Data Science Degree Programs in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is one of the Northeast’s data science hubs thanks to its universities, major employers, and the lure of Boston. Your data science journey may lead you to programs at Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, and Tufts University. Employers like Boston Consulting, General Electric, and Staples call Massachusetts home and often look for data scientists to evolve their businesses.
Boston’s rich history and diverse neighborhoods offer a great place for an aspiring data scientist to set up shop. Massachusetts is dotted with cities like Cambridge, Quincy, Springfield, and Worcester that feature career opportunities. The Bay State is also within short drives of neighboring cities like Albany, Hartford, Manchester, and Providence. Whether you are starting or continuing your career, Massachusetts presents opportunities for growth in the data science field.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Massachusetts
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is optimistic about data science careers in Massachusetts. The state was given a location quotient of 1.06 compared to the national average of 1.0. This quotient is based on a comparison of the state’s concentration of data science jobs compared to the national concentration.
The state’s higher-than-average job opportunities for data scientists often come with great pay. As of May 2021, the annual mean wage for a data scientist in Massachusetts is $111,550 compared to the national median of $100,910 reported by the BLS. Data science-related positions like database architect ($140,540), statistician ($116,740), and information research scientist ($139,490) also have favorable mean salaries in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Department of Economic Research projects favorable growth through 2030 for industries that often employ data science professionals:
- Transportation and warehousing: 29% growth
- Information: 74% growth
- Data processing and related services: 15%
- Other information services: 58% growth
- Professionals, scientific, and technical services: 08%
You should keep in mind that Massachusetts has a relatively high cost of living that can cut into a data scientist’s salary. The state’s cost of living is rated 139 compared to a national average rate of 100. Housing in Massachusetts is particularly expensive with a median home cost of $392,600 far exceeding the $216,200 national median cost. A one-bedroom apartment in Massachusetts has an average rent of $1,274 per month compared to a $930 national average.
The abundance of Massachusetts data science jobs on popular job search sites means that you are entering a good market for your skills. In March 2019, Indeed listed 2,592 jobs for data scientists in Boston. Glassdoor featured 2,094 jobs in the data science field including positions at Apple, Cengage, and Wayfair. Companies like Amazon Web Services and QuantumBlack listed data science jobs in Boston on LinkedIn.
In order to be competitive for data science jobs in Massachusetts, you will need to demonstrate knowledge in the field. An undergraduate or graduate degree from an in-state university can set you apart from other applicants. The data science programs detailed below can help you chart a course to success in the field.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Massachusetts
An undergraduate degree opens doors to data science careers throughout Massachusetts. The state’s colleges and universities are known more for graduate programs specific to the data science field. There are a few options for college students trying to develop skills for entry-level positions in the industry. Simmons University is a small Boston-based university with a B.S. in data science and analytics. Students looking to learn the ins and outs of data science can also pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth B.S. in Data Science
The Dartmouth campus of the University of Massachusetts trains future professionals along the state’s southern coast. High school students and current college students have multiple options for studying data science at this campus. UMass Dartmouth not only provides a four-year B.S. option but also an accelerated B.S./M.S. option and a standalone M.S. program. As you start your path toward a data science career, you can accrue the necessary skills through the B.S. program.
The data science major at UMass Dartmouth provides a prescribed four-year path for each student. During the first year, you balance criticial reading and writing courses with major-focused classes in calculus and programming. The second year includes four math courses in statistics and algebra along with software design and data analysis. Third-year students are able to select two elective classes in addition to coursework on algorithms and probability. UMass Dartmouth requires seniors to complete six electives and a senior capstone during their final year.
The admissions process for UMass Dartmouth starts with a completed application and application fee. To complete the application, you need to submit an official high school transcript and an official score for the ACT or SAT. Each student also needs to write a 500-word personal essay to demonstrate writing ability and desire to attend the university. UMass Dartmouth also accepts letters of recommendation as optional supplements to applications.
Massachusetts residents interested in the data science program receive reduced tuition compared to out-of-state residents. During the 2020-2021 school year, UMass Dartmouth listed a full-time tuition of $13,496 for state residents. The out-of-state resident rate for the same school year was $28,716. Tuition and fees can be reduced with the help of university scholarships. The university automatically considers first-year students for a series of scholarships that require a minimum GPA of 3.0, high test scores, and full-time enrollment. Student already enrolled at UMass Dartmouth can also apply for awards like the Bochenek Memorial Scholarship.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Massachusetts
Data scientists around the world take advantage of graduate data science programs in Massachusetts. You can continue your exploration of data science through M.S. programs at Harvard University and Tufts University. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers an M.S. in Business Analytics that is an example of specialized data science study. The following programs offer a glimpse into what it takes to complete graduate courses in data science.
Northeastern University M.S. in Data Science
Northeastern University allows students to study, explore, and find data science work near its Boston campus. The M.S. in Data Science is a collaboration of the computer science and computer engineering departments. This combination of faculty members, facilities, and resources help engineering and computer science students get the most out of their studies.
Every student in the data science graduate program starts by selecting one course each in algorithms, data management, machine learning, and visualization. Northeastern University encourages students to connect data science to other disciplines by requiring three electives from other colleges including social sciences, business, and design. You can further bring the real world into your data science studies by participating in a co-op or internship with a local organization in your second year.
An online application and a fee up to $100 gets the admissions process started for this data science program. Students demonstrate their academic qualifications by submitting transcripts and resumes with their applications. The university asks students to submit three letters of recommendations and a statement of purpose to add color to their experiences. The graduate school also requires submission of official GRE scores with application materials.
A graduate degree in data science from Northeastern University can seem like a pricey investment. The average student in this program paid $51,200 in tuition for the 2020-2021 school year. You can reduce your short-term financial burden on the way to a successful career by reviewing the university’s graduate funding options. The Double Husky Scholarship is targeted at Northeastern University alumi who pay 75% of the tuition rate if accepted. The Dean’s Scholarship covers a third of tuition for recipients, while the Merit Scholarship reduces tuition by 25%. Scholarships funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense encourage data science students to pursue cybersecurity research.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Massachusetts
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has been teaching future engineers, researchers, and scientists since its founding in 1865. The school continues to evolve its academic programs with a Ph.D. in data science that is unique in the state. This program draws on WPI’s business, computer science, and math expertise to train the next generation of data scientists. Students in the doctoral program focus on advanced studies in integrative data science, business intelligence, data access, data analytics, and mathematical analytics.
The Ph.D. program differs from its master’s program by requiring an additional 10 graduate courses along with a dissertation. Every doctoral candidate must complete a graduate course called Introduction to Data Science. Students are then required to select six courses from the five aforementioned categories, covering topics like big data analytics and regression analysis.
Three electives round out the coursework necessary to advance to dissertation reach. These electives can be selected from approved data science options or other departments as approved by faculty advisors. The 30-credit research block includes up to 18 credits of pre-dissertation research, the qualifying exam, and a dissertation defense.
WPI requires all graduate student to submit an online application with a $70 application fee to be considered for admission. This application needs to feature transcripts from previous colleges, three recommendation letters, and a personal statement. GRE scores are recommended for domestic students and waived for graduates of WPI.
The graduate student tuition rate for the 2020-2021 school year was $1,513 per credit. Doctoral students can learn new skills while reducing their tuition burden by pursuing teaching and research assistantships. WPI also features the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship, which helps data science Ph.D. students pay for school to prepare them for careers in important fields. To put the program’s costs into perspective, WPI cites an average starting salary of $141,250 for data science graduates at companies like Amazon, Dow, and Kayak.
On-Campus Graduate Certificate Programs in Massachusetts
If you are already in a data science career, you may need to augment your skills with additional graduate courses. UMass Amherst features a certificate in statistical and computational data science that digs into the connection between raw data and analysis. This five-course certificate splits the work between computer science and statistics courses with at least two courses available per semester.
The required courses for all certificate students are a Python-focused introduction to numerical computing and a machine learning class. You are able to select up to two computer science courses covering natural language processing, algorithms, and data science systems. The certificate program also requires up to three courses in statistics, probability, and modeling. If you select one computer science course, you must complete three math courses.
UMass Amherst opens the certificate to current graduate students and non-degree students with bachelor’s degrees. The graduate admissions process includes completion of an application, official transcripts, a resume, a personal statement, and at least two letters of recommendation. A non-degree application is a simpler process that focuses on prior education and residency. You can pursue the non-degree path to bolster your resume and apply up to two courses to future graduate work at UMass Amherst.
During the 2020-2021 school year, UMass Amherst listed a per-credit tuition rate of $2,021 for in-state students. The out-of-state rate for graduate students was $3,848 per credit. The graduate school offers non-working fellowships and traineeships along with grants that may be applicable to certificate students.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Massachusetts
You don’t need to live in Massachusetts to take advantage of its educational bounty. Data scientists with wireless connections can complete online degree programs from Massachusetts schools. There are several online data science degrees available to professionals and students who are balancing school with work.
The Merrimack College master’s program in data science requires completion of eight courses in just over one year. The M.S. in Applied Data Science from Bay Path University allows data science generalists and specialists to pursue distinct paths. Boston College also offers a graduate certificate in data analytics with four courses on the latest trends in data science. Massachusetts has a full range of online data science courses to meet your professional needs.
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.