to you? Do you prefer an accelerated program so you can be done in a few months? Or, would a flexible program be best? The answers to these may help narrow down your options.

Type of Specializations

Some universities offer niche programs that go in-depth into certain specializations. For example, data science is a broad field and specializations like data analytics, statistics, machine learning, or data engineering come under that umbrella. To help you decide, consider assessing both your professional goals and personal interest.

Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021

Best Online Data Science Master’s Degrees in 2021

If you want to get an online data science master’s degree, there are a lot of options to choose from. Some are private universities while others are publicly owned institutions. The costs of these programs also vary. This guide highlights some of the best programs to ease your search.

Averett University | Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics

This online degree will help refine your data storytelling skills. It aims at developing your presentation skills with a formula of brief illustrations, one big idea, and a three-minute story.

This program is designed to be intensive. Depending on your preference, you can obtain your master’s degree in two years or less. The classes at Averett University are kept small to maximize interaction between instructors and students.

Ball State University | Master of Science in Data Science

Students in this program build strong foundations in computer science, math, and statistics. They also learn more about big data and its high-impact practices. These skills are in high demand and can be applied in most science-related careers.

Some of the topics covered in this program include Python, Machine Learning, SQL, Data Science, and Apache Hadoop. Students will also explore data analysis, big data, data mining, predictive modeling, R, and SAS.

Bellevue University | Master of Science in Data Science

This master’s program will help students analyze, curate, and gather impactful insights from datasets. It covers leading data science tools and practical coursework, taught by experienced faculty. Students will also be exposed to other tools like R, Python, Tableau, and PowerBI.

Students also develop data visualization and analysis skills which can be applied to business problems. At the end of the program, students learn to prepare datasets and communicate data science results effectively.

California State University-Fullerton | Master of Science in Information Technology / Data Science

This 20-month program has two concentrations: IT management and data science. Students are required to take two courses per semester, covering topics like systems development processes, data communications requirements, programming concepts, and ecommerce. Students also learn about cyber security and ways to develop their oral and written skills.

The program is open to everyone, with or without relevant experience. It also includes an orientation seminar called Boot-up Camp, an end-of-the-year assessment, and optional on-campus review sessions.

Central Connecticut State University | Master of Science in Data Science

This master’s program has four tracks: text analytics, bioinformatics, advanced data science methods, and computational methods. The curriculum uses sophisticated software and statistical techniques to find trends and patterns in large datasets.

The program focuses on data mining with a hands-on approach. The curriculum includes topics like web mining, genomics, text mining, and segmentation models.

Colorado State University-Global Campus | Master of Science in Data Analytics

The courses in this program prepare you to lead business decision-making. The skills will also be useful in other areas like business development, human resources, accounting, and IT.

By the end of the program, you can expect to utilize industry-leading tools to extract data. You will also get better at identifying, providing, and addressing sophisticated solutions to complicated business challenges.

Concordia University-Saint Paul | Master of Science in Data Analytics

This master’s program equips students with the ability to make ethical and strategic decisions for the stakeholders. The training also includes ways to obtain, store, analyze and interpret data to generate statistical probability.

The courses would add up to 30 credit hours. By the end of the program, you will develop the core competencies to thrive in emerging business environments.

CUNY Graduate School and University Center | Master of Science in Data Science

This online program helps students acquire the necessary skills to advance in the data science field. The program offers hands-on programming, as well as foundational knowledge. It also has project-based coursework similar to that of a coding bootcamp.

Throughout the program, students build their portfolios using popular programming languages like Python and R, among others. This allows students to walk away with skillsets that mirror the demands of the tech workforce.

East Carolina University | Master of Science in Data Science

ECU’s online master’s program focuses on big data and its use-cases to improve the decision-making process. The program will focus on healthcare as the application domain.

Students learn how to tackle various issues in the healthcare sector by using the relevant data science tools. They will also learn how to handle large volumes of data, extract useful information, capture patient behavioral data, and combine intensive genomic data.

Grand Canyon University | Master of Science in Data Science

This program prepares students for advanced training in analytics and strategy. It explores how data science and its application can help organizations. Students also learn how to use predictive analytic theory, technical tools, principles, and industry-specific knowledge in problem-solving.

At the end of the program, you will be able to identify challenges, capture data, and interpret information. You will also know how to answer questions based on your findings, and drive business strategy.

Indiana University Online | Master of Science in Data Science

This program is offered online and in person. The only difference is that the online program is delivered via pre-recorded content which allows students to learn at their own pace. This format provides flexibility and convenience to all learners, especially mid-career professionals.

Students must take one statistics course, one machine learning and artificial intelligence course, and choose one specialization: data analytics and visualization, intelligent systems engineering, precision health, or cyber security.

Johnson & Wales University | Master of Science in Data Analytics

This data analytics program provides students with in-depth training to help them apply statistical methods in real-world problems. It covers core courses in statistics and advanced data analytics. Students also explore areas like analytics data mining and data visualization.

Additionally, the curriculum covers data modeling, simulation, and optimization to fill the analytics gap. Students will be equipped to handle challenges posed by data in technical or business settings.

Lewis University | Master of Science in Data Science

Students in this program learn to develop systems and software to manage, process, and interpret data. They also learn the best ways to display big data and develop an understanding of data computing and mathematics.

The curriculum includes comparing and evaluating cloud-based data and using real-time data to solve business problems. It ends with a thesis capstone where students are expected to apply analytics and data mining techniques that they’ve learned.

Maryville University | Master of Science in Data Science

Maryville’s online master’s program gives you a chance to learn in-demand skills like SQL, Python, R, and SAS. Other topics in the program include big data, data mining, and deep learning.

Students can choose to personalize the experience by taking different electives like probability, statistics, actuarial science, and business courses.

National University | Master of Science in Data Science

This program includes core courses in statistics by design. It also includes topics related to advanced data analytics. Other topics include data management, data modeling, data mining, teamwork, communication, and categorical data methods.

Advanced topics like the development and implementation of software and hardware tools are also a part of the curriculum. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project using real data from organizations, demonstrating proficiency in relevant tools.

Northern Illinois University | Master of Science in Data Analytics

This online degree will help nurture your problem-solving and data-driven leadership skills. You will learn how to communicate data findings, approach business decision-making, and interpret complex data. Such skills are important to help you make actionable and strategic business decisions.

You can choose to attend on a full-time or a part-time basis. Each course takes approximately 10 weeks to complete and students are required to complete 10 courses to graduate. Depending on your schedule, it can be completed in less than one year.

Oregon State University | Master of Science in Data Analytics

Oregon State’s Ecampus program is available in the US and 50 other countries, making it possible for students to learn data analytics with peers from all over the world. This provides a unique and diverse learning experience.

This is a part-time program that covers the fundamentals of data analytics before diving deeper into complex principles and applications of data analytics. Students will also cover data science tools, programming, and applied machine learning as a part of the curriculum.

Texas Tech University | Master of Science in Data Science

Texas Tech University offers an online master’s program which takes around one year to complete. The program is STEM-focused. It teaches students how to manipulate big data, use advanced technology, and interpret data with statistical methods. These skills can help you lead organizational strategies in future job roles.

Other core classes include statistics for data science, scripting languages, database concepts, project management, and business intelligence.

University of Maryland Global Campus | Master of Science in Data Analytics

This program offers hands-on experience with analytical tools for data manipulation. Students learn to create data visualization, make decisions, and influence business outcomes. They use contextual understanding and industry knowledge to uncover hidden solutions to challenges in business.

The curriculum also includes how to create data mining applications and manage data analytics projects and ensure delivery of data analytics initiatives.

University of North Dakota | Master of Science in Data Science

This data science program positions you to become a part of the skilled workforce in the ever-growing fields of data science. It offers an advanced curriculum that combines data science, computer science, and business analytics for intensive training.

Students gain interdisciplinary knowledge that helps them stand out in the industry. The unique curriculum has both theory and practical aspects to help you become highly proficient professionals.

What Can You Do With an Online Data Science Master’s Degree?

Every field that works with any form of data requires data science expertise. A master’s degree in data science can help you build stronger technical skillsets and groom you into versatile professionals.

From managing the efficacy of dating apps to maintaining the operations of government agencies, you’d be able to do it all. Other career paths that a master’s degree in data science can prepare you for include applications architect, machine learning scientist, data architect, data engineer, and infrastructure architect.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn With an Online Data Science Master’s Degree?

In 2020, the median annual salary of computer and information research scientists was $126,830, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also predicts the field will see 35 percent growth within the decade.

Below are the annual salaries of top data science jobs for master’s degree holders in the field.

72210
Min salary
126830
Average salary
194430
Top salary

Top Online Data Science Master’s Degree Careers

If you know anything about SEO, you know the importance of Google Analytics. This is a certificate that every SEO expert should have. The program is free and covers how to use Google Analytics to measure and track key SEO data. The program has an exam at the end and you will receive your certificate if you pass.

Profession Average Salary
Machine Learning Scientist $134,000
Machine Learning Engineer $130,530
Data Architect $132,617
SQL Server Architect $132,005
Data Engineer $121,938
SQL Database Administrator $101,571
Statistician $97,643
Data Scientist $96,491
Operations Research Analyst $87,744

Is an Online Data Science Master’s Degree Worth it in 2021?

An online data science master’s degree is worth it, especially for those looking to explore more challenging roles in tech. An online program is generally more flexible while still offering the same curriculum and training as an in-person program. This mode of learning allows you to access top-tier course content from the comfort of your own home, or virtually anywhere with a steady Internet connection.

If you want to learn the skills to enter a high-demand sector like data science, an online master’s degree is an excellent way to start.

Find a training program that will help you start your tech career journey.

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