Are you looking to build a career in data science? If so, you’re probably wondering whether earning a master’s degree in data science is worth your effort and time.
Earning relevant education, skills and experience will help you go far in data science. Typically, data scientists need a great mix of mathematics, statistics, linear algebra and predictive modeling, among others.
While some people have found employment in data science without a bachelor’s degree, it’s important to enroll in some type of structured (read, formal) education to hone your skills and develop the competencies you need to thrive as a data scientist.
A bachelor’s degree arms you with the theoretical and practical skills you need to become a proficient data scientist. A master’s degree offers you more skills, advanced knowledge, and the experience you need to score the best of data science jobs.
Because a master’s degree demonstrates mastery in your professional field and is generally more respected than, say, a diploma or bachelor’s degree.
Earning a master’s degree in data science (or any other field, for that matter) opens more doors for you in terms of job opportunities.
So, do you need a master’s degree to work in data science?
No, but it surely does help down the line. It’s a great investment if you plan to work in data science for long.
As we said earlier, you don’t even need a bachelor’s degree to break into data science but earning one and topping it with a master’s degree will improve your odds of landing the best data science jobs.
What Can You Expect to learn in a Master’s in Data Science?
You’re probably wondering why earning a master’s degree in data science is important, more so when people without a bachelor’s degree can find employment in the field.
Well, a master’s degree in data science helps you to build proficiency in areas such as statistics, probability, research, business and actuarial science.
In some programs, like the one offered at Maryville University, you will learn data mining, big data, machine learning, and deep learning.
A master’s degree in data science will also help you to develop critical, in-demand coding skills in a variety of computer languages such as Python, SQL, R and SAS.
You can expect to complete the program in 1 to 2 years depending on the course layout and your previous education and work experience.
4 Reasons to Get a Master’s in Data Science
There are many advantages of pursuing higher education in data science. You get the chance to explore the field at a deeper level.
On top of that, you develop the capability to tackle real-world problems throughout your career. Here are more reasons to get a master’s degree in data science.
Firstly, earning a master’s degree in data science will boost your credentials. Data science is a popular career field meaning there is stiff competition for available jobs. Getting a master’s degree can give you the competitive edge you need to ace the interview.
Secondly, earning a master’s degree in data science is imperative if you aspire to senior or leadership roles. If you’d like to fill a management role, earning a master’s degree beforehand will certainly help you seal the deal. Most employers require a master’s degree for leadership roles.
Thirdly, earning a master’s degree will help you to earn a higher salary. That’s because educational level continues to play a major role in compensation.
According to The Burtch Works Study, data science professionals with a master’s degree earn a median base salary of $92,500. On the other hand, professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn a median base salary of $82,466, according to Salary.com.
Lastly, you can pursue a master’s degree in science to prepare for a doctorate program. Many universities will require the learner to hold a master’s degree before they are admitted to any doctorate program.
What Are the Prerequisites to Enroll in a Master’s in Data Science?
If you are contemplating pursuing a master’s degree in data science, you’re probably wondering what you need to enroll.
Many graduate programs require students to have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Note, however, that many online programs do not require GPA at all.
On top of that, most master’s programs assess the student’s prior academic skills including calculus and statistics.
Accelerated programs may require candidates to have at least two years of work experience in data analytics and management, according to Best Colleges.
What Type of Jobs Can You Get with a Master’s in Data Science?
Data scientists work in all sectors, including large and small corporations, government organizations, non-profit organizations, research institutions, healthcare and the military.
With a master’s degree in data science, you can get a job as a senior data analyst, finance analyst, business intelligence analyst, research analyst, software developer or data engineer. There are many other data science roles to fill so research beforehand to find what suits you.
As we’ve learned today, earning a master’s degree in data science is worth your time and effort if you want to create a long and fruitful career.
While you can start your career without a master’s degree, earning one will help you develop the skills you need to land your dream job.