Data Science Degree Programs in Maine
For a number of reasons reasons, Maine is an attractive landing spot for New England-based data scientists. The state’s largest city, Portland, is located right on the coast and a short two-hour drive away from Boston. There are several large employers headquartered in Maine, including L.L. Bean, IDEXX Laboratories, and Olympia Sports. Attractive job opportunities exist within a less competitive environment than what exists further south towards New York City.
For those interested in pursuing careers in data science, there are cost-effective educational paths that help students develop the skills they need to succeed. In many cases, universities partner with local and regional employers to create opportunities for students to put what they learn in the classroom to use in real-world. The state’s institutions of higher learning recognize the value of data science education in the world today and have responded by developing rigorous, yet relevant curricula.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Maine
According to ZipRecruiter.com, data scientists in Maine are paid $102,862 per year, $17,000 below the national average in the field. However, there is meaningful demand for data science skill. There are currently more than 560 job openings listed on ZipRecruiter for data science positions all over the state posted by various employers, including Anthem, Honeywell, and U.S. Bank. In Maine’s three largest cities, Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor, LinkedIn currently shows 75 open data science positions. On Glassdoor, there are 68 postings for data science-related career opportunities.
When sub-average salaries are combined with the high cost of living index in many parts of the state, Maine’s data scientists are at a disadvantage relative to those in other areas of the country. Overall, the state has a cost of living index of 104.7, driven heavily by housing and grocery costs. In Portland, one of the most expensive areas in the state, the cost of living index is 116.5. Zillow reports that Maine’s median home value is $232,000, which is slightly more than the $226,30 median home value across the U.S. On the plus side, the quality of life in The Pine Tree State is outstanding. With a beautiful coast line, national parks, and lots of space, it’s hard to find a similar environment elsewhere in the country.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in data science in Maine, there are several pathways through which you can gain essential math, computer science, and data manipulation skills. With private and public universities offering on-campus and online programs, there is no shortage of valuable education available.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Maine
There are several universities in Maine where students can develop fundamental skills that prepare them for job opportunities in data science. University of New England is a private university with nearly 9,700 students. The state’s largest school, The University of Maine, has a total undergraduate population of 12,860 students. Although different, the universities adequately prepare students for success in data science careers across many sectors.
University of New England B.S in Data Science
University of New England offers a Data Science B.S. program through its Department of Mathematical Science. The program requires 56 core program credits and 27 open elective credits. Core courses include data structures, data mining, and predictive analytics. Through the program, students gain mathematical modeling and computing skills. Additionally, they have opportunities to work on real-world problems with local employers. Students can also graduate with Honors by conducting relevant research or creative data science activity under the supervision of a faculty member.
Admission to the University of New England starts with a $40 application fee and submission of SAT or ACT scores with an official high school transcript. Applicants are assessed on a variety of criteria, including their test results, two recommendations, and a personal statement. University of New England costs 16% less than the average private institution in the region. For the 2018-19 school year, tuition costs were $36,300 before room and board. One of the most noteworthy aspects of the school is that it grants every full-time incoming student an award between $4,000-$20,000 based on GPA and SAT / ACT scores through the Merit Scholarship program. Overall, 98% of undergraduate students receive some sort of financial aid.
The University of Maine B.S. / B.A. in Computer Science
For those more interested in attending a public university, The University of Maine offers both a B.S and B.A. in Computer Science. Both tracks prepare students for work in the computer industry. Core courses cover topics such as computer architecture, programming languages, and software engineering. Through electives, students can dive more deeply into data science-specific topics, including introductions to data structures and databases. To earn a major, students must earn 51 core course credits and 120 total credits. To earn a minor, students must complete 18-21 credit hours.
Currently, there is no application fee to apply to The University of Maine. Students need to provide a high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, a letter of recommendation, and a personal statement. For Maine residents, 2018-19 tuition costs were $8,790. For out of state residents, tuition costs were $28,590. Any students accepted through Early Action are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. For those admitted through the regular cycle, there are also other first-year scholarships available that are awarded based on high school performance.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Maine
For those interested in furthering their data science skills and knowledge beyond an undergraduate education, there are several on-campus graduate schools that focus on data science disciplines.
On-Campus Master’s in Data Science Programs in Maine
The University of Maine’s on-campus master’s program in Spatial Information Science and Engineering offers two different methods of completion. Students can choose to pursue a thesis which requires substantial research and a strong background in computer science, math, and engineering. Alternatively, students can go down the project option route, which is better suited for those who would rather complete classroom course work. A minimum of 30 graduate course credits is required for students to complete the program.
For those in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, or Rhode Island, NEBHE scholarships are available, which allow students to attend The University of Maine at a reduced rate. Anyone enrolled as an undergraduate at the university may also apply for the Four Plus One Program – a five-year accelerated path available for students with GPAs above 3.25.
The University of Southern Maine offers a 30-credit M.S. in Statistics program which prepares students for a diverse array of career opportunities that involve statistical analyses. The master’s includes four different tracks, one of which is focused on data science. Through this particular track, students complete courses in statistical data mining, biostatistical methods, and big data modeling. Like The University of Maine’s program, the school also has an accelerated option that enables students to complete both their undergraduate and their master’s degrees in five years.
Applicants are required to have completed courses in probability, calculus, and statistical inference before they apply. When submitting applications, students must provide their transcripts, resumes, a personal statement, several letters of recommendation, and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. The application fee is $65 and is submitted through the school’s online portal.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Maine
The University of Maine offers the sole Ph.D. program in the state. Students can pursue an on-campus Ph.D. in Spatial Information System Science and Engineering over a minimum two-year commitment. The program requires a thesis and a minor outside of the core coursework. In total, students must complete 42 hours of graduate courses and at least 12 thesis credits.
Most students who are accepted to the program have master’s degrees in engineering, computer science, or mathematics from The University of Maine, although this is not a requirement. The university expects that students score above the mean on the GRE and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA above 3.0. Financial assistance is available in the form of graduate research assistantships through the School of Computing and Information Science. Applications are accepted through the graduate school and must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to the beginning of the term.
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Maine
The University of Southern Maine offers three different on-campus graduate certificate programs.
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Data Science provides students with the analytical and technical skills to extract insights from large data sets. In total, the certificate requires 15 credit hours and students must take courses in statistical programming and linear modeling. To be admitted, students must have completed courses in statistics and calculus, in addition to a baccalaureate degree and cumulative GPA above 2.75.
The Certificate of Graduate Study in Business Analytics is designed for professionals who are interested in learning more about using analyses to drive corporate decision making. Students must complete 12 hours in required courses, including predictive analytics and data management, and 3 hours in electives. Competitive applicants have GPAs above 3.0 and bachelor’s degrees. To apply, prospective students pay a $25 submission fee and submit a resume, transcripts, and a personal statement.
Also offered through the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Certificate in Applied Statistics is designed for those in corporate, government, and education professions. The program requires 15 credit hours in courses such as sampling, stochastic models, and statistical quality control. In order to apply for the program, prospective students must contact the department chair. All courses are offered in the late afternoons in order to accommodate working professionals. For the 2018-19 year, tuition costs are $407 per credit hour for in-state residents and $1,100 for out-of-state residents.
The University of Maine also offers a graduate certificate in Information Systems which requires completion of five required courses, including information systems programming and design of information systems. The university recommends that prospective students apply to the Master of Science in Information Systems program first and only request the certificate if they are unable to complete the program in time. To have a high chance of being accepted, applicants should have an analytics GPA above 3.5 and a quantitative GRE score over 146.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Maine
Online programs are well suited for those who wish to further their education while retaining employment or flexible schedules. In Maine, most online degrees are handed out by The University of Maine and University of New England. Both offer graduate certificates and master’s degrees in data science-related fields.
The University of Maine M.S. in Information Systems
The University of Maine’s Master’s in Information Systems graduate program is designed to prepare students to manage computer-based information systems in a variety of fields. The 30-credit program covers diverse topics, such as database system design, systems development, and human-computer interaction. Students must take five core courses and at least five electives. Courses are offered online and on campus.
Admission to the program is competitive. The university is looking for students who score above the mean on the GRE and had an undergraduate GPA higher than 3.0. Additionally, applicants must have a degree from a four-year bachelor’s degree and have completed a course in Algebra. Applications cost $65 to submit and must include three letters of recommendation, an official college transcript, and test scores for the GRE, GMAT, or MAT. Tuition costs $439 per credit ($13,170 total) for in-state residents and $549 per credit ($16,470 total) for out-of-state residents.
University of New England M.S in Health Informatics
The M.S. in Health Informatics master’s program at the University of New England is a 36-credit program delivered entirely online. The program is specifically designed to equip students with a technical skill set for careers in the healthcare space. There are three different focus areas offered through the program: health data analytics, healthcare leadership, and training and development. The health data analytics track includes courses in data mining, predictive modeling, and statistical computing.
Prerequisites for the program include a bachelor’s degree and a cumulative GPA greater than 2.75. To apply, students must submit an online application with a professional CV, personal statement, and college transcript, in addition to paying a $40 fee. 2018-19 tuition fees for the program were $710 per credit, or $25,560 total.