Data Science Degree Programs in Louisiana
Louisiana may be in the shadow of its much larger next-door neighbor Texas, especially when it comes to the technology and data science sectors, but there are encouraging signs emanating from the Bayou. Most notably, the state is one of the more business-friendly in the South, with the Louisiana Economic Development offering numerous incentives and tax credits to foster the growth of innovative companies within the borders of the Pelican State.
To help supply these ever-expanding data-driven companies with work-ready computer and information research scientists, Louisiana’s institutions of higher learning and other innovation stimulators are ramping up their efforts to provide prospective data scientists with the latest and greatest in the foundational knowledge necessary for a successful and rewarding career in this field. The state’s largest universities, including Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Tulane University in New Orleans, and Louisiana State University in the capital of Baton Rouge, offer students degrees and certificates in such data science concentrations as analytics, biostatistics, and health informatics. Meanwhile, the efforts to lure existing tech giants such as GE Capital and DXC to the state’s most populous metropolitan area, New Orleans, has been fruitful, while homegrown companies LookFar and Federated Sample round out what appears to be an ample arena for gainful employment in the data sciences. Let us now see give specifics as to the Louisiana labor market for computer and information research scientists.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Louisiana
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not publish data collected in Louisiana for the occupation of computer and information research scientists (Standard Occupational Code 15-1111), estimates gleaned from reports contributed to the website Glassdoor.com show that the average annual salary for data scientists in the metropolitan area of New Orleans is $96,108. This figure far exceeds the annual median salary of a Louisiana resident, almost tripling the latter’s yearly salary of $32,490. As high as the Louisianan data scientist’s salary is compared to the average worker in the state, it still falls roughly 16% below the $114,520 national average salary for data scientists.
The average salary of data scientists in New Orleans, as estimated by Glassdoor, does fall in line with other Louisiana state economic indicators, including cost of living. According to a composite cost of living index ranking published by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center in 2018, Louisiana ranks 18th in the nation in the overall cost of living when taking into consideration the price of health care, groceries, and housing in the state. In regards to housing costs alone, the median price of a home in Louisiana in 2018, according to Zillow, is $212,200, almost $70,000 less than the median cost of housing in the United States.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Louisiana
If you want to attend school physically in any part of the geographically interesting state of Louisiana, there are numerous options for on-campus undergraduate data science programs found in the state’s universities. The largest of Louisiana’s educational institutions is Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge, which has an undergraduate student population hovering around 25,000 and an acceptance rate of 77%. At the other end of the state from Baton Rouge, near the border with Arkansas to the north, you will find the campus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, a place that offers you a more small-town feel than the capital, but which specializes in the technological and data sciences. Here is a closer look at the data science undergraduate offerings of both schools.
Louisiana State University B.A./B.S. in Computer Science
This undergraduate bachelor’s of science program in computer science is available for those of you who want to learn the ins and outs of cyber security, data visualization, and gaming design software. Along with the core computer science courses ranging from ethics in computing to operating systems, students in this major can pursue undergraduate degrees in the following concentrations: cloud computing and networking, computer science and a second discipline, data science and analytics, and software engineering. Prospective computer science degree earners must complete at least 24 hours of credit in upper-division courses (including a “C” grade in calculus I) while maintaining an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher (on a 4.00 scale).
To become a Tiger and gain admission to LSU, you must first submit an application online along with a $50 non-refundable application fee (fee waivers are available, if necessary). In addition to the application, incoming students must submit their standardized test scores, either the ACT or SAT, high school transcripts, and one letter of recommendation from a counselor, teacher, or advisor. Need a scholarship? LSU offers a wide variety of scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students, including merit-based, legacy, and research scholarships.
Louisiana Tech University B.S. in Cyber Engineering
One of the more unique data science programs in the state of Louisiana, this bachelor’s of science degree program in cyber engineering, offered through Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, will provide to you the basics of this growth industry that combines computer science, data analysis, and engineering. A degree in cyber engineering will prepare you and your fellow students in this major for exciting careers in such in-demand occupations as cryptographer, vulnerability assessor, and security analyst. This 128-credit program consists of core courses, such as the science of computing, computing network security, and theory of cyber science, as well as the requisite mathematics, computer science, and general education courses. Freshmen within this program will spend their first year at Louisiana Tech sharpening their critical thinking skills in a hands-on, immersive program called Living with Cyber.
In order to participate in this fascinating, game-changing program, you must first gain admission to Louisiana Tech by submitting transcripts and test scores proving you carried either 1) a high school GPA greater than 2.0 with test scores exceeding 23 ACT or 1130 SAT or 2) a GPA of 2.5 or greater with minimum composite test scores of 15 ACT or 810 SAT. The tuition and fees total for a first-year, full-time student within this particular program amounts to $10,335. Louisiana Tech does offer many merit-based scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship for $9,000 for those incoming freshmen who qualify with a minimum 3.0 GPA and 33 ACT score as well as the Dean’s Scholarship for $8,000, if you have a minimum 3.0 GPA and 32 ACT score.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Louisiana
For those of you with your undergraduate degree already in hand and the thirst for more knowledge to improve your job prospects and earning power, the state of Louisiana is home to various Master’s, Ph.D., and graduate certificate programs, all of which are available on scenic campuses throughout the Pelican State. We shall begin our glimpse of these on-campus graduate data science programs with those in which you can earn a Master’s degree.
On-Campus Master’s in Data Science Programs in Louisiana
Offered by the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University, the Master’s degree program in analytics focuses on the data-driven techniques used in the business world to streamline processes, reduce costs, and affect positive change in organizational effectiveness. Candidates for this degree must complete 36 credit hours in courses such as SAS data access and programming, multivariate statistics, and business intelligence as well as a practicum project, a team-based mission to solve real-world analytical problems. There are two different tuition and fee schedules based on whether you are a full-time or part-time Master’s candidate; the estimated cost for the full-time program for in-state candidates is $17,000 ($38,300 for non-residents), while the part-time program can be completed for $18,600 ($42,500 for those that reside outside of Louisiana).
LSU requires a little more from those wishing to be admitted as a graduate student, compared to their entrance requirements for undergrads. Graduate applicants must have transcripts that show the earning of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.00 GPA. Applicants also must submit the names and contact information of three academic and/or professional references along with a current CV and a personal statement of one to two pages of how this particular degree fits into your career goals, both in the short- and long-term.
A quick trip southeast down Interstate 10 from Baton Rouge and LSU will lead you to the famous metropolis of New Orleans and the home of the University of New Orleans (UNO). At UNO’s Department of Computer Science, students can pursue a Master’s degree in computer science, which offers candidates the choice of two specialized tracks. The one of particular interest to data scientists is the concentration in bioinformatics, which will allow students the opportunity for hands-on use of computer science to tackle issues in the physical sciences, such as biology and medicine. This particular 36-credit program will prepare students for lucrative careers in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical institutions, and government regulatory agencies, while building up their stores of knowledge in areas ranging from computational and molecular biology to data mining and data visualization.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Louisiana
Speaking of the Big Easy, New Orleans is also the home of Tulane University and its School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Tulane offers a Ph.D. program in biostatistics, the lone Ph.D. data science program found in Louisiana. In order to receive this doctorate from Tulane, you must have completed a minimum of 30 credits of doctoral study in addition to the 42 credits in post-baccalaureate degree work at the Master’s of public health level or its equivalent. The 6 core doctoral courses required for this biostatistics program are asymptotic inference with applications in biostatistics, clustered and longitudinal data analysis, monte carlo and bootstrapping methods, applied data analysis, multivariate methods, and epidemiological methods, while the remaining 12 credits can be electives selected from advisor-approved advanced-level courses. Doctorate candidates must also be certified in research ethics, pass a comprehensive written exam, form a doctoral committee to plan a prospectus, and develop and defend a dissertation.
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Louisiana
Graduate certificates are great ways to keep your skills relevant in the ever-changing world of data science. Additionally, certificate programs can be completed in one year, so, in a relatively short period of time, you are able to gain specialized knowledge and advance your career. In Louisiana, there is one on-campus graduate certificate program and that is found in the northern part of the state in Monroe. At the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), those interested in a particularly focused form data science can pursue a graduate certificate in mortgage analytics, encompassing areas ranging from risk management to data analysis. In addition to a baccalaureate degree, potential students in this program must complete all 6 required courses, including spreadsheet applications, business law, and principles of real estate, with at least a “C” grade.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Louisiana
Online and distance-learning degree programs in data science have been increasingly viewed as valuable tools through which to gain pertinent skills, knowledge, and abilities while maintaining time for your career, your family, and yourself. Here we look at one such online data science degree programs offered through a Louisiana educational institution.
Louisiana Tech University Master’s Degree in Health Informatics
Through Louisiana Tech’s Department of Health Informatics and Information Management, distance learners and working professionals can pursue an online Master’s degree in health informatics. This online program allows students the ability to tailor their schedule in way that optimizes their work/life balance, all the while gaining critical understanding of how to acquire, store, and use patient information in this expanding and ever-important substratum of the in-demand health care industry. This program requires its candidates to complete a minimum of 45 credit hours of work in online courses such as database architecture, clinical information systems, computerized decision support, project management, and, of course, intro to health informatics. To be admitted to this health informatics Master’s program, future students must submit an application form with their $40 graduate application fee, along with reference letters, all applicable transcripts, an essay, and a résumé.