The volume of data produced on a daily basis has increased a lot in recent times. It is estimated that 59 zettabytes of data were created, captured, copied, and consumed in 2020 worldwide which is estimated to cross 74 zettabytes by the end of 2021. Data drives businesses and pretty much everything today.
If data is the new currency, then data analytics are the credit cards of the digital economy.
Data without analysis is worthless. Businesses want data in a form that they can use for decision-making and this is something data analytics do via tools, data analysis, visualization, management, and reporting.
Having a data analytics degree puts you on the right career path as there is no better field in today’s era. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.5 million jobs are expected to be created by 2026 for the thirty fastest-growing occupations in the US that include statisticians, software developers, applications, and analysts.
If you want to become a data analyst, data scientist, data engineer, or data analytics expert, you need to get a data analytics degree. There are a lot of data analytics degree programs out there. The list below covers the best data analytics degrees (both bachelor’s and master’s) that you can choose from.
What is Data Analytics?
Data analytics is defined as the process of analyzing raw data and making it understandable and presentable that can be used by various stakeholders. It consists of a wide range of data analysis techniques that are used to convert complex data into usable information.
The four major types of data analytics include:
- Descriptive analytics (what has happened)
- Diagnostic analytics (why it happened)
- Predictive analytics (what will happen in the future)
- Prescriptive analytics (how to deal with it).
Best Data Analytics Degrees 2021
Having a data analytics degree helps you get your dream job easily. Having a degree allows you to apply for a wide range of relevant jobs. If you are already working as a data analyst and want to move to a higher position, you can do so by completing a master of science data analytics degree.
Here is a list of the best data analytics degree programs you can choose from:
1. Online Bachelor of Science in Analytics [Purdue Global]
Purdue University Global offers one of the best data analytics degrees. The Online Bachelor of Science in Analytics is a completely online degree program that’s ideal for candidates who are doing a job. It is a 180 credits program that only needs 15-18 hours per week of commitment. The degree is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
The course covers a wide range of relevant topics including hive, pig, apache Hadoop, big data, machine learning, database management, MongoDB, SAP analytics, NoSQL, data science, and much more. It covers everything that you need to start your career as a data analyst or data scientist. The degree aims to prepare you for several certifications such as:
- Certified Analytics Professional (CAP)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certifications
- Cloudera Certified Associate (CCA) Data Analyst
- Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (MCSE).
The ExcelTrack is a unique feature of the program that is exclusively designed for professionals. You can take classes as per your own schedule and take more or fewer classes based on the time you have. Additionally, you can earn credits based on your experience and certifications. This helps you save money and complete your degree quickly.
One-on-one mentoring is yet another amazing feature of the degree that is ideal for fresh students who need career-related help. You can seek advice from a career advisor that will help you land a job quickly.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules for the undergraduate admission program at Purdue Global. You must have your official high school graduation transcript or you must have a General Education Development certificate or a Home Study certificate.
The cost per credit is #371 and the full degree program has 180 credits. If you don’t earn any credits, you'll have to pay a total fee of $66,780. There are several financing options available for the students such as grants, work experience credits, employer benefits, and others.
Who Is It For?
The online bachelor of science in analytics is ideal for new graduates who need a bachelor’s degree in data analytics and it is also ideal for experienced data analysts who don’t have a bachelor’s degree yet or have a degree in any other field but now want to switch to business analytics field.
Being an online degree that has a flexible schedule, it is best for individuals who are already doing a job and don’t want to quit it.
2. Online Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics [Southern New Hampshire University]
The Southern New Hampshire University also offers an online bachelor degree program in data analytics that is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The degree has 120 credit credits and is focused on developing the right skills in the students so they can grab a job after graduation.
The degree is online allowing you access to the student portal and course material 24/7. You can also earn credits based on your work experience, certifications (e.g. Cisco and Oracle), or any other courses that you have taken. This makes it one of the best data analytics degrees for students who are already working.
You'll cover tools like Python, SQL, SAS, R, and Tableau and you'll have to complete an internship (if you don’t have job experience). It is an ideal degree for people who want to become a data analyst, management analyst, or business analyst.
You can apply throughout the year via the university’s online application form. You must have official transcripts of any schools you have attended. Besides, there aren’t any specific admission requirements.
The fee per credit is $320. The annual cost for 30 credits is $9,600 making it an affordable business analytics degree. If you can earn credits based on existing education, certifications, or experience, it will further lower your annual fee.
The university offers several funding options including student loans, grants, scholarships, and more. The university provides you information about different types of student loans that you can avail.
Who Is It For?
The Online Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics is a cost-effective program for both new and experienced data analysts. It is an accredited and reputable bachelor’s degree that is sure to help you grab a job right after completion.
If you are already doing a job and need a bachelor’s degree in data analytics, you must apply as its lenient admission criterion will help you get started in no time.
3. BS Degree in Data Science and Analytics [Thomas Edison State University]
The BS Degree in Data Science and Analytics by Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is a fully online program that you can complete from your home. You can earn credits based on your experience and certifications and by completing online courses from Statistics.com. The courses you take on Statistics.com are transferred via ACE and count towards your degree.
The degree has 120 credits that you have to complete. The schedule is flexible since it is an online degree and if you are comfortable with taking courses on Statistics, you can take courses that will earn you credits for your degree.
The key tools you'll learn in the program include SQL, R, and Python. You'll also learn predictive analytics in detail with a focus on machine learning and linear programming. The degree is ideal for candidates who want one of the following jobs:
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Business analyst
- IT professional.
You can apply for the degree whenever you are ready. You must be 20 years or older at the time of admission and must have a high school degree, GED, or a homeschool diploma.
The fee per credit varies depending on your residency. If you are a New Jersey resident, you'll pay $399 per credit (or $3579 for 9 credits if you register as a full-time student). Out-of-state and international students pay $519 per credit (or $4639 as full-time students).
The university offers scholarships and financial aids too.
Who Is It For?
The degree is ideal for the residents of New Jersey as it will turn out to be very affordable for you. If you are a fan of Statistics.com or have earned other certificates, you must go for this data analytics BS degree. Earn credits and complete your degree quickly to advance your career.
4. Master of Applied Data Science [University of Michigan]
The University of Michigan offers a Master’s Degree in Applied Data Science with a specialization in Python 3 or Statistics with Python. It is an online master’s degree with 34 credit hours that you can enroll as either a part-time or full-time student. The degree is available on Coursera that lets you access course material 24/7 from any device including mobile.
Here is an overview of the major courses:
- Big data analytics
- Data visualization
- Analytics techniques
- SQL and its architectures
- Data mining and deep learning
- 3 major projects.
It is a career-oriented data analytics program from one of the leading IT universities in the US. The university offers career services to its graduates that helps you in getting your dream job as soon as you finish your degree.
There are a lot of admission requirements that you must fulfill to get yourself enrolled in the program:
- An undergraduate degree and its official transcript
- Knowledge of Python and statistics. You'll have to take two assessments on these two subjects
- Three short essays on these topics: Why you are interested, data problem you have solved, and greatest potential value and potential harm of data science in your opinion
- TOEFL from non-native speakers
- A letter of recommendation.
The fee per credit for Michigan residents is $950 and for out-of-state and international students, it is $1267. The total cost of the degree for residents is $32,485 and $43,263 for non-residents.
The university offers pay as you go payment where you can switch to monthly payments. Additionally, there are several financing facilities available including tuition fee reimbursement and student loans.
Who Is It For?
It is an applied degree that is best for professionals and experienced data analysts and scientists. If you are already doing a job and wish to take your analytics skills to the next level, this online master’s degree is your best bet. A bit expensive, but it is worth every penny.
5. Online Master of Computer Science in Data Science [University of Illinois]
The University of Illinois also offers an online master’s degree in data science that works best for data analysts who are experienced and plan to give a boost to their qualifications. The Master of Computer Science in Data Science (MCS-DS) is an online 32 credit degree program that you can complete at your own pace.
You'll receive course material via Coursera while the university’s faculty and advisory board will be available throughout the program for your assistance. The degree covers four major analytics areas:
- Machine learning
- Data mining
- Data visualization
- Cloud computing.
You can complete courses as per your own schedule. Most students complete their degree in 3 years with their job so it is a job-friendly degree.
Here are the admission requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3.2 CGPA
- Experience and a strong background in programming and algorithms having experience using C++ and Java.
The university gives preference to students who have relevant degrees and/or experience in computer science or programming. If you have taken programming courses or analytics courses, it will increase your chances significantly.
The fee per credit hour is $670 and the full degree will cost you $21,440. You can switch to a payment plan or get reimbursement under the employer tuition reimbursement program.
There are several types of aids and scholarships available for the students. US students can apply for student loans.
Who Is It For?
It is an affordable online master’s degree in data science that is perfect for working individuals. If you are doing a job and need to enroll in an affordable part-time degree program, this is your best bet. If you don’t have the experience, this isn’t for you.
6. MS in Data Science [University of Wisconsin]
The online master’s degree in Data Science by the University of Wisconsin is designed for busy individuals who want to pursue a career in big data analytics. The 36-credit degree program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The degree has 12 courses that cover everything you need to know to clean, organize, analyze, interpret, and present data. The degree is ideal for candidates who want to become a data modeler, Hadoop engineer, data analyst, data scientist, data warehouse architect, data mining engineer, or research analyst.
The core courses include:
- Statistical methods
- Programing and data warehousing
- Big data and machine learning
- Unstructured data analysis
- Prescriptive analytics
You can complete courses as per your own schedule. You can access course material 24/7 online and don’t have to be online to attend lectures. You can communicate and collaborate with faculty and students via online boards.
Here is what you need to get admission in this analytics master degree:
- Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3 CGPA
- Coursework in statistics, programming, and databases or relevant experience
- Personal statement (up to 1000 words)
- Two letters of recommendation.
The fee per credit hour is $850 which totals $30,600 for the complete degree. The fee doesn’t include textbooks, prerequisite courses, and other miscellaneous costs.
There are several types of financial aid available including fee reimbursement, student loans, private loans, scholarships and grants, etc.
Who Is It For?
It is a big data-focused master’s degree that is a bit expensive than other master degrees but it is more advanced. You must have previous experience (both practical and educational) in programming and analytics to get through the degree quickly.
7. Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics [Pennsylvania State University]
It is an online master’s degree in data analytics that is focused on big data and data management technologies. The degree specifically focuses on data analytics techniques for descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive analytics.
It is a 30-credit fully online degree program offered by one of the leading universities in the USA. The program is designed specifically for working professionals so they can learn and grow their data analytics skills. The key learning outcomes of the program are:
- Data analytics methodologies
- Data mining principles
- Big data analysis tools including R, Python, SQL, NoSQL databases, Apache Suite, Tableau, and Hadoop
- Application of data science in real-world data.
You'll also complete a capstone project worth 3 credits towards the end of the degree where you'll design, implement, and use learned techniques and tools.
Here is a list of all the requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree preferably in a quantitative discipline (e.g. science or engineering)
- Official transcripts
- If you have 3.2+ CGPA in the bachelor’s degree you can get a GMAT/GRE waiver
- Two references
- Statement of purpose
- TOEFL for international students.
The fee per credit hour is $1046. The full degree costs $31,380 for 30 credit hours excluding other expenses.
The university offers a wide range of payment options, financial aids, scholarships, and loans that are applicable to both domestic and international students.
Who Is It For?
Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics is ideal for working individuals. The degree isn’t advanced in terms of its courses so even if you don’t have a lot of data analytics and programming experience, you can still go with the program conveniently.
The Right Data Analytics Degree is Waiting for You
Data analytics is one of those fields where it is hard to excel without formal education and a relevant degree. Why?
Because it is a technical field that requires formal education. It involves programming, tools, and data management techniques that you must learn to get a data analytics job.
A data analytics program will teach you how to use programming languages, how to use data management tools, and what techniques to use for data visualization. You can’t master these skills entirely from your experience. You need basic knowledge of the tools and techniques before you can explore and master them.
Your degree will provide you the basic knowledge.
Once you get your degree in data analytics, you can then learn, evolve, and excel in your career.