20 Best Online Masters in Data Analytics [2021 Guide]
Data science is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing fields over the next decade, and a masters in data analytics online can help equip you with the skills you’ll need for a successful career.
If you have a mind for math and an aptitude for technology, you may be an excellent candidate for this cutting-edge field of study.
As data sets grow, the need for qualified data professionals also grows. Employers may be eager to tap into the theoretical and practical knowledge that you’ll gain in a data analytics masters degree online program.
Best Online Masters in Data Analytics Programs
Companies have enormous amounts of data in their possession, and they’re gathering more every day.
A collection of facts and figures might not mean much on its own, but qualified data analysts know how to mine data sets for useful insights. The discoveries made through analytics can inform business activities and guide decisions.
Because insightful analytics has so much to offer, organizations are often clamoring to hire trained data analysts. Earning a masters in data analytics online can help you qualify for these types of job openings.
In a data analytics masters program, you’ll study how to gather data and prepare it for analytics processes. Other courses will teach you to run tests on data and create models. You’ll probably explore topics like big data, cloud computing, risk management, and data visualization as well.
For success in this field of study, it helps to have a strong STEM background and a good grasp of math and statistics. Other abilities that can help you do well as a data analyst include programming know-how and critical-thinking skills.
Once you earn a degree, you might be able to work as a data scientist, a data analyst, or a statistician. A variety of sectors are currently interested in hiring data professionals, so you might be able to find work in healthcare, finance, or manufacturing. There may be job openings in education and insurance as well.
As a data analyst, you may work closely with a variety of data professionals, including database managers and data engineers. You may also be responsible for working with leaders across your organization as you share insights gleaned from your data investigations.
Data Analytics Careers & Salaries
Data analytics is an emerging field that’s in high demand. With an online masters in analytics, you may be able to chart your own path toward a data analytics career in nearly any industry you choose.
Data analysts are experts at gathering data and turning it into actionable information. In whatever field they work, they can shape decision-making based on the insights their data analysis provides. Fields that benefit from data analysis include business, marketing, operations, finance, disaster management, and healthcare.
If you have a background in a particular field, getting an online data analytics master’s degree can help you take the next step in your career by equipping you with advanced tools for evaluating sets of data.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data scientists earn an average annual salary of $94,280.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$122,840|
|Information Security Analysts||$99,730|
|Data Scientists and Mathematical Science Occupations||$94,280|
|Mathematicians and Statisticians||$92,030|
|Operations Research Analysts||$84,810|
|Market Research Analysts||$63,790|
Some data science or data analytics programs place a heavy emphasis on statistics or computer programming. With the right training, you could be a leader in statistical modeling, database management, or information security.
Your data analytics background may also qualify you for executive roles in your company. For example, you might eventually become a chief information officer. In addition, if you’re interested in academia, having a masters degree might help you earn a college teaching job.
Although you’d probably need a PhD to become a tenured professor, you might be able to teach data science or statistics on an adjunct basis with a masters degree.
Data Analytics Master’s Curriculum
An MS Data Analytics online program usually consists of at least 30 credit hours. Your course schedule may include many of the classes listed below.
- Big Data: In this class, you’ll learn how to store enormous sets of data and draw analytical insights from them.
- Data Management: You’ll discuss how properly handling data can be an asset to an organization, and you’ll explore methods of storing and sorting information.
- Data Mining: In one or more classes, you’ll become familiar with tools and techniques that can help you draw meaning from data sets.
- Data Visualization: Visual representations can help you share your data insights with others in your organization, and this class will teach you how to do that.
- Database Systems: During your time in this course, you will increase your proficiency with common database systems and also learn to build custom databases for your organization’s needs.
- Machine Learning: You’ll talk about the history of machine learning as well as current developments related to both supervised and unsupervised machine learning.
- Models: You’ll learn to create and understand models and discuss ways to use them for decision-making in industry, healthcare, and other settings.
- Principles of Analytics: In an introductory course, you will begin surveying topics like data retrieval and statistical analysis.
- Programming for Data Analytics: You’ll put your knowledge of programming languages, like C++ or Java, to work as you learn about parallel computing, database design, and cloud data storage.
- Project Management: This class will prepare you to hold leadership roles in data science teams and see projects through from beginning to end.
Many masters degree in data analytics online programs end with a capstone course, which often involves undertaking a major project that synthesizes your learning experience.
For admission to data analytics graduate programs, you may need to meet the following requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree: Transcripts from past colleges provide a record of your previous coursework. Graduate programs may be looking for a minimum GPA or certain prerequisites, such as statistics classes.
- Professional experience: You might need to provide a resume or curriculum vitae that lists several years of relevant work experience. Industry certifications may help too.
- Test scores: Results from the GRE are a common admissions requirement, but many schools will grant waivers to qualified applicants. Some schools no longer request any test scores.
In addition, some colleges may also request references, interviews, or essays.
Regional accrediting agencies evaluate how well colleges perform. They grant regional accreditation to schools that provide a rigorous education that will prepare students for the workforce.
In other words, a school with regional accreditation is a school that you can trust for a high quality education. A degree from such a college may help you find a job in your field or continue your studies at another school.
In regards to various accreditation statuses, receiving regional accreditation is generally a more rigorous process, so it’s often regarded more favorably by employers and educational institutions.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial assistance may help you achieve your dream of earning a masters in data analytics. Just like an online graduate certificate in data analytics, online programs can qualify for financial aid programs just like on-campus ones do.
Increasing your knowledge may help you perform better at your job, so your employer might help pay for your studies. Some workplaces have established tuition reimbursement programs. You may talk to your HR department to inquire about this option.
The government can help you pay for college too, if you qualify for assistance. After filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can learn about your eligibility for grants and loans. Government loans often have low interest rates. You may receive both federal and state aid.
Scholarships from private sources may round out your financial assistance, but you’ll need to apply and win. Scholarship programs are often offered by both industry organizations and philanthropic groups.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Data Analytics Online?
Programs for an online master’s degree in analytics vary in length. Most involve earning 30 to 36 credits, but how long that takes can vary. At schools that structure the academic year around a fall semester and a spring semester, it usually takes about 2 years to earn a master’s degree.
Some online programs boast a quicker approach to earning a graduate degree. Instead of using traditional 16 week semesters, each term is about 8 weeks long. By taking short-format classes throughout the year, you might be able to graduate in just 12 to 18 months.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Data Analytics?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data science is expected to be one of the fastest-growing lines of work through 2029. Data scientists and mathematical science occupations are predicted to grow at a 31% rate.
Thanks to this impressive growth, you should have many job opportunities with a Master of Science in Data Analytics. You may even pursue a masters in big data analytics for a more specialized track.
General job titles that you could hold with a data analytics degree include data scientist, data analyst, or statistician. You might specialize in data analysis for a particular industry. For example, you might be a market research analyst or a business intelligence analyst.
What Is the Difference Between an MS in Data Science vs. MS in Data Analytics?
Some people use the terms data science and data analytics interchangeably. There’s certainly a good deal of overlap between the two. Different universities define these two fields in different ways.
You may hear that data analytics deals with the data lifecycle and methods of turning data into actionable information. Data science, on the other hand, could be thought of as a more technical career that involves developing tools for data tasks.
Since each school takes a slightly different approach to its understanding of these two fields, it can be helpful to read program descriptions closely before committing to a college.
What Is the Difference Between an MS in Business Analytics vs. MS in Data Analytics?
Both business analysts and data analysts spend much of their time investigating data. They use technology, perform analyses, and think creatively about problems. Despite these similarities, you may be better suited for one line of work over the other.
Data analysts are more focused on the data itself, and they are experts in mining large data sets. To be successful in this field, it’s helpful to have strong computer programming skills.
Business analysts direct their attention toward making actionable decisions based on data analysis. If you want to be a business analyst, it helps to have excellent problem-solving and communication skills.
Is a Masters in Data Analytics Worth It?
Yes, a master’s degree in data analytics is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $122,840 and 15% job growth for computer and information research scientists (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a degree in data analytics can help you launch a career in this cutting-edge field.
Common data analytics careers include statistician, data scientist, operations research analyst, information research scientist, and market research analyst.
More and more companies are opening positions for data analysts, and there’s currently a shortage of highly trained experts to fill those roles. Earning a data analytics degree online may demonstrate your readiness to lead data science teams.
Universities Offering Online Master’s in Data Analytics Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Boston University’s Master of Science in Computer Information Systems program features a concentration in data analytics.
Graduates of the program should leave with firm grasps of data visualization techniques, web analytics and metrics, hidden patterns, and unstructured text processing. They should also possess strong data mining, statistics, and probability skills.
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Brandeis University is regularly ranked as one of the top national universities by US News and World Report, and the school’s strategic data analytics masters program puts equal emphasis on the arts and science sides of the field. The program is part-time and requires seven core courses and three elective courses.
Brandeis University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Graduates of Clarkson University’s Master of Science in Data Analytics program should gain all the knowledge needed to become successful data professionals. It’s a 36 credit program that can be completed online or on-campus. The curriculum includes courses in data mining, data warehousing, and database modeling, design, and implementation.
Clarkson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Columbia University has a Master of Science in Applied Analytics program that can be undertaken either full-time or part-time, but students hoping to complete the degree online must enroll part-time. It’s a 36 credit program that takes about 2 years to complete. All classes are delivered online in real time.
Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The Master of Science in Data Analytics program at Colorado State University teaches students how to master today’s most innovative tools such as ETL, SQL, RapidMiner, Tableau, and SAS. Graduates should also be able to use analytics to direct company initiatives and present visual and written representations of data analysis.
Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Dakota State University’s Master of Science in Analytics program features four track options that allow students to further customize their curricula.
These include concentrations in general analytics, information systems, healthcare analytics, and business analytics. Courses include information retrieval, predictive analytics, statistical programming, big data analytics, and programming for data analysis.
Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
At Georgia Institute of Technology, students can earn their analytics masters degrees online.
There are 11 courses, and the curriculum is designed to teach students to identify analytics problems, utilize relevant data streams, and employ mathematical models to solve those problems. Students should also be able to complete effective analytics projects.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The Master of Science in Analytics program at La Salle University teaches students about both the theoretical and practical aspects of analytics, putting specific focus on big data. Students take two courses at a time, and each course lasts 8 weeks. Most students complete the program in less than 2 years.
La Salle University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Northeastern University offers a Master of Professional Studies in Analytics program that allows students to work closely with advisors to customize their degree plans and focus their courses on their specific areas of interest. Students can enroll as full- or part-time students and work at their own paces.
Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
Students in Notre Dame of Maryland University’s analytics masters program will take courses in mathematics, business and economics, and computer studies. Over the course of the program, students will create and complete individual masters projects, and about 75% of graduates go on to use these completed projects in their after-college careers.
Notre Dame of Maryland University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Students interested in data analytics at Oregon State University can choose to enter the Master of Science program or the graduate certificate program. The MS program requires 45 credits for completion while the certificate requires only 18. Both can be completed online and are taught by the same great faculty.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Pennsylvania State University’s Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics program is designed for working professionals who want to improve their analytical skills and technical expertise.
Graduates should be able to use data analysis to expand their organizational offerings, increase profits and productivity, and create competitive advantages within their organizations.
Pennsylvania State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Slippery Rock University offers a Master of Science in Data Analytics program through its Department of Mathematics. It’s a 33 credit program that prepares students to sit for the CAP exam and can provide them with joint statistical analysis system (SAS) certifications. There’s also an optional internship for hands-on experience.
Slippery Rock University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The data analytics masters program at Southern New Hampshire University puts a lot of focus on predictive analytics, risk assessment and optimization, the presentation and visualization of data, and decision methods and modeling. Students also earn valuable skills in using Python, Tableau, SQL, R, and other programming languages and software.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Students in Texas A&M University’s analytics masters program can complete the program on-campus or online via live video streaming and online coursework.
It’s a part-time program that’s designed for professionals to complete in only 5 semesters. The admission requirements include competitive GMAT and GRE scores and 3 years of relevant work experience.
Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Students at the University of Findlay can learn about big data analytics through the school’s online Master of Science in Applied Security and Analytics program. It takes about 2 years to complete, and the curriculum includes advanced classes in cyber security, leadership, finance, strategic planning, and big data analytics.
The University of Findlay is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Illinois – Springfield’s Master of Science in Data Analytics program is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the school’s mathematical science and computer science departments.
The courses provide students with firm foundations in computational methods and computational tools and teaches them how to process, interpret, analyze, represent, and visualize data.
The University of Illinois Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Students interested in analytics at the University of Kansas have several options to choose from. The school offers graduate certificates in both applied statistics and applied data science. There’s also a Master of Science program that allows students to choose between statistics, data science, or analytics for their concentrations.
The University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Master of Science in Business Analytics program at University of Scranton is an AACSB accredited program that requires between 30 to 33 credits for completion.
Most students finish in 18 months and, upon finishing, leave with an expertise in prescriptive, descriptive, and predictive analytics. They should also become proficient in various programming languages.
The University of Scranton is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Villanova University’s Master of Science in Analytics program helps students gain mastery over the most up-to-date and innovative analytics applications, technologies, and practices.
The curriculum combines courses in statistics, business, computer science, analytics, and mathematics and provides ample opportunities for students to gain real-world experience working on various industry projects.
Villanova University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Masters in Data Analytics Online
Data analytics is an emerging field that’s in high demand. When you work toward a Master of Science in Data Analytics, you may gain the know-how that companies are looking for in their data science professionals.
Your expertise may include data mining, database processes, cloud computing, and statistical modeling. With this degree, you may get hired as a data analyst or a data scientist. There could be exciting job opportunities in manufacturing, healthcare, marketing, and a variety of other industries.
If a masters degree in data analytics seems right for you, you may want to consider the flexible, convenient option of earning your degree online and begin researching accredited universities.