Best Online Master’s in Data Science for 2020


First off, let’s talk about the discipline of Data Science in a nutshell. It is safe to say that not only is it an emerging field, but it is also becoming one of the most in demand. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the job of a Database Administrator will be on the rise 9% between 2018 and 2028. This career path is at the helm of STEM innovation, synthesizing statistics, math, analytics, computer tech, machine learning, and software development. Every Federal agency, institution of higher learning, and corporation, among many other sectors require database administrators and database analysts to be on hand. These are the experts in understanding trends and patterns that are necessary for complex problem solving. These are answerers of convoluted questions and the authority figures on untangling disasters that have not yet shown themselves. 

So, how do you get to be this data wizard behind the curtain? An online Master’s in Data Science can be just what the doctor ordered in terms of getting you on this path efficiently. There are many online masters in data analytics programs, some of which we will touch upon on this list. Studying online is an excellent way to stay connected to everything you are already doing, be it a career, parenting, and other set life structures while learning from home. Many of these programs offer an unmatched flexibility that is hard to find in a residential degree program. The majority of these opportunities are designed to ensure that you never have to step foot into a classroom, and you are able to complete your coursework in a bathrobe and slippers with your favorite dark roast companion. 

We have poured through many programs to find the best online masters in data science and analytics opportunities for you. Below you will find our favorite 10 that are sure to get you on the frontlines of this evolving field. 

1. Rochester Institute of Technology

MS in Data Science
The Rochester Institute of Technology offers online education opportunities through their online school RITONLINE. One of their many cutting edge programs is their Master of Science in Data Science. Specifically through their Golisano College of Computing and Information Science, this program is responding to the times, and the fact that there are more open jobs in the field of Data Science than there are qualified applicants. This academic discipline prepares students for a variety of fields in data science and gives ample opportunities to select electives pertinent to many aspects of data and data science. Students are supported as they connect with professionals in the field and learn from hands-on experience. Students from disciplines outside of engineering and math backgrounds are encouraged to dive into this program. Some of the required courses include: Introduction to Data Science Management, Software Engineering for Data Science, Applied Statistics, and an in depth Graduate Capstone Course. The program is 30 credit hours, and should be completed in four years by part-time students. 
Duration: 30 Credit Hours

2. University of North Texas

MS in Advanced Data Analytics
UNT at Frisco, the Online School at the University of North Texas offers a Master’s in Science Program in Advanced Data Analytics. This online degree offering gives students multifaceted access to data visualization skills, statistics, and the underpinnings of big data. Students will learn quantitative methods that will help build best practices for corporations and organizations. The classes feature data structures, domain knowledge, and complex analysis. In the third and final semester of the program, students will work with an advisor to create a relevant capstone project. Each participant in the program will also engage with a specific concentration area, which can include Health Services, Statistics, Digital Retailing, Statistics, or Sports Entertainment. 
Duration: Three Semesters (Including a Summer Semester)

3. Boston University

MS in Computer Information Systems Concentration in Data Analytics
The Online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems (MSCIS) Concentration in Data Analytics at Boston University works with professionals who are interested in boosting their career options in this lucrative field. Students will engage with coursework that tackles advanced data visualization, data analytics, and data processing. Students will learn all about best methods for statistical analysis and how to create relevant and meaningful presentations that utilize learned techniques including data mining, web mining, and text mining. Students have access to all of the tools to become experts in utilizing data sets that are found in the real world, and to create the visuals that tell their stories. There are 13 faculty members in this program, all of whom are known experts in the field. You can complete the 40 credit hour program in 18-24 months. There are some opportunities for financial assistance, and there are no fee to apply for such services. 
Duration: 40 Credit Hours (18-24 months)

4. Villanova University

MS in Analytics
The Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Online at Villanova’s School of Business is an excellent opportunity to learn the most up to date skills as they relate to quantifiable data in the global marketplace. This program was created for students who are interested in a fast paced curriculum that explores the ins and outs of statistics, mathematics, computer science, and analytics in real world terms. You will work with faculty who are not only experts in the field, but provide world class leadership. You will be learning from Villanova’s online Center for Business and Leadership, a known name for turning out leaders in data and business. Students will engage in projects that are relevant to the industry, and will also participate in a final capstone practice. There are no residency requirements for this program. 
Duration: The Program should be completed in 5 semesters (24 months)

5. Georgia Tech

MS in Analytics
Through Georgia Tech’s Professional Education Program you can achieve an Online Master of Science in Analytics (OMS Analytics). This path of study dives into the copious amounts of data that are required keys to unlocking today’s global marketplace. Students will make their way to the top regarding their proficiency in statistics, operations research, high performance computing, and business intelligence. The program’s foundational skills are identified as: understanding an analytics problem, accomplishing an analytics project effectively, tapping into relevant data streams, and bringing to life mathematical models. The course of study is entirely online, meaning you will never have to step foot on campus. It consists of 11 classes, which includes 36 credit hours, and three distinct tracks. A prerequisite is that incoming students have a minimum of one college course under their belt in: calculus and basic linear algebra, Python Computer Programming, or Probability Statistics. 
Duration: Credit Hours (3-4 years)

6. University of Wisconsin Madison

Master of Engineering in Data Analytics
The University of Wisconsin Madison offers several online master’s degree programs including a premier program in Engineering and Data Analytics. This is an opportunity geared towards students who want to be data driven engineers  with a foundation in the tools of data science, testing, research, design, and operations. This is a in depth opportunity that truly brings together the disciplines of engineering and data science. Students will emerge from this program with the skills to lead teams and manage complex problems. Additional topics that are covered in the curriculum are Statistical methods and decision making, data visualization techniques and tools, predictive analytics and machine learning, as well as leadership and communication skills that empower change making. This program brings together multiple departments on campus including: Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistics, Library and Information Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Sciences. The coursework was designed to meet the needs of a busy professional, and is flexible with no on campus residency requirements. The GRE is not required for admission, though if the applicant has already taken the test, they encourage submission of the scores. 
Duration: 30 Credit Hours (2-3 years) 

7. University of Notre Dame

MS in Data Science
The University of Notre Dame offers an online Master of Science in Data Science program that explores all of the possibilities of Big Data. Their approach to teaching Data Science includes educating students to be ethical leaders with a deep appreciation for critical thinking skills and an awareness of the ways they can make an impact on the world with their work. One of the unique aspects of this program is that they value a small cohort in order to have personalized curricula. The class sessions meet online, but they are live. This means students will get to know their classmates and have in depth collaborations. All of the faculty are experts in the field and will work closely with students to break through challenges and form accomplishments. Participants will be able to access complex career services, which include mock interview opportunities, resume preparation and networking. The other aspect that makes this program stand out is the requirement of immersive residencies that can take place at either Notre Dame or in the Silicon Valley. This course of study can be completed in 21 months.
Duration: 21 months

8. Clarkson University

MS in Data Analytics
Clarkson University offers an in depth Master of Science program in Data Analytics. There are many opportunities for students to have agency and drive in this course of study. There are many relevant electives to choose from and the program is very intimate. What this means is that students will have the opportunities to shape their focus with the support of their expert faculty team. Though the foundation of required coursework centers all facets of data analytics, the program is proud of how well rounded the class options are. You can achieve this program entirely online, and there is also a residential option. Both programs are facilitated by the same faculty members and utilize the same learning models. The online classes are mixed between asynchronous learning and synchronous (this means live meetings). The program itself is made up of 33 credit hours, which include core graduate classes that are each 3 credits. There is the requirement of a 6 credit capstone project or internship that will give students the edge of hands-on experience. Graduates of the program have shown successful emergence into the field of data analytics. 
Duration: 33 Credit Hours (estimate of 2 years)

9. Syracuse University

MS in Applied Data Analytics
Syracuse University offers a Masters of Science in Applied Data Analytics that is delivered through their online School, iSchool@Syracuse. This program is a collaboration between the Martin J Whitman School of Management and the School of Information Studies. One of the interesting aspects of this particular program is that they utilize an academic approach that is interdisciplinary. Their goal is to ensure all of their graduates are prepared to be leaders in the field of data science upon graduation. Some of the skills their curriculum supports are: organizing and collecting data, identifying data visualization patterns, data mining, and statistical analysis, how to develop alternative strategies that respond to the data at hand, understanding the underpinnings of privacy and ethical implications of the practice of data science. The professionals that students will have access to are diverse highly skilled. The online class experience offers live sessions each week, allowing students an opportunity to build relationships and collaborations. Students will even be able to to engage in social groups and work on group projects through the virtual campus. 
Duration: 36 Credit Hours

10. Oregon State University

MS in Data Analytics
Oregon State University offers an Online Master of Science Program in Data Analytics. Students will immediately get their feet wet in real data problems that will require the skills to interpret data on a large scale. In this program participants will gain all of the necessary knowledge to utilize quantitative skills including critical thinking and the ethical implications of data driven professions. All of the coursework was created by faculty at Oregon State University. They were designed to integrate math, statistics, and computer science. A variety of creative electives are offered including Design and Analysis of Planned Experiments. The program is delivered entirely online with start dates each fall. Up to 15 credit hours may be able to be transferred from a previous education, depending on the circumstance. 
Duration: 45 Credit Hours