Data Science Degree Programs in Maryland
For many reasons, Maryland is one of the top destinations in the country for data scientists. Tremendous job opportunity, enticing employers, and easy access to the nation’s capital all contribute to the state’s overall appeal. In the Washington D.C. area, annual wages for data scientists soar above national averages. Companies like Amazon, Mozilla, and GE actively seek those with strong data analytics skill.
In order to put yourself in a position to win a data science job in the state, you must build the right knowledge base. Throughout the state, there are many educational programs, offered on-campus and online, that can lead to promising careers. From The University of Maryland system to private powerhouses like Johns Hopkins, you can find a path that fits your unique needs and preferences.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Maryland
When it comes to data science, Maryland is buzzing with opportunity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state has the highest concentration of computer and information research scientist jobs in the country. There are over 2,500 data science-related jobs in Maryland, the third highest count of any state in the country. Most of these jobs exist in the Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Silver Spring metropolitan areas where annual wages and government employment opportunities are everywhere. In terms of data science job density, the California – Lexington Park metropolitan area has more jobs per thousand of anywhere in the U.S.
However, Maryland’s healthy job market is offset by the state’s high cost of living and below average wages outside of the major hubs. According to BestPlaces.net, Maryland has a cost of living index of 124.6, which is driven heavily by astronomical housing and transportation costs. The median home price across the state is $282,000 compared to the national median home price of $216,200. Right across the border from the nation’s capital in Silver Spring, Maryland, the average home price is $413,600.
While the Washington D.C. area boasts annual mean wages slightly above $130,000, the average data scientist in Maryland makes $109,700, nearly 10% less than the national average. In certain markets, a low cost of living can justify discounted wages, although life may not be as exciting as it is near the DC District. In Baltimore where the median home value is just above $119,000, Glassdoor reports that data scientists have an average base pay of $108,038. Many working professionals choose to live near Baltimore and commute to D.C. in order to take advantage of the low cost of living in the north and higher wages to the south.
Before you can start thinking about a job in the data science field, you need a strong foundation of math, computer science, and data analytics skills. Fortunately, there are many education programs in Maryland that equip students with the essential knowledge they need to be successful.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Maryland
On the undergraduate side, only Loyola University in Baltimore offers a major or minor in data science. However, there are a number of other programs in nearby states. Drexel University in Pennsylvania and George Mason University in Fairfax are both great options for students who want to get a bachelor’s degree in data science while remaining close to the Washington D.C. area.
Loyola B.S. in Data Science
At Loyola, undergraduates can pursue a B.S. in Data Science which prepares students to extract insights from unorganized web data using statistical modeling and programming languages. All students learn Python and R, in addition to completing a capstone project. Completing the major requires 12 courses and 3 electives, including Business Intelligence and Data Mining and Applied Multivariate Analysis. To complete a minor, students must complete 6 courses.
Tuition at Loyola costs $48,700 per year. However, 85% of all undergraduates receive some sort of financial aid, a majority of which is scholarship or grant money provided by the university. Students can apply through the Common Application. Additionally, applicants must provide an official high school transcript, two letters of recommendation, SAT or ACT scores, and pay a $60 application fee. Overall, the school’s acceptance rate is 61%.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Maryland
Those who are interested in furthering their careers in the field of data science should consider graduate programs, which position students to win higher level positions with some of the country’s most appealing employers. From master’s programs to graduate certificates, Maryland universities offer flexibility when it comes to choosing the right educational track.
On-Campus Master’s in Data Science Programs in Maryland
Johns Hopkins University has an on-campus M.S. in Data Science program that teaches students how to balance theory and practice when it comes to data science applications. The curriculum focuses on establishing competencies in statistics, mathematics, and computer science over 10 total courses.
In order to be competitive for the program, students should complete coursework in multivariate calculus, discrete mathematics, Java or C++, and data structures before applying. Applicants should also have GPAs above 3.0 and must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. The program costs $4,250 per course ($42,500), which can be offset by employer contribution programs. Students are encouraged to work with their employers to see if tuition support is available should they choose to keep their jobs and pursue a master’s on a part-time basis.
In Baltimore, Loyola University has an M.S. in Data Science program that builds on the undergraduate program. Students must complete 31 credits over 2-4 years which cover computer science and statistics related topics. Specific courses include Machine Learning, Statistical Computing, and Programming for Data Science. The program also consists of a year-long data science project in which students must work with a client to solve a challenging real-world problem.
Applicants to the master’s program are expected to have proficiency in statistics, mathematics, Python. The official application process requires that prospective students submit their transcript, a resume, one letter of recommendation, and an essay describing why the program would be beneficial to the student’s career. Tuition for the 2019-20 academic year is $1,000 per credit ($31,000 total). Assistantships and departmental fellowships are available to help students cover the costs of the program.
At the University of Maryland – College Park, students can enroll in an M.S. of Information Management program which is designed to equip students with the tools they need to use information and technology to create solutions for any type of organization. Those who are enroll in the program must complete 36 hours of coursework over two to four years. Within one year, 99% of the university’s graduates obtain relevant jobs in the data science field. The school also partners with major employers, including Amazon Web Services, Google, and Pepsi, to provide capstone project and internship opportunities for students.
To apply, students must have a four-year baccalaureate degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA across all prior coursework. Additionally, applicants must provide an official transcript, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and pay a $75 application fee. Typically, accepted students score in the 60th quantitative percentile and 40th verbal percentile on the GRE. For residents in the state of Maryland, 2018-19 tuition costs were $717 per credit ($25,812 total). Fortunately, the College of Information Studies does offer graduate assistantships and fellowships for high-performing students.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Maryland
The University of Maryland-College Park offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Information Studies-Concentration in Big Data / Data Science program that prepares students to conduct research and disseminate knowledge across a diverse range of sectors. Completion of the program requires a minimum of 27 graduate credit hours across three tracks: Information Studies, Research Methods and Design, and an area of specialization. Students must also complete a first-year review, Integrative Paper, and dissertation during their time in the program. For many, obtaining the Ph.D. requires four to five years of work and study.
Due to the program’s proximity to Washington D.C., students have access to unique job and research opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else in the world. Those in the program can apply their learnings with government entities, major NGOs, and top-tier technology firms on a wide variety of challenging problems. Applying to the Ph.D. program requires submission of an official transcript, resume, personal statement, and GRE scores. For those who live in the state of Maryland, tuition is $1,185 per semester. Out-of-state tuition is $2,264 per semester.
Johns Hopkins University has a DrPH in Public Health Informatics program that prepares students to study population health management. Although the program has a healthcare focus, students also take courses, such as Database Methods and Analysis of Longitudinal Data, in order to build competencies around using large datasets. The program is unique in the sense that students can enroll on a part-time basis should they choose to work a full-time job after completing master’s level training.
When applying, students are expected to have an MPH or equivalent degree, at least three years of experience working in the public health field, and have completed coursework in epidemiology and environmental health. Additionally, applicants must submit GRE test scores that are less than five years old. For full-time students, tuition is $54,144 per academic year. Part-time students pay $1,128 per credit. Financial assistance is available, although not through the DrPH Program Office. Applicants must contact the Financial Aid Office in order to explore loans or federal aid options.
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Maryland
The University of Maryland-College Park has a 15-credit Professional Studies in Geospatial Intelligence graduate certificate program that can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Students must take five courses, including Fundamentals of Geospatial Intelligence and Advances in Geographic Information Science and Remote Sensing.
Acceptance to the program is contingent upon having a baccalaureate degree, a GPA above 3.0 and an introductory course in GIS or Remote Sensing. Applicants do not have to take the GRE in order to be accepted. Tuition cost is $803 per credit for both in-state and out-of-state students. The program does not specifically provide financial aid, however, students can earn graduate assistant positions at the university.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Maryland
Many times, online programs are better suited for working professionals who require scheduling flexibility. In Maryland, students have access to online data science programs delivered by both private and public universities.
University of Maryland University College M.S. in Data Analytics
University College’s 36-credit hour M.S. in Data Analytics program covers both business and technical disciplines to prepare students for data science careers in corporate settings. Through the program, students learn how to create data visualizations, develop strategic recommendations based on analytical insights, and manipulate large datasets. Required coursework includes machine learning, predictive modeling, and decision management systems. Enrolled students must keep a GPA above 3.0 and finish the program within five consecutive years. All courses are available online and some offer both on-campus and online participation.
Program admission requires previous high-level coursework in computer programming and statistics. Additionally, students must provide proof of industry certification, such as SPSS, or SAS certification. For both in-state and out-of-state residents, the program costs $694 per credit. The university offers many scholarship opportunities to help students pay for their degrees, including Foundational Scholarships for current students.
Notre Dame of Maryland University M.S. in Analytics in Knowledge Management
At Notre Dame of Maryland University, students can enroll in an online M.S. in Analytics in Knowledge Management program which develops multidisciplinary competencies for careers in medical, government, nonprofit, and corporate organizations. The online curriculum includes eight computer studies courses, two math courses, and a business economics course. In total, students must complete 36-hours of credits in order to graduate.
Prospective students must have a baccalaureate degree and provide both a resume and official transcript in their applications. Additionally, students must write a 300-500-word essay on why they are interested in the program. The master’s costs $550 per credit and applicants are encouraged to explore financial aid opportunities, such as Federal Pell Grants and Stafford Loans.