What Can I Do With an Online Data Science Degree?

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People who are searching for the most in-demand jobs these days will likely see Data Scientists on the list. In 2017, people who held Data Science degrees in the United States totaled about 35,000. Between 2012 and 2017, the demand for data scientists increased by more than 650%. The demand is still growing. There are schools that offer online data science degree programs to engineering students who focus on this field. Also, a qualified engineering student with a bachelor’s degree may seek a graduate degree to become a data science professional. These are some of the top career paths for people who choose to earn an online data science degree.

Career Paths for Data Science Majors

Data Scientist

Data scientists are responsible for mining and compiling complex data sets and presenting them as useful information to an organization. They find patterns and insights with data. Also, they may find ways to improve search quality for the results that are provided for queries. Most professionals need to be familiar with SAS, R, Hadoop, Python, and similar programs. Data scientists usually work for large companies. Glassdoor ranked data scientist as the top job to have in 2019. The average salary is over $90,000. Since the field is so new, the BLS includes data scientists with computer and information research scientists in projecting future job growth. If you prefer to build the virtual pipelines that data scientists use, a data engineer job may be a better career path. It is similar in pay and growth expectations.

Data Architect

Data architects design strategies for various data models and they must maintain all related artifacts. They often work for big companies to help design models for storing, consuming and integrating large amounts of data. Most data architects must be familiar with Spark, SQL, Hive, Pig and XML. The pay is especially attractive to most graduates who consider this career path. With a salary range between $75,000 and $152,000, the earning possibilities and advancement potential are high.

Data Science Manager

Although average salary reports are conflicting for this career path, most reports of the average salary are over $125,000. A data science manager is like a project manager for big data projects. If you are organized and are an effective leader, this may be a good career goal for the future. Most positions require candidates to have about five years of experience in data science, architecture or engineering.

More Data Science Careers

Computer and Information Research Scientist

This role typically requires a master’s degree to attain. When you choose a Master’s in Data Science online, you can continue working while earning new job credentials. Some government jobs, however, may only require a bachelor’s degree. Computer Research professionals conceptualize and create new avenues of computing technology, and they find new and efficient ways to utilize existing forms of relevant technology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2018 was over $118,000. As a fast-growing field, the projected growth for computer and information research scientists is 16% between 2018 and 2028.


While “Data Scientist” may be a new title, Statistician is a job title that has existed for a long time. In traditional roles, statisticians help companies identify key points in related markets with statistical modeling. In digital applications, they are valuable for performing A/B testing, developing referential tools, testing hypotheses, harvesting data and describing data. If you enjoy math, statistics and IT subjects, this may be the right career goal for you. According to 2018 reports from the BLS, the average salary for statisticians was over $92,000. The expected job growth is approximately 30% during the next decade. Keep in mind that the BLS puts mathematicians and statisticians in the same category for job growth, and that includes those who are not in the fast-growing field of data science.

Is Data Science the Right Online Degree Choice?

If you have looked at job postings for other types of degree holders and saw lengthy experience requirements for a decent salary range, you will be happy to know that about three-fourths of data science degree holders today have fewer than four years of experience that is relevant. It is much easier to find jobs at the entry-level. However, more than 90% of data science professionals have an advanced degree, so plan to seek a master’s degree or a doctorate degree if you want to reach the top salary potential and qualify for more job opportunities.

As the field of data science continues to grow rapidly, there will likely be additional avenues to pursue in the future. Technology evolves quickly, and the data needs of large organizations will only grow as time passes. For example, personalizing the customer experience is a trend that has grown among large businesses in recent years. Amazon and other companies need to collect and utilize data as efficiently as possible to improve their personalized marketing strategies to stay ahead of competitors. There are many other purposes and needs tied to data, which will make data scientists valuable assets now and in the years to come. If you are interested in becoming a part of the future in this field, learn more about your online data science degree options.