Data Science Degree Programs in Texas
Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. in terms of the amount of land contained within its borders, and its expansiveness is reflected in the many industries it houses:
- Finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing;
- Professional and business services; and
- Natural resources and mining.
The “Lone Star State” is home to many major corporations including AT&T, Amerian Airlines, Dell, ExxonMobil, and Sysco. All have massive amounts of data to ingest from a multitude of sources, then process, parse, and analyze. These are prime conditions for a data-science friendly environment.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Texas
Texas is both big in size and the number of data scientists listed as currently employed in the state: 5,580 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) May 2021 survey. In terms of data scientist employment, the BLS ranks Texas in third place out of all 50 states.
In May 2020 the BLS reported only 4,310 data scientists in Texas. At the time, data scientists were grouped in with other mathematical science professionals. The sheer number of data scientists in the state and the year-over-year growth in employment could be good news for data science students eyeing the Lonestar State.
BLS salary data for data scientists in Texas seems to reflect these positive employment trends. As of May 2021, the mean annual salary for data scientists in the state is $114,360 — almost $14,000 higher than the national median wage of $100,910.
Other data science careers in Texas have equally attractive mean annual salaries according to the BLS:
- Computer and information research scientists: $146,180
- Database architects: $126,920
- Software developers: $111,830
- Information security analysts: $101,800
Although Texas housing is lower than the U.S. average, it’s only slightly less expensive. Overall, the cost of living in the “Lone Star State” is a bit higher than the rest of the U.S. (101.8 vs. 100).
These factors combine to make Texas an attractive state for current data scientists and data science students who are looking to earn their degrees and enter a potentially lucrative job market.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Texas
There weren’t many data science undergraduate degree program choices within the “Lone Star State”, either on-campus or online. The University of Houston Downtown is the one exception. Their on-campus Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science is a 120-credit program (as is usual for bachelor’s degrees in the U.S.) that definitely meets the essential data science core competencies.
Once you reach your college Sophomore year (after the general education requirements have been completed) you’ll take 48-credits of coursework consisting of Intro to Computation with Python, Data Structures and Algorithms with Python, Data Science I and II, Probability and Statistics, and Statistical and Machine Learning.
You’ll also be required to choose a Domain Focus, where you’ll select a discipline where you can directly apply your data science skillset, e.g., biology, business, etc. By the conclusion of the program, you’ll have the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to start your data science career.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Texas
Analytics and data science degrees have many overlapping features. You can, in fact, earn a degree in analytics and enter the data science profession. Business analytics focuses on data analysis and management specifically for businesses, e.g., economic forecasts, business decision-making, and business intelligence.
The University of Texas, Arlington offers a Master of Science in Business Analytics through their College of Business. The 36 unit curriculum is comprised of courses in Measurement and Analysis for Business Decision Making (an accounting course), Evidenced-based Management, Data Warehousing and Business intelligence, and Data Science: A Programming Approach.
It’s highly likely that the future of data science will involve specialization. This is already occurring as each industry — and each enterprise within that industry — have a unique value proposition that data science can help guide and continuously optimize. If you’re interested in business and data science, then a degree in business analytics (along with some deeper self-study into advanced math and statistics) is probably the best fit for you.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Texas
Texas Tech University is true to its “tech” name as it has an on-campus Master of Science in Data Science degree which is available to students who live in, or can travel to, Lubbock, Texas.
Lasting only three semesters, Summer, Fall, and Spring, this 36-unit program provides advanced coursework in Statistics for Data Science, Predictive Analytics, Multivariate Analysis, Prescriptive Analytics, and (among many others) Data and Text Mining.
All fundamental data science core competencies are met through program completion. At this time, there is no indication of a preferred undergraduate degree, e.g, STEM. But, you’ll need to send a resume, official transcripts, and if you do not have three or more years of work experience in data science or data analytics, submission of GRE or GMAT scores is required.
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Texas
The healthcare industry is one that has a high demand for specialized data scientists. The intersection of insurance, federal regulations, business-side decisions for health care organizations, and the vast network of doctors, other medical staff, and patients are a massively complex system.
The University of Texas Health and Science Center at Houston has developed an on-campus Data Science Certificate program (their data science degree program is still being developed). This short, four class certificate merges biostatistics and data science through courses such as Intro to Biostatistics in Public Health, Intermediate Biostatistics, Intro to Data Science, and Fundamentals of Data Analytics and Predictions.
Certificates are ideal for working professionals who don’t have much time to devote to longer-term studies or for those who want an initial exposure to a topic without committing copious amounts of time and money.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Texas
Ph.D. level data science programs are sparse in Texas. Our research came up dry when we specifically searched for Ph.D. in Data Science programs. However, Baylor University has a related Ph.D. in Information Systems.
Data scientists are researchers, and Baylor’s Ph.D. in Information Systems curriculum heavily emphasizes research through its course offerings: Quantitative Methods in IS Research, Survey Research Using PLS Analysis, and Qualitative Methods: Collecting & Analyzing Case Study Data.
You’ll still need to either take other course work specific to data science or gain the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities through MOOCs or other data science specific certifications. Many data scientists don’t have degrees in data science, they’ve entered data science with other degree titles, e.g, physics, education, business, statistics, computer science.
So, if you’re interested in information systems and data science, and want to earn a degree at the highest level, a Ph.D. in Information Systems along with supplementary data science education will help you fulfill the core competencies for both disciplines.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Texas
Currently, there are no online bachelor’s degrees in data science available through Texas universities. Please check back here as we will update this page when online undergraduate programs in Texas are added to any of the schools’ curriculums.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Texas
The previously described Master’s Degree in Data Science at Texas Tech University can also be completed completely online. You’ll complete the exact same program as the on-campus students. This is a great option if you’re strapped for time or don’t live near Lubbock, Texas.
If you’re more interested in machine learning (yes, this is also a data science job function, but as stated above, data science specializations are becoming a “thing”), then Southern Methodist University has an online degree for you: Master’s of Data Science with a Machine Learning Specialization.
Your core courses thoroughly cover the data science core competencies: Statistical Foundations for Data Science, Doing Data Science, Quantifying the World, and Applied Statistics: Inference and Modeling. You’ll then move to Machine Learning II and Natural Language Processing (NLP) as your machine learning electives.
Either master’s degree program will clearly demonstrate your data science proficiency to potential employers.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Texas
We found a few online graduate certificates that were data science-oriented. The University of Texas, Dallas has created an online Information Systems Certificate with a Data Mining emphasis.
By completing just four courses in Statistics and Data Analysis, Business Analytics with SAS, Advanced Business Analytics with SAS, and Business Data Warehousing or Database Foundations, you’ll be well on your way to meeting the data science core competencies.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Texas
Online Ph.D.s for all disciplines aren’t quite as popular as master’s level programs. But, the University of North Texas has taken a leap ahead of most U.S. academic institutions by offering an online Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Information Science with a Data Science Concentration.
You’ll take core courses in information science and then finish out the degree with data science concentration courses such as Intro to Big Data and Data Science, Data Mining, Data Modeling for Information Professionals, Dynamic WWW Control Structures, and Data Analysis and Computational Control Structures. Furthermore, they have numerous data science elective courses to choose from.
Admissions to Ph.D. programs are usually more stringent. For this program, you’ll need to submit GRE scores, a 500-word personal statement, a CV or resume, three letters of recommendation, and a formal writing sample.
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.