Data Science Degree Programs in Kansas
The name ‘Kansas’ comes from a Sioux word meaning “people of the South wind.” Indeed, the state’s many natural wonders, including the Castle Rock Badlands, the Strataca underground salt mine and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge set it apart as a state particularly blessed with natural beauty. But the state is also known for its robust agricultural activity and its private aircraft manufacturing.
Both of these established industries are evolving. Businesses in these sectors—and many others—are in need of qualified data scientists who can help them make sense of the immense amount of information they collect. This includes information about their customers, their manufacturing processes and their own operations. Here are but a few of the companies headquartered in Kansas that rely on data scientists: Sprint, Quest Diagnostics and CEVA Health. The state’s universities provide a clear path into the data science field. The University of Kansas, in particular, places special emphasis on data science and bio-tech, which is an industry set to explode. Read on to learn more.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Kansas
As of their 2021 employment survey, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that data scientists in Kansas bring home an annual mean salary of $93,070. While this is lower than the $100,910 median salary data scientists enjoy on a national level, it beats the $49,680 mean salary Kansas’s workforce earns overall.
The BLS also reports that many data-centered careers in Kansas enjoy the same better-than-average salary potential as data scientists. For instance, statisticians in the state have a mean annual income of $105,850. Likewise, database architects in Kansas have a mean salary of $106,500 while their actuary counterparts earn a mean wage of $105,850 annually.
Overall, the BLS-reported mean salary for all computer and mathematical occupations in Kansas (a category that includes many but not all data science careers) is $81,800 as of May 2021. Along with that, the Kansas Department of Labor projects that by the end of 2022, the scientific and technical services industry in the state will have grown by an astounding 26.6% in the last decade.
Even though Kansas data scientists have a lower mean income than their colleagues in other parts of the country, this may be offset by the state’s lower cost of living. Based on a scale that ranges from 0 to 100, Kansas sits at 90. The country as a whole, however, was at a solid 100 in 2018. The main differentiating factor is the cost of housing, which is lower than that of the country as a whole. The median home price in Kansas is $138,700, compared to the national average of $216,200. Meanwhile, the average monthly rent in Kansas City was $788, while the national average was $930.
If you’re ready to enter this lucrative and rapidly-growing market, you’ll need to build your math skills with a focus on computer science and tech. The state’s universities offer a healthy array of data science programs to help you get there.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Kansas
Universities in Kansas can provide you with the education you need to become an asset to any growing business. Kansas State University, the nation’s first land-grant university, is committed to inclusiveness and diversity. It offers a robust catalog and a cozy, medium-sized campus. The University of Kansas, on the other hand, is one of the state’s flagship universities. In fact, the school is one of just 62 members of the Association of American Universities. The university consistently receives high marks for academic excellence and maintains a student/faculty ratio of 17.
Kansas State University B.A. in Statistics and Data Science
Kansas State University is a public research university located in Manhattan, Kansas. The school offers budding data scientists a B.A. in Statistics and Data Science. The program has a strong focus on statistics, which will prepare you to analyze large data sets and extract useful information. The program combines classical mathematics and probability with new, more modern concepts, such as data mining. The degree requires a total of 120 credit hours. In addition, students must maintain at least a C average in each course. A few of the core classes include:
- Introduction to Computer Programming
- Programming Fundamentals
- C Programming for Engineers
- Written Communication for the Sciences
Undergraduate admission to Kansas State University begins with completing the combined application for admission and scholarships. Note that there is a $65 application fee. To be considered for admission, you must have completed the precollege curriculum, obtaining at least a 2.0 GPA—2.5 for non-residents. In addition, you must have one of the following:
- 21 or higher on the ACT assessment
- A 1060 or higher on the SAT ERW+M
- Rank in the top third of your graduating class
The in-state tuition for an undergraduate at the school was $8,750 per year. Out of state students paid $23,220. The school has a robust scholarship program, giving out over $35-million in financial aid to students per year.
The University of Kansas B.S. in Computer Science
The University of Kansas, based in Lawrence, is a public research university and was founded in 1866. The school offers aspiring data scientists a B.S. in Computer Science through the KU School of Engineering. This degree will prepare you to research, design and develop computer systems as well as to analyze large data sets. In addition to the KU Core, which consists of classes on critical thinking, quantitative literacy and written communication, the computer science program consists of 128 total credits, and offers classes such as:
- Introduction to Digital Logic Design
- Programming Language Paradigms
- Embedded Systems
Note that in order to graduate, you will need to maintain at least a C average in your core classes. Admissions to the KU School of Engineering is competitive. The school judges applications based on several factors, including, but not limited to, high school record, SAT and other national test scores, academic record and trend of grades over time. The minimum academic standards for admission are:
- A 3.0 GPA
- A mathematics ACT score of 22 or higher
Annual tuition for residents of the state was $10,434, while tuition for out-of-state residents was $27,050. Various scholarships are available.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Kansas
An undergraduate degree in data science will certainly prepare you for an entry level position in the field, but a graduate degree can help you earn a better starting position with a higher salary. Kansas universities offer competitive and innovative graduate degree and certificate programs that can get you off on the right foot.
On-Campus Master’s in Data Science Programs in Kansas
The University of Kansas, through its School of Engineering, offers a Master of Science in Computer Science degree. The program focuses on providing students with the tools they need to deliver results through innovation and invention. MSCS students conduct graduate research and also have access to teaching assistantships. The program also gives students access to state-of-the-art research facilities and mentoring. Graduates are assets to employers around the state. In order to qualify for admission, you should already hold a degree in computer science or computer engineering. However, if you have a degree in another engineering field, you may qualify if you take additional undergraduate courses first. In addition, in order to be considered for the program, you should have:
- A GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4 point scale
- GRE score: 146 or above in verbal and 155 or above in quantitative
- At least three letters of recommendation
- If you’re an international student, you must have a score of 90 or above on the TOEFL
In-state residents who maintain a 3.25 GPA are eligible to apply for KU scholarships. The school offers freshman scholarships as well as scholarships specific to the School of Engineering. Kansas State University offers a Master’s of Science in Data Analytics through its College of Business Administration. The College of Business Administration partners with several departments to bring you the program, including the Computer Science, Economics and Industrial Manufacturing departments. Consequently, the university was the first school in Kansas to offer a M.S. in data analytics. The school offers a STEM program that focuses on business management, data science and analysis skills. Students in the program will work directly with faculty of the College of Business Administration in various research projects. In addition, the program consists of 21 hours of required courses, including:
- Programming Techniques for Data Science & Analytics
- Intro to Economics
- Big Data Analytics
As with the University of Kansas, in order to quality, you should hold at least a B.S in a related field, and a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4 point scale. The College of Business Administration offers various scholarships as well as an innovative paid graduate assistantship program. Additionally, the school’s Executive Mentor Program—available to graduate students—sets you up for success by giving you access to highly successful professionals in the field.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Kansas
If a Ph.D. in data science is more your style, you need look no further than the University of Kansas, which offers a Ph.D. in biostatistics. This emerging field is in high demand, but be warned: the program is highly competitive. The program prepares biostatisticians to assume leadership roles in research and academia. Through the course of the program, you will partake in research initiatives at the school’s Medical Center, analyzing data and optimizing existing processes. Naturally, you will also pursue your own research. Among some of the things you’ll learn are:
- Linear, nonlinear and longitudinal modeling
- Clinical trial and experimental design
- Robust statistics
The program produces scientists well versed in biostatistical methodology who can solve problems in the public health space. Additionally, you’ll be equipped to apply biostatistical and epidemiological methodology to biomedical research investigations. Note that while this program will prepare you for government work, you would also be an asset to any private organization in the health industry. To apply for the program, you must:
- Hold a master’s degree in statistics, biostatistics, mathematics or applied mathematics
- Have a cumulative grade-point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4 point scale
- Be able to pass a background check
- Have obtained a letter grade of B or better in calculus I through III
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Kansas
If you’re a working professional looking to beef up your resume, you’ll want to look into data science graduate certificates. These programs will help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your aptitude for critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, while graduate programs don’t result in a graduate degree, they will help you bolster your college transcripts if you’re thinking of going back to school. The University of Kansas offers the Biostatistical Applications Graduate Certificate. Naturally, while not as in-depth as their doctoral program in the same area, obtaining this certificate nevertheless conveys substantial knowledge of biostatistical methodology. If you work, or want to work, in the bio-tech field, this graduate certificate would be an enormous boon. Obtaining this certificate indicates that you are proficient in the most common biostatistical methods and that you have functioned as a collaborator on a research team. What’s more, the certificate indicates that you have critically evaluated published research in the field. Kansas State University, on the other hand, offers two graduate certificates: the Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate and the Data Analytics Graduate Certificate. The Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate equips students with a statistical background. This opens up opportunities for employment with government agencies, universities, consulting firms and research industries. The Data Analytics Graduate Certificate helps students take advantage of the meteoric rise in demand for data scientists. Students will be trained in management and mining of big data. This is a 15-hour graduate certificate program that you can take online. The program opens up opportunities for employment as a data analyst, business intelligence analyst, market research analyst and much more. Both programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Kansas
The rise of virtual education means that students can balance work and life better than ever before. This is great news for budding data scientists. You get easy access to a quality education in an in-demand field. However, online offerings in the state are still rather sparse compared to the rest of the country. Note that attending an online university in your state can save you quite a bit of money due to lower in-state tuition.
The University of Kansas Master’s in Applied Statistics and Analytics
The University of Kansas, Edwards Campus, offers a 100% online Masters in Applied Statistics and Analytics, through the Department of Biostatistics. The program prepares students for a career in the rapidly growing fields of biostatistics and data analytics. There are two areas of emphasis, or tracks, to choose from:
- Data Analytics
The former track provides graduates with experience in working with large data sets. This may be of more use to you if you plan to work for large businesses. The latter track, on the other hand, puts an emphasis on hands-on statistical modeling. You may find the statistics track more useful if you plan on being a clinical research scientist. Upon completion of the program, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of statistical theory and practice
- Demonstrate proficiency in an industry-standard statistical software
- Function as a collaborator on a project team
Admission requirements for this program are similar to those outlined above for the school’s other data science programs.
2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for data scientists reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2023.