Data Science Degree Programs in Georgia
With advanced education opportunities, a low cost of living and a thriving start-up scene, Georgia could be a great place for a data scientist to start a career. The Atlanta area has a number of job opportunities in the public and private sector – gaining a boost from the presence of large businesses like Coca-Cola that are in the area. Tech education is picking up in the area, and as the government continues to encourage and invest in the growth, universities are enhancing their educational programs and creating partnerships so that students can get real-world experience. Research initiatives in the area are expansive and span a variety of areas, and if networking and connection is a priority, then the metro area start-up scene will certainly help you meet new people.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Georgia
Because of the presence of the start-up communities and Fortune 1000 companies in Atlanta, Georgia overall has a positive career outlook for aspiring data scientists. According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 810 data scientists employed in the state, and their mean hourly wage is $49.02, while the hourly median salary is $46.65. The annual mean salary is $101,950, and the median annual salary is $97,020. Employment per 1,000 jobs is .189.
Our March 2019 scan of LinkedIn shows 548 currently open roles in Data Science in Atlanta, alone. Companies like Accenture, State Farm, The Coca-Cola Family, PwC, KPMG, Equifax, and Amazon Web Services are all seeking these types of roles, in addition to some other companies. Given the start-up environment in Atlanta, it may be fair to assume that there are smaller companies who are also in need of support but haven’t created a presence on LinkedIn yet.
The cost of living in Georgia, according to the calculations at SmartAsset, is extremely reasonable, so a Data Scientist can enjoy a high quality of life there, compared to more expensive areas like The Bay. The median home price in Georgia is lower than the national average of $172,200 (although slightly higher than the national average in Atlanta). Groceries, healthcare, and housing, in general, are lower in Georgia compared to the rest of the US. While renting a studio apartment will run you almost $235 higher than the national average, at $1,290, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Georgia is $908, which is nearly $100 less than the national average. If you have a family and need a bigger space, fear not, because the prices continue to fall below the national average: a two-bedroom apartment is $1,030 ($200 below average), and a three-bedroom is $1,176 (a whopping $356 under the national average).
From a collaboration perspective, Atlanta offers a number of options including Data Science Events or Conferences as well as Meet-Ups, Workshops and Social Groups. Although they’re not the week-long experiences that you may find in other areas, and the major conferences are only occasionally hosted by Atlanta, they can be effective learning, networking and collaboration opportunities.
- Georgia Technology Summit:
- MLconf Atlanta
- SuperNova South
- Venture Atlanta
- Strata Data Conference
- Predictive Analytics World
- IEEE Conferences
- The Machine Learning Conference
- Atlanta Big Data User Group
- Big Data Developers in Atlanta
- Data Science ATL
- Data Science and Business Intelligence Society of Atlanta
- Startup Atlanta Meet-ups
Many of the universities in Georgia are engaging in innovative and extensive research in the Data Science field, which will allow students to not only contribute to new bodies of knowledge but gain hands-on, real-world application experience.
Advanced Technology Development Center is Georgia Tech’s technology incubator. They’ve graduated almost 200 companies that have generated $12B in revenue for Georgia. They provide coaching, curriculum and community building around the startup lifecycle, and support scaling customers and capital. 90% of their companies are still in operation five years after graduation, which is much higher than the national average for start-ups.
Georgia Tech also directs the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub, which serves 16 states and D.C., and is designed to drive collaboration between the public sector, the private sector, and academia. The hub has regional emphasis areas, which include: Health Care, Coastal Hazards, Industrial Big Data, Materials and Manufacturing, and Smart City Planning.
The University of Georgia is also making significant research progress – having received grants from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation – in epigenetics, geophysics, metagenomics, brain imaging, chemical sensing, and text-mining through the Big Data Analytics Lab. Additionally, the Data Intensive and Pervasive Systems Lab is conducting research in big data, cloud computing, Internet of things, health informatics and environmental sustainability areas.
Georgia Southern University maintains a Business Innovation Group (BIG) that provides students with education, community, services and systems in order to better understand business and entrepreneurship and thrive as a leader – BIG supports programs like the Innovation Incubator (I2), Digital Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER), and Georgia Southern Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The university is also conducting biostatistics and survey research, specifically in the areas of public health interventions trials and pharmaceutical drug, device or biologics research and development. And the College of Engineering and Computing has several labs that create new knowledge and conducts research on topics which includes Robotics and Automation, Cloud computing Solutions, Cybersecurity, Mobile Computing, and Digital Surface Imaging.
Georgia State University runs the Institute for Insight, which allows students to get hands-on experience, solving real-world problems, through analytics, statistics, computer science, and big data. The Institute houses Innovation Labs designed for discovery and collaboration. The Insight Lab uses data science and machine learning for innovation; the FinTech Lab, which was one of the first in the nation, uses new technologies designed to lower business costs and shorten financial transactions for customers; the Legal Analytics Lab identifies patterns in the law to predict future outcomes; and the Social Media Intelligence Lab identifies insights from conversation to use for strategic action across multiple areas.
Georgia Data Science Degree Programs
Georgia offers deep training at the undergraduate and graduate levels, on-campus and online, in both metropolitan areas and more rural areas. The state appears to be invested in expanding education in the space, and because of the thriving business environment, graduates are often able to find gainful employment in many industries.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Georgia
The University of Georgia recently launched a Bachelor of Science in Data Science program, and it is currently the only program of it’s kind in the University System of Georgia. The program ensures that graduates will be able to develop software, design and maintain databases, process data in distributed environments, analyze the data using statistical techniques, and provide visualizations to support decision makers. They’ll be equipped to work in data-oriented companies (like Google or Amazon), engineering companies (like Samsung or Intel), finance or insurance companies (such as Goldman Sachs or Liberty Mutual), pharmaceutical companies or national labs. Students will also be equipped to pursue graduate study.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Georgia
While Georgia may not have as many programs as other states, it makes up for it in quality. Several on-campus programs boast top rankings, high-quality staff and instructors, and advantageous industry connections for their students.
On-Campus Master’s in Data Science Programs in Georgia
Georgia State University offers Master degree programs in both Analytics and Information Systems. The Master of Science in Analytics focuses on skill building in machine learning, R, Python, raw data, SAS, Amazon Web Services, and big data analytics. It also offers concentrations in Computational Data Analytics. The program offers practical work experience in innovation labs, and students have worked with partner companies on projects such as identifying repeat blood donors with the American Red Cross, predicting client attrition at SunTrust Banks, and fraud detection with Georgia-Pacific.
The university connects students with business professionals to expand their local network and publishes placement data for graduates. Recent graduates have found placements at GE Power, Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions, SunTrust Banks, Cox Automotive, LexisNexis, AIG, Fulton County, Sprint and Emory University. They boast a 100% employment rate and an average salary of $73,533. The MSA offers graduate research assistantships that include stipends and tuition waivers.
The Master of Science in Information Systems program is equally impressive, offering concentrations in big data management and analytics, digital innovation and cybersecurity. The program works closely with industry partners for internship experiences at organizations like: Amazon, AT&T, Carter’s, CNN, The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Communications, Deloitte, Delta Air Lines, GE, Georgia-Pacific, GM, The Home Depot, IBM, Microsoft, NCR, Porsche, Turner Broadcasting System, UPS and Wal-Mart. The average salary of their graduates is $77,630, and many of them have landed full-time employment at companies like McKinsey & Company, GoDaddy, Boeing, Verizon, Delta, and many of the companies that provide internships.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Georgia
There are several key options for students looking for doctoral training in Data Science: Georgia State University and Kennesaw State University.
The Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science at Kennesaw State University is a 78-hour program offered through the Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences. Graduates will be equipped to find a position in academia or in the public or private sector as a Data Scientist. The curriculum includes a statistics core (Data Mining and Binary Classification), Mathematics Core (Linear Models and Graph Theory), Computer Science Core (Text Mining, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics and Database Systems) in addition to dissertation research and pre-program requirements. Ideally, applicants will have already completed a Masters degree in engineering, statistics, computer science or another computational field, and have calculus, programming and modeling experience. Tuition varies by credit hours and residency.
Kennesaw State University offers a full Analytics and Data Science Institute, where students of all educational levels can work with faculty and university partners on applied research in the public and private sectors. Some of the partners and sponsors are well-known companies like Equifax and GE Digital. Other sponsors include Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Tennessee, Emerson, Fortiva, and Ermas. Broadly, Kennesaw State University also offers graduate assistantship at different levels, which include a stipend and tuition waivers.
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Georgia
Given Kennesaw State University’s presence and abundance of graduate programs on-campus and online, it’s not surprising to see that they also offer on-campus certificates for students who want to build subject matter expertise without delving completely into Master’s level training.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Georgia
Georgia schools provide a number of advanced degree or certificate program options online across statistics, analytics and computer science. Cost generally varies and decreases the more credit hours a student is enrolled in, making it financially beneficial to attend full-time or finish as early as possible.
Unsurprisingly, Kennesaw State University offers several other graduate certificates that are 100% online: the fifteen-hour Online Certificate in Applied Statistics using R and the Online Certificate in Applied Statistics using SAS, both of which are administered through the Department of Statistics and Analytical Sciences.
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia offers a Master of Science – Computer Science with concentration in Data Mining and Data Warehousing program through the Department of Computer Sciences for thirty credit hours. The department anticipates 3-5 new assistantships for full-time graduates this coming year and was recently ranked #21 in the 2017 Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Graduates will be prepared to find employment in roles like software development, networking engineering, database design, and computer systems engineering. The program offers provisional admission options for students with non-programming backgrounds who are willing to take Programming Principles, Data Structure and Systems Software and earn a B or higher. There are also two admission options for students with technical backgrounds: a high GPA option (3.0/4.0) that doesn’t require work experience and a low GPA option (2.4/4.0) that requires at least two years of work experience in computing.