Data Science Degree Programs in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s oil and gas sectors are expected to significantly increase over the next five years. Data scientists who specialize in the geosciences are particularly in demand as the industry produces massive amounts of financial and scientific data. That data needs to be cleaned, enriched and analyzed. Governmental and market decisions have a broad and deep impact since the world economy is, essentially, tied to energy production.
Oklahoma City, in particular, has a variety of industries where data scientists can play a key role: Aviation and Aerospace, Biotechnology, and Transportation and Logistics. Wherever there is a high volume (and velocity) of data, there is a need for a data scientist (and quite frequently, a team of data scientists).
There is some correlation between the number of data science jobs and the presence of a strong tech sector. Other industries haven’t quite tapped into data science as a resource that will boost returns on their investment. And many sectors have data scientists, but they’re not called data scientists.
This bears mentioning because, despite the variety of industries within “The Sooner State”, Oklahoma’s data science job availability is currently limited.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Oklahoma
Based on The Bureau of Labor and Statistics May 2018 Occupational Employment report for Oklahoma, there are 510 employees classified under their current data science designation: Computer and Information Research Scientists. It’s not clear how many of the population hold the title of data scientist.
If you run a search through Google Jobs or any of the other job posting aggregators, there are (as of right now) very few data science job advertisements. This, of course, will change. But if we use the average data scientist salary in Oklahoma as one (of many) indicator(s), the demand for data scientists definitely has room for growth.
There’s not too much aggregate data regarding the average data scientist salary earn in “The Sooner State.” Indeed’s quote, as of this writing, is just under $78,000 annually; but LinkedIn shows a higher average: $89,000. Suffice to say that Oklahoma’s data science salaries are, in many cases, significantly less than the U.S. average ($120,301 annually).
Oklahoma’s cost of living does balance out the lower than average data science salary; your housing costs will be less than two-thirds of the U.S. average. Health care costs are definitely higher by almost 14%. But, you’ll also pay less for utilities, transportation, and groceries.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Oklahoma
For in-state students who want to attend on-campus, there are a few options for earning a bachelor’s degree in data science-oriented discipline. We could not locate any on-campus Bachelor’s in Data Science within “The Sooner State.” But, we’ll immediately update this page if one of the universities offers such a program.
But, majoring in mathematics, statistics, or computer science are direct pathways to data science and other analytics careers. Oklahoma State University offers all three of those undergraduate programs. Regardless of the specific degree, you’re going to need programming, statistics, and advanced math as your data science foundation. Alternatively, if you major in business, make sure that your academic plan includes Calculus, Linear Algebra, Probability, and Statistics.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Oklahoma
Gradute level data science programs in Oklahoma are few and far between. But, there are plenty of other options that place you on the data science career track; statistics, business analytics, and information systems are viable alternatives. If you need to stay in Oklahoma to finish your education, and data science is the degree you know you want to pursue, then there is one main option.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma has one of the few Master’s Degrees in Data Science programs within “The Sooner State.” Offered through their College of Engineering, full-time students can complete the degree in 14 months. Of the 33 total credits you’ll earn, your core courses will consist of Computing Structures, Database Management Systems, and Algorithm Analysis (among others). Their curriculum will equip you with the essential data science hard skills.
To be considered for admission, you’ll need to have complete Calculus I, Calculus II, Linear Algebra, and at least a year of programming experience. GRE scores are required and there isn’t a preferred type of bachelor’s degree (e.g., STEM), just make sure that the math and programming prerequisites are met.
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Oklahoma
Rather than earn a Master’s Degree in Data Science, The University of Oklahoma offers a Graduate Certificate in Data Science and Analytics. You’ll complete a total of 15 credit hours via the same core courses listed for their master’s degree track. The previously described (above) admission requirements for the Master’s Degree in Data Science are also required for the graduate certificate.
For those who don’t have the time or financial resources to funnel towards a master’s degree, but who want formal education in data science, a graduate certificate would be a low cost and short time commitment alternative. As long as you can demonstrate your knowledge to an employer, both on paper and in-person (many employers have prescreening data science assessments), then you’ll be in a prime position to be employed as a data scientist.
Data science doesn’t align with attempting to “fake it ‘til you make it.”
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Oklahoma
There are no on-campus Ph.D. in Data Science programs in Oklahoma. But, there aren’t many Ph.D. in Data Science offerings throughout the U.S., whether online or on-campus. Not many students move on to Ph.D. level academics, so universities have to be selective about where they invest their resources.
In “The Sooner State”, your Ph.D. selection for data science is limited to other types of sciences: computer science, statistics, chemistry, biochemistry, etc. All of these disciplines will require you to collect, manage, and analyze massive datasets.
Data science core competencies basically come down to the advanced math, statistics, computer science (databases and algorithm architecture), and business logic. Many Ph.D. programs allow you to take additional courses as electives outside of the discipline. Thus, you can craft together a data science emphasis within the context of your particular Ph.D. curriculum.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Oklahoma
None of the universities in Oklahoma offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science or related degrees. However, there are universities in other U.S. states that do have an online bachelor’s degrees in data science, analytics, computer science, or other subjects directly associated with data science. As new programs in Oklahoma become available for online undergraduate degrees in data science, we’ll update this page.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma’s Master’s Degree in Data Science is also offered online. But, Oklahoma State University has constructed an online Master’s Degree in Business Analytics and Data Science that focuses more on business analytics with additional coursework in Statistics for Data Science and Programming for Data Science and Analytics.
Once your core courses are completed, you’ll have 15 credit hours of electives to select which can be applied towards a specific concentration: Marketing Analytics, Advanced Data Science, Health Analytics, or Cyber Security Analytics. For those with less than five years of related work experience, you’ll need to send GMAT or GRE scores in addition to a Statement of Purpose, the names and email addresses of three recommenders, and a current resume.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Oklahoma
Graduate certificates are targeted towards a highly specific skill set; they’re similar to earning a professional certificate such as ITIL, PMP, etc. While The University of Oklahoma’s on-campus Graduate Certificate in Data Science can be completed online, Oklahoma State offers a Graduate Certificate in Business Data Mining.
It’s a short, 12 credit, program which includes Descriptive Business Analytics and Predictive Analytics as the two main required courses. Once those are completed, you can select electives such as Basic and Advanced SAS programming, Business Intelligence Tools and Techniques, and Advanced Database Management (among others). Oklahoma residents can expect to pay $505.02 per credit hour (for the 2018-2019 school year). Non-resident tuition is higher: $634.75 per credit hour. At the low end, your total tuition will be around $8,000; but, this doesn’t include textbooks or other materials that may be required.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Oklahoma
At the present time, “The Sooner State” is devoid of online Ph.D. programs in Data Science. We’ve yet to find online Ph.D. programs in Oklahoma for any area of study related to data science. But, the beauty of online education is that you can find Ph.D. programs outside of your home state.
Ph.D.-level academics are arduous and fraught with disruptions. This is a disclaimer rather than attempt to discourage those who are driven to complete a Ph.D. In the business world, they’re not a requirement.
Yes, Ph.D. holders have been favored in the field of data science. But, having a Ph.D. isn’t a prerequisite for being a successful data scientist. If you have a passion for academics and in-depth research, and you can maintain that forward momentum through many years of intense focus, including copious amounts of academic writing, then earning a Ph.D. may be the right path for you.