Data Science Degree Programs in Ohio
Kroger, Wal-Mart, JP Morgan Chase, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation are just a few examples of the major employers within The Buckeye State. Although the manufacturing, transportation, and trade sectors comprise over 30% of Ohio’s GDP, the resident industries are actually quite diverse.
This is good news for both established and new data scientists who are seeking employment opportunities but don’t want the cost of living to consume a large percentage of their salary. In terms of data science education, there isn’t a large selection of degree programs and certificates dedicated specifically to data science. Most programs focus on analytics, which is directly applicable to data science, but may not completely fulfill some of the data science core competencies.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Ohio
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics is a robust gauge for employment metrics and, per their yearly Occupational Employment Estimates, there are 480 Ohio employees who are classified within the Computer and Information Research Scientist designation. The exact number of data scientists isn’t clear as there are other sub occupations lumped into that total.
However, even after almost a decade of being on the employment “scene”, there are still some gray area distinctions between data analysts and data scientists. Data scientists know the difference, but employers and governmental institutions are still learning the key differentiators.
The best benchmark is performing your own search via job sites or use Google Jobs (it aggregates all job postings across the different job sites, so it’s comprehensive).
If your mind is set on living and either working or earning your academic credentials in Ohio, then you’ll find the cost of living is much lower than the U.S. average. For example, the median home cost in Ohio is $138,900, but the U.S. median is $219,700. You’ll pay substantially less for housing in The Buckeye State.
Since an entry-level Ohio data scientist averages around $80,000, and experienced data scientists can earn $108,000 (13% lower than the U.S. average), Ohio data scientists (and students) can live quite comfortably.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Ohio
Ohio State University’s on-campus Bachelor’s Degree in Data Analytics is located at their Columbus campus. You’ll complete the major data science core competencies including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Data Mining and Statistical Learning, and Software Design and Programming. Additionally, you’ll choose one of their five specializations, which will give you a head start on your data science career path.
Not all analytics curriculums will cover the data science core competencies. Some programs focus on the tools used in business analytics or business intelligence and are extremely light on the programming requirements. Knowing Tableau, Excel, or PowerBI can be beneficial on the “communicating to stakeholders” end of the data science spectrum.
But, as a data scientist, you’ll also need proficiency in a programming language (more than likely Python, but some employers use R as well). And understanding how to optimize algorithms requires at least some knowledge of the underlying math and statistical foundations.
Summarily, Ohio State’s Bachelor’s Degree in Analytics program meets all of the essential data science knowledge areas.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Ohio
Students eyeing Ohio as the place for on-campus graduate studies have numerous options for master’s degrees in the individual data science core competencies: statistics, computer science, and analytics. However, master’s degrees in data science aren’t as widely available.
If you’re not certain that data science is the career for you (and sometimes you don’t know for sure until you’re in a data science role), then choosing a graduate degree in statistics, computer science, business analytics, or some variation thereof can provide you with more career flexibility.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Ohio
Bowling Green State has crafted an on-campus Master’s in Analytics that meets the data science fundamentals. At the conclusion of the 33 credit hour program, you’ll have graduate-level expertise in Regression Analysis, Database Management, Data Mining, and Time Series Analysis and Forecasting.
Alternatively, Bowling Green State also offers a Master’s in Data Science. But, this degree is a milestone on the path towards earning a Ph.D. in Data Science rather than being a stand-alone degree program. You’ll find more information about Bowling Green’s data science Ph.D. in the section below.
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Ohio
A full-blown data science degree is not necessary to enter this career path. You may already have the core competencies, but want to signal to employers that you’ve had some formal training in either analytics or data science. Earning a graduate certificate is a viable (and usually cost-effective) option.
The University of Cincinnati has designed an on-campus Graduate Certificate in Data Science that takes roughly one year to complete. Throughout the 15 credit program, you’ll take courses Data Visualization, Statistical Computing, and Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. The emphasis here is on business analytics, which tends to focus on the decision-making stakeholders within the enterprise, but is still an important component of data science.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Ohio
Bowling Green State offers an on-campus Ph.D. in Data Science program, one of the few available currently within the U.S. It is highly recommended that you have either a STEM degree or have earned advanced proficiency in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability, Statistics, and at least one programming language (C, C++, Python, Java). You’ll be using the data science core competencies extensively through courses in Visualization and Machine Learning along with intense research into data science topics which will culminate into a dissertation.
You’ll earn a Master’s Degree in Data Science prior to completing your Ph.D. (another bonus). Be prepared for a five to seven-year commitment and carefully consider whether or not it’s feasible for you to work part-time during the program. Bowling Green State’s Ph.D. in Data Science does offer scholarships, stipends, and graduate assistantships. So, combined with Ohio’s low cost of living, you may be able to support yourself very easily while finishing your graduate studies.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Ohio
Online data science degree programs are not common in Ohio. There are more on-campus options available for data science, analytics, and other knowledge areas such as statistics and computer science. For online data science or analytics undergraduate degrees, there are currently no programs available.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Ohio
Ohio University’s online Master’s in Business Analytics, while not a data science degree per se, does contain many of the data science core competencies: Predictive Analytics, Prescriptive Analytics, and Data Management. Keep in mind that you can always expand your data science knowledge on your own once you have the core competencies established. You can be a data scientist regardless of your degree title.
You can complete the degree in less than two years, and you do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. The entire program costs a little over $35,000, which is about average for a graduate degree. Also, there is no preferred bachelor degree type in terms of admission. So, students from a variety of academic backgrounds are welcome into the program.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Ohio
Ohio University continues to lead the way for online education in The Buckeye State with its Online Certificate in Data Analytics. It’s a super short, three-course program that provides an introduction to graduate level coursework in Data and Knowledge, Introduction to Data Analysis, and Data Visualization and Communication.
If you’re brand new to data science or data analytics, Ohio University’s certificate will give you initial exposure to the various tools and techniques (including statistics) that you’ll encounter as a data scientist. An additional upside to this certificate is that you do not need a bachelor’s degree in a STEM discipline. At the very least, you should have completed college algebra.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Ohio
At this time, there aren’t any Ohio University’s that offer an online Ph.D. in Data Science. Although we live in the Digital Age, earning a Ph.D. isn’t as popular as the more practical oriented master’s degree. Ph.D.s are research degrees, and while the savvy Ph.D. recipient can certainly move into private industry, the main objective of completing a Ph.D. is to enter into academia. Add to these factors that Ph.D.s generally require four or more years to finish, and most programs require some form of a qualifying exam on top of finalizing a dissertation (a massive research and writing project).
Comparatively, master’s degrees can take you as little as 18 months, and you’re combining research with practical application. They are a topical advancement from your four-year degree, where you dive deeper into an academic concentration, but not as in-depth (and idiosyncratic) as a Ph.D.
No one truly knows how data science is going to evolve over the next 10 to 20 years. The title may change, the job actual job functions may shift, and the demand may subside. Since Ph.D.s take such a long time to complete, and you tend to lose industry work experience in the process, you should weigh other Ph.D. options with regard to professional flexibility (e.g., a statistics or computer science Ph.D. doesn’t lock in you into a specific title, but data science will do exactly that).
There are other universities that offer online Ph.D.s in Data Science, and you can find our list here.