What Is a Master’s in Data Science? Benefits and Outcomes

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People generate over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data on a daily basis, according to DOMO, and this number is growing at an astonishing rate. As technology advances and more data is created, companies will need professionals — such as data scientists — to analyze it.

Data science professionals are in higher demand now than ever before in almost every industry.

Students and professionals with a data background who are interested in graduate school and wondering what a master’s in data science is can explore how an innovative program, such as Maryville University’s Master of Science in Data Science, can prepare them for a successful career in the field.

Master of Science in Data Science Program Goals

The key objective of a master’s in data science degree program is to help students develop in-demand skills in areas such as coding, data analysis, and statistical design.

Data scientists identify valuable information from structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data, and these skills apply to almost every field. Students may find that an advanced degree program, such as a master’s in data science, is what prepares them for a career in any of a wealth of industries.

Maryville University’s curriculum offers graduate students a “comprehensive understanding of the ever-changing landscape of data collection and interpretation” throughout their 36 credit hours. Subject areas include data analysis and visualization, SAS, statistical design, predictive modeling, Python, financial mathematics, and SQL.

The degree program is project-based, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with real-world programming and machine learning.

data science student studying in front of a computer

5 Benefits of Earning a Master’s Degree in Data Science

Individuals pursuing data science jobs can earn a degree and gain experience to qualify for positions. Five key benefits can result from earning a master’s degree in data science and pursuing a career in the field.

1. An In-Demand Career

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs in the field of computer and research information science is predicted to grow by 15% between 2019 and 2029, much faster than the average growth predicted for all jobs. This growth is directly connected to the increasing demand for data collection by businesses and organizations across the country. New research from Seagate and IDC states that “by 2025, around 175 zettabytes of data will be generated on an annual basis.”

With that increase in data, demand for data scientists will increase as well.

2. A Necessary Field

Data science has become increasingly necessary and can make businesses and organizations more successful.

Data science benefits the finance industry, for example, by mitigating risk and fraud through recognizing and identifying unusual data. It also helps the healthcare industry by analyzing health records to improve diagnostic processes. In the manufacturing sector, data science supports operational efficiency, examining a company’s productivity and processes and using data to improve performance.

Data scientists ensure that the leaders of companies understand how to best use insights gleaned from data to create new strategies, methods, and algorithms.

3. High Salary Outlook

After individuals earn a master’s degree in data science, they may be able to command a higher salary. According to the BLS, computer and information research scientists earn an annual median salary of $122,840. Salaries vary by industry, location, experience, and education level. The lowest paid 10% of professionals in the field earn less than $69,990, while the highest paid 10% earn more than $189,780. Salaries often vary based on geographic location, industry, years of experience, and other factors.

4. Many Open Positions

Because a data scientist must have specialized skills, many positions remain open until they can be filled by experts. Those who are qualified for data scientist roles have the opportunity to step into highly sought-after positions. Growth in openings is driven by an increased need for data collection, mining, and analysis to help companies understand their customers and better protect their data, according to the BLS.

5. Constant Innovation

Working in data science allows professionals to regularly improve their data collection and analysis. Data scientists improve company efficiency by:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Doing risk assessment
  • Offering predictive analysis
  • Managing manufacturing issues
  • Addressing target audiences
  • Monitoring customer experiences

As data mining becomes more complex, data scientists innovate. The more insight that the professionals can glean from data, the more they can help clients solve important business problems, such as how to improve product relevance or tailor services to specific audiences.

Career Outcomes for Data Science Graduates

Almost every industry needs data science professionals. Many industries have adopted the use of data science, including finance, healthcare, travel, energy, manufacturing, gaming, and pharmaceuticals, according to Data Science Central. Other industries in need of data scientists include education, technology, entertainment, media, and communications. Companies and organizations rely on data scientists to help them predict and make decisions about products and consumers.

Specific careers for data science graduates to pursue include:

  • Analytics manager
  • Associate data scientist or lead data scientist
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Data architect
  • Data engineer
  • Research analyst
  • Research scientist

Pursue a Career in Data Science

In response to explosive growth in the availability of useful data, companies and organizations seek qualified data science professionals. Individuals earning an advanced degree can reap the benefits of a rewarding career, from the satisfaction of working in a necessary field to qualifying to earn competitive salaries.

If you are exploring the option of earning an advanced degree in data science, learn more about Maryville University’s online Master of Science in Data Science degree program. Discover more about what a master’s in data science is and how the program can help you pursue your goals as a data science professional.

Recommended Reading

Data Science Degree vs. Statistics Degree: Analyzing the Difference

Interpreting Analytical Careers: The Difference Between Business Analyst and Data Analyst

Machine Learning Engineer vs. Data Scientist: Which Option Is for You?


CIO, “What Is Data Science? Transforming Data into Value” DOMO, Data Never Sleeps 6.0

Data Science Central, “Data Science Applications in Various Industries”

Inside Big Data, “How Data Science Adds Value to Your Business”

Seagate, “The Digitization of the World from Edge to Core”

Simplilearn, “Why Data Science Matters and How It Powers Business Value”

Towards Data Science “How to Learn Data Science if You’re Broke”

Towards Data Science, “What Does the Future of Data Science Hold for You?”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Research Scientists