Digital data is being developed and utilized at a rapid rate. This increase in “Big Data,” or large amounts of data, requires industries to innovate new and creative methods of data processing and analysis.
Whether it’s through the use of smartphones or social media, in big business or government, all aspects of the global economy require the integration of complex Big Data in order to run successfully.
Big Data is considered a specialization within the field of computer science. For a broad overview of other specializations and top-ranked degree programs in this field, visit our Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science ranking.
In the United States alone, there is a mass shortage of qualified personnel to handle big data. There is an anticipated 15% growth in jobs in this area within the next seven years, with the potential accumulation of 1.5 million jobs within just the next twelve months.
The best Master’s or Bachelor's program in Big Data will allow students to develop the technological aptitudes and managerial competencies necessary to succeed in the fast-paced business world.
Students pursuing a Big Data degree will need to develop both technical and business acumen that will enable them to move forward into leadership positions. Classes might include those in:
- design and analysis
- business processes and functions (such as accounting and marketing)
- programming languages
- hands-on technological applications.
Investing in one of these degrees is a wise choice: on average, these professionals earn over $100,000 a year. A degree in Big Data or related subject areas allows graduates to develop the necessary data analysis skills for top careers. Although graduates possessing only a Bachelor’s degree can be quite successful in the industry, even more employers are valuing candidates with advanced degrees.
As new data acquisition technologies are developed, new sources of data must be analyzed so that cost efficiency, customer service, and overall business effectiveness can be improved. Employers will seek well-educated candidates, regardless of whether their specialty is within the private or public sector. Graduates might work in job ranging from business- or managerial-focused to more technical and supportive in nature.
Business intelligence experts and analysts are in high demand at companies such as financial services organizations, insurance firms, marketing agencies, and more.
An online degree in Big Data and related fields, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, is a solid investment for any student with mathematical and technological savviness.
Organizations recognize that big data has the potential to influence major decisions at the organizational level, whether they are strategic, tactical, or operational in nature. They seek highly skilled and well-trained employees who know how to manipulate and analyze data so that it can be translated into powerful organizational decision-making.
Why should you choose an online program? Many degree seekers are mid-life career-changers, or even full-time employees of leading companies who seek to gain promotions or pay increases. The hectic day-to-day schedules of most full-time employees prohibit them from enrolling in an on-campus program. The flexibility and customization provided by online degree programs
The flexibility and customization provided by online degree programs allows adult students to transition easily from one career or position to the next. At the same time, they aren’t required to commit to moving to a new town or quitting what might be a necessary job.
Why wait any longer? If you’re reading this, you’re already taking the first and most important step in obtaining your degree in Big Data. Review the schools ranked below and start your applications—-and take the first step towards a successful future—today
1. Boston University
Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts offers a range of in-person, online, and hybrid courses. Among them is its popular online graduate certificate in data analytics. Related degrees offered by the college include Master's degrees in Computer Information Systems and Software Development.
Sixteen total credits are required for degree conferral, which typically takes no longer than one year. Students will be trained in data analytics and exposed to various topics related to analysis, visualization, and data processing. They will research and develop concepts and techniques for data, text, and web mining. Requisite coursework includes:
- Foundations of Analytics
- Data Analysis and Visualization
- Web Analytics and Mining
- Data Mining
Boston University is ranked number four in the country, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2017’s list of Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Students at Boston University benefit from small class sizes taught only by PhD-level full-time faculty. Most of these professionals also have hands-on experience in their field.
2. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (commonly known as Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Virginia boasts the distinction of being a top institution in the field of big data. Various multidisciplinary options are available with which students can engage in for education and research. In this program, students are granted an in-depth technical approach to big data.
Virginia Tech’s B.S. in Computational Modeling and Data Analytics prepares qualified students to work with big data. Students will be taught how to use fast algorithms and to combine mathematics, statistics, and computer science to solve critical issues. Some required courses include:
- Math Modeling: Methods, Tools
- Introductory Data Analytics and Visualization
- Computational Stochastic Modeling
Virginia Tech operates several facilities to assist students in pursuit of big data training. These include the Discovery Analytics Center, the Social and Decision Analytics Laboratory, and the Center for Business Intelligence and Analytics. These laboratories allow students to demonstrate their acquired knowledge in a hands-on, problem-solving setting.
3. Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State’s World Campus offers a rigorous online Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics. The program focuses on big data and database design processes. It is offered in conjunction with four colleges and four separate academic departments within the university. Related programs are also available in Business Analytics, Data Analytics, and Marketing Analysis.
30 credits are required for graduation, in areas such as data mining, modeling, and architecture, along with business intelligence development. Courses are divided into several chunks: core courses, prescribed courses, electives, and capstones. Some sample courses include:
- Foundations of Predictive Analytics
- Applied Statistics
- Data Collection and Cleaning
- Regression Methods
- Genetic Algorithms
Tuition starts at only $930 per credit hour, and financial aid is available. Graduates of this program are extremely successful at finding employment. This is largely due to the high caliber of education provided in the digital setting. Students will benefit from a diverse, experienced faculty and hands-on experiences at large and ultra-large scales in computer science, machine learning, and software engineering
4. California State University-Fullerton
The online Master of Science in Information Technology at Fullerton allows students a flexible option for training in Big Data. The program can be completed in less than two years by taking oly two courses per semester. Concentrations are available in Management and Data Science.
Students in the Data Science Concentration will learn systems development processes, programming concepts, e-commerce, and other practical skills. Students will also be trained in effective communication strategies, both digital and otherwise. Courses are divided into core, concentration, and capstone courses, which include:
- Principles of Business Intelligence
- Statistics for Data Science
- Data Mining for Business Applications
- Business Data Transformation
- Seminar in Information Systems Implementation
The program is designed in the cohort model so that students can build a powerful professional network. Students are supported by a highly trained, specialized faculty. Graduates of this program will understand and be able to apply the data communications and telecommunications requirements to support information technology services.
5. Northwestern University
Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois is one of the first schools ot offer a dedicated graining program in data science. Developed in 2011, the Masters in Predictive Analysis is fully online and designed for part-time study. Students in this program will gain skills including business case study, data analysis, and management. They will also gain experience in database systems such as SQL and NoSQL and analytics software. If an online program isn’t the right fit, Northwestern also offers an on-campus Master of Science in Analytics.
The curriculum in the Predictive Analysis program consists of eight core courses, two elective courses, a leadership course, and a capstone course. Samples of available courses include:
- Math for Modelers
- Generalized Linear Models
- Practical Machine Learning
- Text Analytics
- Risk Analytics
- Web and Network Data Science
Class sizes are small at Northwestern, a benefit in an online setting as students will be able to interact fully with classmates and experienced faculty. Students have the unique option of concentrating in decision analytics, sports analytics, geographical information systems, and many others. Twelve total courses are required for graduation and students may work as quickly or as slowly as desired. As a final project, students will complete a capstone project that allows them students to explore a topic of choice while integrating the knowledge they have acquired through coursework.
6. Johns Hopkins University
John Hopkins University is located in Elkridge, Maryland and offers a superior online program in Data Science. Degrees are available as a Master of Science or Post Master’s Certificate. The program balances both application and theory of data science practices.
Coursework in this program emphasizes the fundamentals of statistics, mathematics, and computer science by introducing students to real-world problems. Graduates will be able to respond to information and develop insights into complex data sets. The curriculum is comprised of eight required courses and two electives. Required coursework includes:
- Foundations of Algorithms
- Principles of Database Systems
- Introduction to Optimization
- Statistical Models and Regression
- Machine Learning
To apply, students must have a prerequisite background in calculus, discrete mathematics, data structures, and Java or C++. Courses at Johns Hopkins are taught by practicing engineers and data scientists. As an added bonus, the Computer Science department at Johns Hopkins has consistently ranked in the top 25 programs by U.S. News and World Report.
7. University of California-Berkeley
The University of California’s Berkeley campus offers an immersive, self-paced Master of Information and Data Science. Classes are delivered live and face-to-face in this rigorous program. The program is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The curriculum emphasizes research design, data cleansing, ethics and privacy, and data visualization, among several other topics. Twenty-seven course units are required for degree conferral. Students will take classes in:
- Python for Data Science
- Storing and Reviving Data
- Statistics for Data Science
- Applied Machine Learning
The program can be taken in a full-time, accelerated, or part-time format. This allows students the opportunity to complete the program in as little as twelve months, or as long as up to 32 months. Most graduates of this program were already employed in data science before they began. However, as a result of their newly acquired knowledge, 76% of graduates say they were offered a salary increase and 45% were given a promotion.
8. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It hosts bragging rights as the #1 ranked school in Information Technology for over twelve years in a row. It has also been recognized for its outstanding online graduate programs in Information Technology Management, Information Security and Assurance and Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. The latter of these programs emphasizes the Big Data movement.
Each of Carnegie Mellon’s online degrees consists of 144 course units (about twelve hours of work per week), which can be spread out as much as a student’s schedule necessitates. To apply specifically to the Business Intelligence and Data Analytics program, students must have a related undergraduate degree and at least three years of relevant work experience. Critical coursework of the program includes:
- Database Management
- Economic Analysis
- Data Warehousing
- Applied Data Science
- Privacy in the Digital Age
Students in the MSIT programs at Carnegie Mellon benefit from a variety of factors. They will experience the same academic rigor and services offered on campus, as well as a state-of-the-art learning management system and close faculty interaction that includes email and phone conferences. Courses are delivered in a multimedia format, with live or on-demand video lectures available.
9. Villanova University
The School of Business at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1922 and has an impressive resume as a leading institution for graduate business and information systems programs. It has repeatedly been ranked as a top university by U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Forbes. Their online Master of Science in Analytics allows students to complete a degree in as little as 24 months.
Students in this program will analyze complex real-life business problems while they develop career-ready skills. The school emphasizes creativity, hands-on experience, and service learning. Thirty-six credit hours are required for completion, consisting of eleven foundational and core courses as well as an application-based capstone project. Some required and recommended courses include:
- Introduction to Business Analytics
- Programming in “R”
- Business Intelligence
- Enterprise Data Management
- Analytics Practicum
The program is taught entirely by experts in business, analytics, computer science, and applied mathematics. The program is ideal for individuals just beginning their careers in Big Data or for seasoned professionals looking for a career change. The networking and experiential opportunities available both online and on-campus at Villanova provide graduates with a significant leg-up on their job seeking competition.
10. University of California-Los Angeles
The Los Angeles branch of the University of California system offers an exceptional Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Data Science Engineering. This program, which can be completed entirely online, allows students to complete coursework on a computer, tablet, or even smartphone. For students not wishing to complete a full graduate degree, the school also offers fully online certificate pathways that can be completed by taking certain course sequences.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to deal with the exponential growth of data seen in recent business growth. They will be trained on how to uncover and analyze important business data and communicate those insights to customers. Thirty-six credit hours are required for graduation, with four courses in Data Science Engineering, four in a technical domain, and the addition of a comprehensive exam. Sample classes include:
- Big Data Analytics
- Databases and Knowledge Bases
- Machine Learning Algorithms
- Database and Data Management
- Adaptation and Learning
Students typically complete the degree within two academic years and one quarter, with the addition of one or two summer sessions. Graduates will be prepared to work within a range of data science professions. Alumni of the University of California-Los Angeles are successful at finding and retaining jobs. As a result, U.S. News and World Report has consistently ranked their Online Engineering Program number one in the nation from 2015 to 2017.
11. Arizona State University
Arizona State’s campus in Tempe, Arizona provides students with an exciting opportunity to receive a Master of Science in Business Analytics. Students will learn to extract information from data and modeling, to analyze new data, and to help businesses be at the forefront of new development. The online program is nearly identical to the nine month on-campus experience, and allows students the flexibility to complete courses at their own pace.
The Business Analytics program has a unique designation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency as a STEM eligible degree program. This allows eligible graduates visa extensions to ensure them ample time to begin working in the field. The program builds on students’ quantitative skills and helps them to develop the necessary analytics skills to make an impact. The program is highly interdisciplinary and combines the most recent technological industry updates with a strong core of research. Sample courses include:
- Introduction to Applied Analytics
- Data-Driven Quality Management
- Data Mining
- Marketing Analytics
The School of Business, W.P. Carey, is one of the top ranked schools for supply chain management and information systems and is number one in innovation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Unlike many other online Master’s programs, students are not required to have work experience in order to apply. Because the W.P. Carey School resides within the country’s largest public university, they are able to supply a large volume of experienced, supportive faculty and small, team-based class sizes.
12. Florida State University
The Department of Business Analytics, Information Systems, and Supply Chains at Florida State University offers several cross-disciplinary programs that help students advance in functional business areas. Students will gain expertise by working directly with industry stakeholders to incorporate their expertise in analytics, information systems, and supply chain management. In addition to a superior Master of Science in Business Analytics, Florida State also offers programs in Management Information Systems and Supply Chain Management.
The Business Analytics program addresses the demand for students who are able to draw conclusions from data and use those insights to create innovative business solutions. Coursework in this program will build upon the Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems. Some courses might include:
- Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions
- Information for Operating Control and Data Management
- Advanced Application Development
- Introduction to Programming with the C Language
Florida State helps students succeed by offering an extensive internship program, along with various international study, leadership, and scholarship opportunities. Its faculty members are some of the best in the county, and are renowned for producing high-quality, state-of-the-art research.
13. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California offers a Master of Science with a focus on Data Science program that is available both entirely on-campus as well as online. The program is catered to professional engineers looking for career advancement.
The Master of Science in Computer Science with a focus on Data Science at the University of Southern California allows students to obtain a core background in technological elements as well as specialized expertise in algorithms, statistics, and systems. Students will work with real-time data in real-world domains including the environment, health, media, and transportation. Students must complete 32 units (12 of which are required courses and the rest are electives). Core and elective classes include:
- Analysis of Algorithms
- Information Retrieval and Web Search Engines
- Probabilistic Reasoning
- Optimization: Theory and Algorithms
- Numerical Methods
- Machine Learning
This program prepares students to work in a variety of diverse, challenging professions. The school emphasizes a “depth with breadth” approach that allows students to combine majors and minors (the university offers over 170 minors) to tailor an interesting, useful degree. Each work closely with attentive advisors and professors to build a degree path that suits his or her individual needs, goals, and interests.
14. Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac University may have a tough-to-pronounce name, but one thing is clear—they certainly know how to deliver a quality Big Data program. Their Master of Science in Business Analytics program provides students with the experience in big data necessary to make intelligent decisions in a business setting. It is designed for busy working professionals and helps students learn the skills necessary to address large amounts of complex data. Graduates of this program will be granted an additional Certificate in Business Analytics Using SAS.
This program consists of thirty-three hands=on credits. Students will take classes in visualization, mining, management, and warehousing of data, along with other skills and theoretically- based classes. Sample classes include:
- Insurance Analytics
- Text Mining
- Predictive Modeling
- Project Management
- Business Analytics Capstone
Quinnipiac resides within one of the five percent of the world’s business schools that are fully accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The school provides a valuable combination of resources, mentorship, and expert instruction to help students advance personally and professionally. 98% of Quinnipiac business faculty hold terminal degrees in related fields, and all have industry experience. As a result, Princeton Review listed Quinnipiac as one of the best business schools in the United States. These benefits extend to the online campus as well.
15: University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The University of Massachusetts at Amherst offers a superior graduate certificate in Business Analytics. The program is built around the understanding that data-driven decision making is absolutely necessary for professionals within a range of professions in any industry. The certificate consists of fifteen credits and teaches students how to process, analyze, and incorporate into problem solving processes big data. The program is equipped to educate either young students or seasoned professionals.
The certificate program helps students build a foundation for business practices and analytics. For students looking to advance beyond the certificate, all courses included in this pathway are fully transferrable to an MBA at the University of Massachusetts. Required as part of this program are nine core course credits and any six elective credits. These might include:
- Data Management for Business Leaders
- Business Data Analysis and Statistical Methods
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Deterministic Models--Business Process Optimization
- Sport Analytics
The Isenberg School of Management, in which the certificate program is housed, is fully accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, which is the premier business program accreditation agency. Courses cost only $900 per credit hour, and tuition reimbursement is often available.
16. University of Maryland-College Park
The University of Maryland--College Park offers a state-of-the-art Master of Science in Data Analytics. This program equips students with the ability to manage and arrange data, visualize data, and make strategic recommendations to industry professionals. Both technical and business courses comprise the core of this program’s coursework.
Coursework within this program is reviewed and designed by business and industry advisors. This helps to ensure the relevance and practicality of the material acquired by graduate students. Sample courses might include:
- Decision Management Systems
- Data Management and Visualization
- Data Mining
- Predictive Modeling
- Big Data Analytics
- Prior to graduation, students must also complete a capstone experience.
Graduates of this program will be prepared to work in any data science capacity in a private- or public- sector industry. The university recommends that students entering into the program have a strong background in software programming and statistics to ensure ease of movement through the program. The university partners with leading employers to ensure that all students receive the most up-to-date knowledge in application-based decision making.
17. Auburn University
Auburn University’s Master of Science in Information Systems is designed for working IT professionals who are interested in advancing to leadership positions. Their distance-learning program, though based out of the Auburn, Alabama location, is ideal for students who aren’t interested in relocating or leaving their existing jobs. Students will work closely with faculty advisors to design a highly individualized degree program.
The program consists of thirty hours of coursework (ten three-credit hour courses). Courses will be taken in database, systems analysis and design, and a capstone course. The final capstone course enables students to integrate their newly acquired skills as a vehicle to help them solve a specific problem in an area of interest. Most students take three years to complete the degree, and will take classes such as:
- Predictive Modeling
- Big Data
- Communicating Quantitative Results in Business
- Current Issues in Information Systems
Auburn also allows students to apply a concentration within their degree program. Available concentrations include Oracle database management, security, and others. Students in the online program at Auburn have full access to a range of services, including the Office of Professional and Career Development to help them network with alumni and apply for jobs.
18. Brandeis University
Students in Brandeis University’s 30-creidt Master of Science in Strategic Analytics will learn alongside industry professionals. They will learn how to identify trends within data systems and how to communicate and leverage that information to make business decisions.
Students will take a range of courses in data analysis, with the ability to take electives built upon specific professional interests. Sample classes include:
- Foundations of Data Science and Analytics
- Data Quality and Governance
- Professional Communications
- Data Security, Privacy, and Ethics
Successful graduates of the Brandeis program will be equipped to hold jobs such as compliance managers, project consultants, marketing consultants, data architects, and many more. Courses are taught by seasoned professionals who are able to leverage the latest technologies in data analysis and research.
19. Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph’s University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers a fully online Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics. This program enables students to complete a flexible, customized degree in two years or less. Students may select one of three tracks, including General Track, Data Analysis, or Programing Languages.
Faculty within the Business Intelligence and Analytics program are not only experienced professionals, they are still part of the ever-changing industry. The thirty-credit program requires students to take classes such as:
- Foundations for Business Intelligence
- Concepts and Practice of DSS Modeling
- Critical Performance Management
- Enterprise Data
- R Statistical Language
- Predictive Analytics
The program is housed within the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at St. Joseph’s. The school hosts the International Journal of Business Intelligence Research. This peer-reviewed publication allows students the unique opportunity to research and practice findings within the field. Graduates of the graduate program at St. Joseph’s also receive a Business Intelligence Certificate from SAS, Inc, giving them a leg-up on job-seeking competition.
20. Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State’s Stillwater, Oklahoma campus offers graduate students the opportunity to receive a M.S. in Business Analytics. Though housed within the school’s marketing department, the program is STEM certified and highly interdisciplinary. It allows students hands-on experiences in data analysis, with training in SAS platform, Tablue, Matlab, R, and Python. Founded in 2004, it is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Although 37 credit hours are required for on-campus students, only 33 are required for online degree completion. Students are required to have prerequisite knowledge and experience in programming, basic statistics, probability, and business. Sample classes include:
- Research Communication
- Mathematical Programming and Simulation
- Advanced Database Management
- Advanced Marketing Research Analytics
The Business Analytics program is ranked as the 13th best program in the country by TechRepbulic. This is largely due to the school’s partnership with SAS, along with a curriculum rooted in the advice of a corporate and alumni advisory board. In addition to the Master’s degree, students also have the option of completing certificates in SAS and OSU Data Mining, SAS and OSU Predictive Analysis, or SAS and OSU Marketing Data Science. Graduates of the program enjoy a median annual salary of $78,000.
21. North Carolina A & T State University
North Carolina A & T State University offers an online Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) based out of their Greensboro, North Carolina campus. Through interaction with highly experienced, skilled instructors, students acquire the skills and hands-on experience necessary to succeed in technical or management careers.
Students in the program may choose to pursue one of two options: a thesis option or a coursework option. The thesis option necessitates thirty semester hours, while the alternative requires thirty-six credit hours and the successful completion of a comprehensive exam. Students will take classes such as:
- Computer Database Management
- Technical Research Writing and Communication Skills for Information Technology
- Statistical Methods for Information Technology
- Computer Systems Security
- Enterprise Management Systems
The program at North Carolina A & T State University has consistently been ranked among the best online graduate information technology programs, according to the U.S. News and World Report. Graduates pursue high-paying careers in digital media technologies, database management, computer security and networking, and many other areas.
22. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The University of Nebraska’s Lincoln campus offers a fully online Business Analytics certificate to enable students to work within a vast array of data and statistical problems. Coursework will emphasize decision-making as well as the collection, maintenance and analysis of big business data.
An overall total of twelve credit hours are required for degree completion. Students will work closely with advisors to develop an individualized degree path. Possible classes might include:
- Business Analytics
- Introductory Econometrics
- Strategic Database Marketing
- Data Mining and Warehousing
Students have the option of continuing on to the school’s online MBA program upon completion of the certificate. Other graduates continue on within their fields (as many are already working professionals taking classes full or part time) or apply for reputable and well-paying jobs in data science.
23. Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University takes big data one step further by offering a Doctor of Computer Science--Big Data Analytics degree. This program is designed to help qualified students become leaders in the field of data analysis and science. In addition to a physical setting of the program in Denver, Colorado, it is also offered entirely in an online format with classes offered several times throughout the year.
A total of 96 credit hours are required for graduation. The program is broken down into three years of study, with the first year focusing on foundations. The second year allows students to acquire further knowledge in specific areas, and the third is designed for the research component of the doctoral program. Students will take classes such as:
- Current Topics in Computer Science and Information Systems
- Tools for Big Data Analytics
- Business Intelligence
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Analytics for Big Data
The doctoral program requires a residential symposium to further enhance students’ practice within the content area. Students must also complete a research proposal and final dissertation in a chosen subject matter. For students who do not yet have a relevant master’s degree upon admission to the doctoral program, Colorado Technical University offers students the ability of completing a combined master’s-doctoral program as well.
24. Marquette University
Marquette University is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and offers a hands-on, fully online Master of Science in Computing. Admission to the program does not require students to have any prior experience in computing. A combined Bachelor’s and Master’s program can be completed in just five years.
The program offers a convenient option to students who wish to work while taking classes. In addition to required coursework, Marquette also offers an Integrated Practicum experience for students who wish to continue their studies but also want to start a career. Students awarded this opportunity are connected with employers in the field so that they can study and also work to offset graduate study expenses. Other required courses include those in the areas of:
- Computer Science
- Computer Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Information Technology
- Information Systems
A summer research component is available for undergraduate students, or those completing the combined program. This gives them faculty-mentored research experience in the areas of applied mathematics, computing, and statistics. The online component of the program is highly ranked in the U.S. News Educational Rankings of Graduate Programs. The school’s career services department offers career changers significant tailored support in this monumental change.
25. University of Alabama
The University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, offers an online M.S. in Marketing, with a unique specialization in Marketing Analytics. It is ranked fourteenth for best online graduate business programs by U.S. News and World Report. Students in this program will learn how to evaluate marketing campaigns based on critical data.
Students in this program will take traditional marketing programs along with those in data management and analytics. Distance learning students are taught by the same qualified faculty who teach on-campus. Students will take classes such as:
- Advanced Marketing Analysis
- Global Marketing Management
- Statistical Methods
- Advanced Statistical Data Management
- Data Mining
The degree requires thirty-three credit hours for degree conferral, at a rate of $375 per credit hour. Its affordability has earned it the ranking of the number one most affordable online marketing master’s degree by SR Education Group.
26. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri State University in Rolla, Missouri offers a range of data science certificates to satisfy any student’s career plans. The Business Analytics and Data Science program at Missouri University allows students to explore the three categories of analytics: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.
Missouri University also offers certificate programs in Big Data and Security and Big Data Management and Analytics. There is the option to satisfy requirements for multiple certificates with certain classes. Students will take a variety of courses as part of this program, including:
- Introduction to Big Data Analytics
- Information Visualization
- Use of Business Intelligence
- Cloud Computing and Big Data Management
- Essentials of Data Warehouses
The major advantage of pursuing the Business Analytics and Data Science certificate program is that it allows students easy access to a related Master’s degree program. Students graduating from this certificate may go on to receive an MBA in Business Administration or MS in Information Science and Technology.
27. Indiana University
The Data Science Master’s and certificate programs at Indiana University allow students to obtain an online degree at an affordable cost and flexible pace. The degree consists of 30 credits that allow students to gain necessary insight into the industry of data science. Students in this program will have access to a variety of up-to-date technologies, such as Jetstream and Chameleon.
Three options are available to students at Indiana University. They may pursue degrees in the Degree Computation and Analytical Data Science Path, Master’s Applied Data Science Path, or Data Science certificate. Regardless of the chosen pathway, students will gain key understanding of how to represent and search for data in databases, develop and analyze algorithms, and compute. Core coursework includes:
- Applied Algorithms
- Elements of Artificial Intelligence
- Management, Access, and Use of Big and Complex Data
- Data Visualization
The faculty at Indiana University come from a variety of fields and are leading researchers and experienced professionals. Students are partnered with local industry partners to open doors to employment and educational opportunities.
28. Syracuse University
Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York offers an M.S. in Applied Data Science that prepares graduates to tackle data handling situations that include management, analysis, capture, communication, and decision making. Program curriculum includes coursework in information science and management principles.
The M.S. program consists of 36 credits and generally takes students around two years to complete. Coursework is divided into a primary core, analytics application core, and electives. Students may choose a focus area. Selected courses might include:
- Marketing Analytics
- Principles of Management Science
- Linear Static Models
- Information Visualization
- Scripting for Data Analysis
The online program at Syracuse University, or iSchool, provides a faculty that is interdisciplinary and not confined to traditional academic departments. Through work with faculty, students are able to collaborate on hands-on research and academic work. Students will also work closely with faculty to develop portfolios to help them find lifetime careers.
29. Pace University-New York
Pace University, which operates two campuses in Westchester and Pleasantville, New York, offers a fully online MS in Enterprise Analytics. The program centers around developing students’ abilities to make decisions using real-time Big Data. By the time they graduate, students will be seasoned data science and analytics professionals.
Students will take a variety of classes that are hands-on and theoretical in nature. Coursework is divided into that which is foundational, major, or elective and might include:
- Data Mining
- Introduction to Enterprise Intelligence
- Enterprise Intelligence Development
- Digital Marketing
- Customer Intelligence
- Analysis for Marketing Decisions
Pace University offers students a hands-on approach to big data, combined with a strong theoretical core. Students are given access to the Applied Data and Networking Sciences lab so that they can work with real data sets and hone their practical skills. Students will also conduct original research into big data and apply that research into applicable solutions.
30. West Virginia University
West Virginia University (WVU) offers a twelve-month program in Business Data Analytics that is fully online. It allows students to learn crucial business analysis kills while at the same time learning the communication and management skills necessary to practice them in a real-world setting.
Students will take a total of ten courses, or thirty credit hours. They will include a variation of the following courses:
- Foundations of Business Intelligence
- Decision Science and Analytics
- Data Management
- Business Simulation Modeling
- Business Analytics Practicum
WVU offers students the opportunity to complete their education at a low price. They offer tuition waivers and scholarships. They are accredited by AACSB International (within only 5% of business schools to receive this accreditation). In addition, they have also been rated one of the Best Online Graduate Business Programs in 2017 by U.S. News and World Report.
31. Iowa State University
The Master of Science in Business Analytics at Iowa State is designed specifically for employed professionals looking to advance their knowledge of big data. It addresses the challenges of business intelligence in a competitive global environment.
The program is highly individualized and differentiates from similar programs in that it draws from other leading educational programs at Iowa State, including Computer Science, Statistics, and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Students in the Business Analytics program will take classes such as:
- Teams, Projects, and BA Leadership
- Advanced Business Analytics
- Applied Modern Multivariate Statistical Learning
- Applications of Machine Learning for Business Intelligence
- Algorithms for Large Data Sets: Theory and Practice
Iowa State works closely with business partners to develop necessary skills. This 21 month program begins in the summer in an on-campus setting for a comprehensive business analytics course, but can then complete the rest of the coursework completely online.
32. Regis University
Regis University, in Denver, Colorado, offers an M.S. in Data Science that allows students to visualize data in a unique, important way. The program is inspired by the university’s Jesuit heritage and provides students the opportunity to advance their careers through a distance learning program. A master’s degree from Regis University prepares students for careers in data analytics, engineering, statistics, and visualization. The school offers related certificates in Data Science, Database Administration with Oracle, and Database Development.
After completing the program, students will be trained in assembling data for analysis, identifying patterns in data, and using that data to communicate information and solve problems. Students will take a total of thirty-six credits. Courses are offered in eight-week terms that begin periodically throughout the year, and might include a sampling of the following classes:
- Ethics, Privacy and Social Justice in Data Science
- Data Analytics
- Statistical Methods and Experimental Design
- Information Technology Research Methods
Regis reports that its data science graduates enjoy an average starting salary of $70,000. Furthermore, with a student to faculty ratio of 14:1, Regis has been named a “Top School in the West” by U.S. News and World Report for twenty-two years in a row.
33. University of Bridgeport
The University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut offers a superior Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) with Analytics Intelligence. It teaches students how to analyze and capture data and to draw conclusions based on integrated research.
Thirty-six total credits are required for degree completion. They fall into one of three component categories: core, concentration, and capstone. Sample courses include:
- Managerial and Cost Accounting
- Information System sand Knowledge Management
- Marketing and Branding
- Technical Concepts for Analytic Professionals
- Foundations in Advanced Enterprise Analytics
- Business Planning
The university’s faculty members have over sixty years of hands-on, real-world experience. They are highly trained at working with industry professionals and provide graduates with a talented and professional network. The Analytics Intelligence program is a STEM designated program and its close proximity to New York City, Stamford, and Greenwich provides students with easy access to some of the biggest technological hubs.
34. University of Arkansas
The Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was founded in 1926 and is top-notch. The graduate certificate in Business Analytics gives students a foundation in the management and implementation of relational and dimensional data and decision-making theory. Students are provided with hands-on experience with real-life data sets and cases.
This program is designed for both business and non-business graduate students and gives students hands-on experience in data management, mining, and fundamentals. It takes most students about nine months to complete and can be done solely on weekends. Students will take classes such as:
- Data Management Systems
- ERP Fundamentals
- Decision Support and Analytics
- Seminar in Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management
The graduate certificate in Business Analytics at the University of Arkansas is unique in that students will be able to work directly with data sets from some of the world’s most prominent companies, including Microsoft, IBM, and Teradata. The university also offers a Professional MIS program, which can be completed in two years.
35. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offers an M.B.A. with a specific concentration in Business Intelligence and Analytics. This program recognizes that business intelligence requires a variety of software applications. These applications translate facts and figures into valuable decision-making data for industries.
The program consists of 39 total credits, 21 of which are core courses and the remaining 18 existing as concentration courses. These are offered during the day and at night and can be completed in just 21 months. Some sample classes include:
- Data Analytics for Business Management
- Data Mining
- Data Warehousing
- Advanced Data Analytics for Management
Students may be required to complete some prerequisites before enrolling in this fully online program. For example, they should have a Bachelor’s degree in a related program and have completed classes such as Business or Corporate Finance, Statistics, and Financial Accounting.
36. American University
American University, suiting its name with its location in Washington, D.C., offers an online Master’s in Business Analytics that conveniently begins four times throughout the year. Upon graduating from this program, students will be skilled at gathering evidence-based data and analyzing that data to provide tools to businesses needing a competitive advantage. Coursework will consist of that in financial analysis, marketing, consulting, and business intelligence.
Thirty three total credits are required to complete, with six of those being core courses. Most students complete the program within twelve to fifteen months. A unique feature of this program is that students have the opportunity to complete two immersive capstones in D.C. and other United States cities. Some courses students might take include:
- Applied Managerial Statistics
- Management Information Systems
- Database and Big Data
- Business Insights through Analytics
- Predictive Analytics
Unlike many graduate schools, the Analytics program at American University does not require GRE or GMAT scores to apply. The program is opportunely designed for career changers and self-starters. It is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, representing the highest standard of achievement available to business schools.
37. Dakota State University
Among a wide distribution of graduate programs, including a Master of Science in Applied Computer Science, Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota, offers a superior Master of Science in Analytics. The program is designed for students aiming to become data scientists, analysts, architects, visualization specialists, or governance specialists.
Students may pursue one of three tracks within the degree program: healthcare analytics, information systems, or a general track. Students will take classes in information technology and statistical analysis to help them grow within the business industry. Thirty credits are required, with six of them core classes. These include:
- Data Warehousing and Data Mining
- Programming for Data Analytics
- Big Data Analytics
- Statistical Programming
- Modern Applied Statistics
- Predictive Analytics for Decision Making
Dakota State’s online classes are small and affordable, and allow students to work at their own pace. The curriculum is ingrained with the latest technologies and influenced by leading professionals in the field.
38. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee campus offers a state-of-the art online graduate certificate in Business Analytics. This program is designed for aspiring professionals in the utilization of data strategically, operationally, and tactically.
Students will learn how to leverage data to develop statistical and predictive models as well as how to perform marketing analytics. The program provides a mixture of required and elective courses such as:
- Predictive Analytics for Managers
- Business Forecasting Methods
- Web Mining and Analytics
- Business Intelligence and Solutions
- Marketing Analytics
The certificate only costs around $12,500 to complete and financial aid is available. The University of Wisconsin is a great choice for any advanced business education. It was rated one of the Best Graduate Schools for a Part-Time MBA in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report rankings. It is also fully accredited by AACSB.
39. Lewis University
Lewis University’s online Master of Science in Data Science allows students to discover the full meaning behind big data. Students will tap into mathematical theory and computer science techniques and skills to help develop software and systems.
The program is interdisciplinary and allows students to apply skills within the social sciences, humanities, healthcare, business, and education. The program requires 33 credit hours, all of which can be completed entirely online. Students may pursue concentrations in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, or Computer Science. They will take classes such as:
- Concepts of Statistics
- Encryption and Authentication Systems Data Modeling
- Large-Scale Data Storage Systems
- Mathematics for Data Scientists
- Data Mining and Analytics
- Statistical Programming
Lewis University employs a highly skilled, experienced faculty. They emphasize hands-on examples and practical skill development. Graduates from this program will enjoy an average salary of $89,674 per year. This is largely due to the real-world experience they receive while in school, and their ability to access cutting-edge computing resources and software suites, such as Weka and SAS.
40. Fairfield University
Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut recognizes that the world of technology is an ever-changing one. Organizations have a need to analyze and utilize all of their data, and the university’s goal is to provide graduates that will help meet that need. Located close to New York City and a wealth of Fortune 500 companies, they offer a superior Master of Science in Business Analytics.
A total of thirty credits are required for degree conferral, with twenty-one of those existing as required courses. These including classes in the following topics:
- Data Mining and Business Intelligence
- Principles of Business Analytics
- Business Model Optimization
- Applied Business Statistics
- Business Forecasting and Predictive Analytics
- Python for Business Analytics
- Databases for Business Analytics
Fairfield University has a powerful alumni network and is nationally ranked for their excellence in delivering superior online graduate programs. They have repeatedly been recognized for their programs by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, and LinkedIn.
41. Elmhurst College
Elmhurst aims to create successful graduates in data science to help fill the shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 jobs in this area. The master’s in data science at Elmhurst provides an integrative curriculum that blends computer science, statistics, and business. It is a part-time program offered entirely online. A graduate certificate in this area is also available for students who do not wish to complete a full master’s degree.
Students will complete a total of ten courses comprising 30 semester hours. They will also complete two-project based courses to allow them to integrate their knowledge gained from the program’s course of study. Critical courses in this program include:
- Quantitative Methods
- Data Warehousing
- Programming Languages and Environments
- Research Methods in Data Science
- Analytical Methods
Classes are highly flexible and can accommodate any schedule. Graduates are successful in careers such as data mining specialists, marketing managers, and data scientists, among other areas. They help to fulfill a more than 19% job growth in this industry.
42. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Slippery Rock University‘s online Master of Science in Data Analytics prepares graduates to enter into the rapidly growing field of big data. Based in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, the university’s coursework provides training in machine learning, analytics, and technology.
The program requires thirty three credits and can be completed in just ten months of full time work (or two years of part-time study). Students who complete the program will receive a joint certificate in statistical applications and also data analytics, both provided by the Statistical Analysis System Institute Inc. Graduates will be prepared to take the Certified Analytics Professional Exam. Coursework includes:
- Regression Methods
- Data Mining and Data Analysis
- Optimization Models
- Data Analytics
The university’s 100% online mathematics degrees is top-ranked. The institution partners students with highly respectable internships. It also provides instruction and personalized attention from world-class faculty.
43. Southern Methodist University
The Master of Science in Data Science from Southern Methodist University features live, online classes, a highly interdisciplinary and project-based approach, and integrated immersion within the field. The program requires 33.5 total credits to graduate, with an approximate twenty to twenty eight months needed for degree completion.
Coursework in this graduate degree is highly tasks-focused and skills based, with acquisition of these skills being at the forefront of each class’s curriculum. Sample courses include:
- Data Mining
- File Organization and Database Management
- Statistical Sampling
Despite the virtual nature of this program, Southern Methodist University provides a strong alumni network to its students. Students are given free access to online tutoring, support services, and career exploration assistance. These services help most students graduate in less than two years and find employment almost immediately.
44. Saint Mary's College
Saint Mary's offers an online MBA that allows motivated students to accelerate their degree progression. The program provides three different special concentrations, including one in Data Analytics, that allows students to self-select and self-pace. Regardless of the concentration, each program focuses on qualitative analysis, critical thinking, quantitative analysis, and problem solving skills.
Students will focus on several different features within this program. They include (but are not limited to) project management, finance, information technology, and international development. Courses including those in the following topics:
- Quantitative Decision Making
- Managerial Economics
- International Operations Management
- Ethical Leadership
Within each concentration, students will also be able to customize based on twenty-five different lecture series options. They will also complete a local or global capstone experience to expose them to common problems and industry professionals. Each student in an online degree program at Saint Mary’s also receives an iPad loaded with a mobile learning platform to provide them with constant access to coursework.
45. Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State offers an M.S. in Data Mining that allows students to develop and utilize interesting patterns and trends in significant data sets. Students in this program are given experience in state-of-the-art data modeling theories and technologies to prepare them for cutting-edge careers.
Students in this program will gain proficiency in top data mining software, such as WEKA, Clementine, and the R language. They will learn to apply the most up-to-date data mining techniques, such as text mining, along with other current issues. Required coursework includes:
- Multivariate Analysis for Data Mining
- Introduction to Data Mining
- Clustering and Affinity Analysis
- Topics in Artificial Intelligence
- Topics in Database Systems and Applications
Thirty-three total credit hours are required, including a hands-on capstone. Because Central Connecticut State is dedicated to providing a strong liberal arts and sciences core, students are given a highly integrated education regardless of whether they are on campus in New Britain, Connecticut, or studying via the online campus.
46. Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University’s online Master of Science in applied analytics is geared specifically towards working professionals who wish to pursue analytics study full or part time. The program combines the interworkings of technology with human and organizational structures.
This program requires 36 credit hours of study within several eight-week terms. Each course includes video lectures, weekly assignments, term projects, and online interactive sessions and forums. Students will design and implement analytics problems. Students will take classes such as:
- Foundations of Analytics
- Information Retrieval
- Project Management
- Ethical, Evidence-Based Decision Making
Graduates from Saint Louis University’s online degree programs are highly successful at obtaining employment or employment progression after graduation. This is largely due to the emphasis the school places on communication of complex data, project management, and leadership skills. Students also complete a comprehensive research project as the culmination to their studies.
47. DePaul University
DePaul University’s Certificate in Analytics is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree but wish to gain more technical skills in big data analytics and mining. The program is offered online and on campus.
The program is highly interdisciplinary and provides students with a range of opportunities to network with faculty and other professionals in the industry. Core required (and elective) courses include:
- Data Analysis and Regression
- Fundamental of Data Science
- Mining Big Data
- Social Network Analysis
- Web Data Mining
The school allows course waivers for some introductory courses in which the student has prior experience. They also try to integrate research and creativity as much as possible within the program, to provide students with a wide range of experiences.
48. Illinois Institute of Technology
The Master of Data Science at Illinois Institute of Technology prepares students to analyze high amounts of data and to question previous assumptions and “givens” about data and its analysis. The program allows students to explore data using high-level computer science, technologies, statistics, and quantitative mathematics.
Each student’s coursework and curriculum plan will be developed with the close, individualized attention of a faculty advisor. Core courses required include those in:
- Data Processing
- Machine Learning
- Working with Data
- Project Management
Students also have access to a range of elective and seminar courses.
The university provides students with close real-world partnerships to give them experience in cutting-edge software, tools, special topics, and real data. Partnerships include those with Accenture, Accuen, Knack, Siemens, and Orbitz, among many others.
49. Bellevue University
Bellevue University’s Master of Science in Business Analytics prepares students to meet the global demand for influential business leaders. In particular, it allows motivated students to study topics such as Business Administration, Project Management, Computer Information Systems, and Management Information Systems. It is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission through the U.S. Department of Education.
The program provides students with the skills necessary to analyze the applications of business analytics, evaluate and design key information systems, and implement change and new techniques. A total of 36 credit hours are required for graduation. Coursework includes that in the following subjects:
- Business Performance Management
- Financial Reporting and Analysis
- Human Capital and Organizational Performance
- SAS Programming for Business Analytics
Tuition starts at $545 per credit hour for online classes. Graduates from this affordable, flexible online degree will be prepared for careers as financial analysts, human resource managers, and data scientists, among many others. Bellevue graduates report a higher than average starting salary with this a degree in this program.
50. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati’s Data Science and Data Analytics certificates are ideal for career changers or current data science employees to advance their careers and hone their skills. The program recognizes the need to leverage new technologies to better utilize available data.
The certificate requires students to take four core courses (a total of eight credits) and two elective credits (four credits) for a total of twelve credits. Classes that may be taken include:
- Statistical Computing
- Data Analysis Methods
- Data Management
- Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
- Managing Business Intelligence Projects
- Data Visualization
This program enables graduates to meet the national demand for almost 500,000 jobs within the next five years. The program is collaborative in nature and allows students to work with business analytics, computer science, and information systems to acquire hands-on experience with software tools, languages, models, and environments. Students may apply credit earned in this program to other MS and MBA programs at the university.