The Best Online Data
Science Schools in 2021

Data science and analytics are driving dozens of decisions for modern businesses. Companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix serve millions of users every minute. They use consumer-generated data to improve user experience. The best online data science schools can show you how to join companies in this lucrative field.

These data science programs offer online classes that can help you enter the field with strong professional guidance. Bachelor’s degree programs usually teach students everything they need to know starting with the basics. Advanced programs can help you get an even better job in the field.

In Brief: Top 10 Online Data Science Schools in 2021

These are the best schools for data science that offer online programs. Some offer bachelor’s degrees, but most offer online Master’s Degrees in Data Science that can help you advance your career.

These 10 schools will train you in a wide variety of industry-standard tools. Tuition costs below have been sourced from each school’s official website.

School Degrees and Tuition Accreditation
Arizona State University Bachelor of Science in Data Science
$12,258 per year (in-state)
$14,532 per year (out-of-state)
Higher Learning Commission
Bellevue University Bachelor of Science in Data Science
$430 per credit
Higher Learning Commission
Capitol Technology University Doctor of Philosophy in Business
Analytics and Data Science
$933 per credit
Middle States Commission
on Higher Education
Johns Hopkins University Master of Science in Data Science
$58,720 per year
Post-Master’s Certificate in
Data Science
$58,720 per year
Accreditation Board for
Engineering and Technology
Maryville University Bachelor of Science in Data Science
$500 per credit
Master of Science in Data Science
$765 per credit
Professional Certificate in Big Data
or Machine Learning
$765 per credit
Higher Learning Commission
Southern Methodist University Master of Science in Data Science
$1,704 per credit hour
Commission on Colleges of
the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools
Syracuse University Master of Science in Applied
Data Science
$6,504 per semester
Middle States Commission
on Higher Education
University of California, Berkeley Master of Information and Data Science
$2,712 per unit
Western Association of Schools
and Colleges
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Master of Computer Science in
Data Science
$21,440 total
Higher Learning Commission
University of Wisconsin-Madison Master of Engineering in
Engineering Data Analytics
$1,300 per credit
Graduate Certificate in
Data Analytics for Decision Making
$800 per credit
Higher Learning Commission

Why You Should Attend a Data Science School Online

Online courses provide the freedom for their students to start new careers or advance their current ones on their own time. Most of your options only offer master’s degrees. Many schools only offer these degrees because it’s common for students to build up their data skills elsewhere before trying to advance to data science.

However, some programs offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science. These programs are intensive, and they pack information on data analytics, machine learning, data warehousing, and other topics into only four years. You can also find top schools for an MS in Data Science.

Choosing the Best Data Science School for You

When choosing the data science school that makes the most sense for you, it’s important to consider each program’s cost, location, and degree level. If you’re trying to launch your data science career and you have no foundation, you’re going to need a good bachelor’s degree program. If you already have some education, try for a master’s.

Read below to learn more about the factors you should consider when looking at data science schools.

Cost

When deciding between programs, a higher price doesn’t guarantee higher quality, so decide on a program that fits your budget and goals. You should also consider financial aid. You can apply for national programs like FAFSA or research your school’s scholarship options.

Location

The location of your program can also determine the best program for you. Indeed, being able to attend an online program from anywhere in the country is appealing. However, if you can earn a degree from an institution in the same city or state where you’d like to start your job hunt, local employers may be more impressed.

Degree

If you’re trying to start your career with a step up on your competition, a Bachelor of Science in Data Science could be what you need. If you’re looking to advance your career, a Master of Science in Data Science may be right for you. Be sure to choose whatever degree advances your standing in the field.

In-Depth: The Best Data Science Schools of 2021

Below are details on the best online data science schools of 2021. From the best schools to get a bachelor’s degree to the top schools for a master’s, these programs will teach you the skills in computer programming, machine learning, and more that you need to succeed.

Arizona State University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s
Graduation Rate: 57%

Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences has produced the Association for Women in Mathematics Fellows, Fulbright American Scholars, and more. In this data science program, you’ll learn the math and data mining skills to join these ranks. The school also offers strong career services.

Arizona State University Data Science Key Takeaway

Strong career services at a school with an illustrious scientific track record means a solid launchpad for data science workers.

Bellevue University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s
Graduation Rate: 23%

Bellevue University is a school that specializes in online education. Bellevue’s mastery of distance learning gives it an edge over many comparable schools. In its data science program, students learn how to analyze data for businesses, basic computer science skills, and how to work with statistics.

Bellevue University Data Science Key Takeaway

Bellevue University offers a program that was built from the ground up around online learners. This structure may make it more appealing if you’re not sure where you’ll be working in the future.

Capitol Technology University

Degree Levels: Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation Rate: 52%

Capitol Technology University is almost a century old, but it’s one of the universities pioneering an online Doctoral Degree in Data Science Students can master techniques across the data science spectrum in a program that works around their schedule. This is a perfect choice if you have your master’s and want to take the next step.

Capitol Technology University Data Science Key Takeaway

This is one of the few universities in the United States that offers an online Doctoral Degree in Data Science.

Johns Hopkins University

Degree Levels: Master’s, Post-Master’s Certificate
Graduation Rate: 93%

Johns Hopkins University is the first research university in the United States. It offers high-quality education, and its name carries prestige across multiple disciplines. Students can pursue a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins, or they can decide to attend the university for a post-master’s certificate to upskill.

Johns Hopkins University Data Science Key Takeaway

This prestigious university offers big-name recognition on your resume and programs where you can deepen your data science mastery in a rigorous environment.

Maryville University

Degree Levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional Certificates
Graduation Rate: 71%

Maryville University offers students a business-focused education in data science. This university also offers professional certificates in big data and machine learning that only take five courses to complete. The credits you earn in these courses transfer to the master’s degree program, so you can upskill quickly.

Maryville University Data Science Key Takeaway

You can follow the entire educational track at Maryville from bachelor’s to master’s. The professional certificate programs also give data analysts a chance to upskill without committing to a full degree program.

Southern Methodist University

Degree Levels: Master’s
Graduation Rate: 81%

Southern Methodist University offers an array of data science skills that draw on numerous disciplines including data mining, visualization, and analysis. Students in this program choose between specializing in machine learning or business analytics, so they can learn more efficiently in your preferred side of the discipline.

Southern Methodist University Data Science Key Takeaway

Southern Methodist University’s dual-path curriculum lets you focus more on the technical side or business communications side of the field for more efficient learning.

Syracuse University

Degree Levels: Master’s
Graduation Rate: 83%

Syracuse University developed its Master of Science in Applied Data Science curriculum along with its business school, the Whitman School of Management. This course has a management focus. Three tracks are available: data and business analytics, language analytics, and data pipelines and platforms.

Syracuse University Data Science Key Takeaway

The three tracks at this school allow students to focus on learning the business side, the natural language processing side, or the data engineering side of data science. All of these courses have extra business education built in to give students an advantage in the business market.

University of California, Berkeley

Degree Levels: Master’s
Graduation Rate: 93%

UC Berkeley’s Master of Information and Data Science program draws on several disciplines including social sciences, management, and law. There are three different program paths based on a student’s ability to commit their time: accelerated, standard, and decelerated. The accelerated path can take as little as 12 months.

University of California, Berkeley Data Science Key Takeaway

This course has options that work around your schedule and an emphasis on training new leaders. If you’re going back to school specifically to enter management in data science while building your skills, this option may appeal to you.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Degree Levels: Master’s
Graduation Rate: 85%

This university is the only one on the list that offers a Master of Computer Science degree. Usually, these degrees allow students to get a master’s level degree without writing a thesis so they can enter the field more quickly. You can finish this course in as little as a year while taking classes through the Coursera online structure.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Data Science Key Takeaway

The Master of Computer Science Program at UIUC may be your fastest route to a data science master’s degree.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Degree Levels: Master’s, Graduate Certificate
Graduation Rate: 88%

This course offers instruction from across the University of Wisconsin system’s 13 campuses, and with the same tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. You’ll learn the data science tools you need to work on cloud computing networks, develop software, and even work as a computer programmer.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Data Science Key Takeaway

You’ll have access to instructors that have come together from different campuses to build a curriculum at a price that’s affordable for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Types of Online Degrees in Data Science

All of the programs listed in this article either offer a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in data science. It’s uncommon for online data science schools to offer associate degrees because data science usually requires advanced concepts.

Online Data Science Undergraduate Degrees

Online Associate Degrees in Data Science

Associate Degrees in Data Science are hard to come by, but they can help start your career. You can try to pursue an Associate Degree in Computer Science or Information Technology. These degrees are desirable because they only last two years. You can also transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree in most cases.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Data Science

Bachelor’s degrees in data science usually require about 120 credit hours to complete. During that time, students learn how to access a company’s databases, visualize data, and more to help make sense of a company’s past actions. After these data analysis skills are established, students advance to building algorithms and models.

Online Data Science Graduate Degrees

Online Data Engineering Master’s Degree

Data engineering is a field of data science where people build pipelines that automatically carry raw data to its most useful location. Most master’s degree programs offer a specialization that teaches students the machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning tools they need to do this job well.

Online Data Science Master’s Degree

Data scientists usually have a responsibility to predict a business’s future and present their findings to executives at this business. This job involves a lot of the same tools as data engineering. However, instead of focusing on building strong pipelines, they focus more on gathering and visualizing data.

What Can You Do With a Data Science Degree?

What Can You Do With a Data Science Degree?

With a data science degree, you can become a data analyst, business intelligence analyst, and more. A degree from one of the best schools for data science can open doors at some of the biggest companies on the planet, and even some smaller companies that need data scientists.

Each degree offers different perks. If you’re looking to start a data science career, a bachelor’s degree would work just fine. If you want to advance your job prospects, it may be in your best interest to pursue a postgraduate certificate or degree.

Data Science Bachelor’s Degree

Average Salary: $71,000
Top Careers: Data analyst, statistician, data scientist, business intelligence analyst

A bachelor’s degree is the beginning of your data science journey. After you’ve picked up the data analysis and machine learning tools you need for the job, you can find work as an analyst or head for something that lets you use your programming skills a bit more.

Data Science Master’s Degree

Average Salary: $80,925
Top Careers: Senior data scientist, database engineer, machine learning engineer, business intelligence architect

After you’ve earned your Master’s Degree in Data Science, you’re moving into the upper level of data jobs. You’ll also spend more time focusing on the technical or business side, whichever you find more appealing. You can usually also progress to the master’s degree track with a computer science degree.

Data Science Doctorate

Average Salary: $99,342
Top Careers: Data science director, decision science researcher, chief information officer, data science manager

Data science doctorates offer the highest potential earning power and level of jobs in the field. You can work for government agencies just as easily as leading consumer companies, and you’ll be able to manage all employees effectively. You can also pursue careers in research and academia.

The Best Data Science Careers: How Much Can You Earn With a Degree in Data Science?

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Chief Information Officer Doctoral Degree $166,993
Director of Data Science Doctoral Degree $155,769
Senior Data Scientist Master’s Degree $126,937
Machine Learning Engineer Master’s Degree $112,837
Data Scientist Bachelor’s Degree $96,501
Data Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $92,407
Analytics Consultant Master’s Degree $83,760
Statistician Bachelor’s Degree $74,648
Business Intelligence Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $69,597
Data Analyst Bachelor’s Degree $61,469

Does It Matter What College I Go to for Data Science?

Yes, it matters what college you go to for data science. Certain universities only offer bachelor’s degree programs, while others only offer advanced degrees. Some universities have nationwide name recognition, while others will only be well-known in their area. No matter where you decide to go, you should pursue a data science degree in 2021.

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