Data Science Degree Programs in Utah
By far, the finance, real estate rental, and leasing sector is one of the largest contributors to Utah’s GDP. However, in terms of employment, the biggest employers span different industries including automotive (Autoliv), retail grocery (Smith’s Food & Drug Stores), and health care (Intermountain Healthcare). While all have a need for data scientists, some industries are already “doing data science”, or have been for decades; but, they’ve simply termed something else, e.g., research and development, statistician, research scientist, etc.
Plus, the demand for data scientists within a particular U.S. state doesn’t necessarily equate to more data science degree programs offered via local universities. And this holds true for Utah. So, if your goal is to live in “The Beehive State”, whether for personal or professional reasons, you’ll find there is strong employer demand for high-quality data scientists. At this time, however, our data science programs research yielded a very narrow selection of data science (or data science-oriented) academic degree and certificate offerings.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Utah
As indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1,790 Utahns are classified as data scientists as of a May 2021 employment report. The previous year, the BLS reported that there were only 400. Overall, Utah’s labor force is made up of 57,530 computer and mathematical professionals, many of whom are data scientists working under different titles.
According to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the state is home to employers like Amazon, Google, and Dell. The Office also says Utah hosts over 4,000 software and information technology companies that play major roles in healthcare, financial, and real estate.
The BLS reports that the mean annual salary for data scientists in Utah is $79,830. While this is lower than the national median of $100,910, the annual mean wage for Utah’s workforce overall is only $53,400 per BLS data.
Data scientists in Utah with more specific skillsets often have higher mean yearly wages:
- Software developers: $109,000
- Database architects: $105,290
- Information security analysts: $100,580
- Computer and information research scientists: $90,830
Utah’s cost of living is over 17% higher than the U.S. average (117.5 vs. 100). Housing alone is 65% more in Utah, so Utah data scientists will spend more on housing while also earning less than average. But, a six-figure salary isn’t a bad proposition even though certain costs within Utah are higher.
The other minor drawback may be the lack of data science programs offered through Utah universities. There are solutions to this, however. We found several data science-related degrees and certificates. Also, many institutions, both large and small, now have fully online bachelor’s, master’s, and certifications in data science. If you don’t find a suitable program from the list below, check out our data science program lists for other states.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Utah
One of the main core competencies in data science is having an intermediate or advanced knowledge of Python (or R) and SQL. Given the increased usage of cloud computing, you’ll also likely need experience with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and certain database systems such as Oracle (relational database) or MongoDB (non-relational database). Data science is heavily interrelated with computer science. For this reason, if you cannot find an on-campus undergraduate data science program, then earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science is a valid alternative. If you’re a student in Utah, the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, has an on-campus Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science that will place you directly on the data science career path. Your upper-division coursework will consist of Foundations of Computer Science, Intro to Algorithms and Data Structures, along with Calculus I and II. You may take additional courses in Linear Algebra, Engineering Probability and Statistics, and Intro to Scientific Computing and Data Computing. This will set you up for the option to further your education in machine learning and AI as well. So, you’ll have opportunities available to you that may not be called “data science”, but you’ll be performing the work that data scientists are increasingly expected to perform, such as engineering machine learning and AI projects for large scale systemic deployment.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Utah
A hidden gem, located in the University of Utah’s School of Computing, is their Master’s Degree in Computing with a data science option. As with most degree programs, you’ll complete a number of core courses and then move to electives. For this particular master’s degree, your core courses will be Data Mining or Machine Learning, Advanced Algorithms, Database Systems, and Visualization for Data Science. Other courses in Structured Prediction, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, and Clustering (algorithms) will help you fulfill additional data science core competencies. If you do not have a degree that meets the programming or quantitative prerequisites, you may still apply. But, only the department may initiate a waiver for your admission if you can demonstrate your proficiency. GRE scores are also required. Keep in mind that a degree in analytics, or most types of STEM degrees, will help you establish a data science baseline. You’ll learn specific data types and how to quantitatively analyze them. Additionally, you’ll gain hands-on experience with data analysis tools and other analytical software. Data science has both breadth and depth. You can major in one of the core competencies and build the other components via many alternatives: MOOCs, other online certificate programs, etc.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Utah
The University of Utah offers an on-campus Master of Science in Business Analytics, 33-credit (30 core and 3 electives) program with courses scheduled in the evening hours. Some of the courses are online, so this is a hybrid program. Your core courses will consist of Intro to Business Analytics, Statistics and Predictive Analytics, Database Theory and Design, and Data Science and Big Data Analytics. Depending on your area of interest, you can take an elective course in Advanced Data Mining, Visual Basic Applications for Business, or Data Warehousing Design and Implementation. If you’re focused on data science more than business analytics, you should focus on elective courses (when available) that are directly applicable to data science: data warehousing, database management, data mining, big data, advanced statistics. This is true regardless of the degree program that you choose.
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Utah
As you can see, the University of Utah is the most prominent university in the “Beehive State”, it provides the most options for in-state students who want to experience on-campus academics. Their Big Data Graduate Certificate is a snapshot of their Master’s Degree in Computing (described above). You’ll take the same core courses: Data Mining or Machine Learning, Advanced Algorithms, Database Systems, and Visualization for Data Science. And you’ll have the exact same elective choices, but you’ll only be required to take one additional course (total of 5 courses for the certificate). You’ll need to apply as a non-degree seeking student, and have a GPA no lower than 2.6. There are no stipulated requirements for a specific bachelor’s degree, nor are test scores required.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Utah
Healthcare or medical data science is a quickly growing field. A seemingly endless stream of data flows into healthcare organizations, and the source of the data are patients who, if not care for properly within the medical system, may not recover from their illness or injury. Data science can help improve the likelihood of patient recovery and vastly improve the quality of the U.S. healthcare system. The University of Utah’s School of Medicine has designed a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics, a 54-credit hour program that includes rigorous coursework in Intro to Computer Programming, Research Design, Intro to Probability and Statistics, and Clinical Database Design. All of these meet data science core competencies. Your application should include GRE, GMAT or MCAT scores, a personal statement, three letters recommendation, and have completed a college course in statistics, basic biology, and a programming language.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Utah
When it comes to online degrees, Western Governer’s University is the main provider in Utah. Their online Bachelor’s Degree in Data Management/Data Analytics can be completed in as little as two years (if you have applicable transfer credits). Throughout the 36 courses you’ll have the opportunity to complete undergraduate-level coursework in Machine Learning, Intro to Data Science, Data Structures and Algorithms, Data Analysis with R, Data Visualization, and Scripting and Programming. To date, Western Governer University offers one of the broadest selections of data science-oriented courses; in addition to those named above: Data Management, Data Wrangling with MongoDB, and Structured Query Language (SQL). Admission requirements may be challenging to meet if you don’t have an A.A. or A.S. in Information Technology or have an existing IT certification (high-level and from a widely recognized institution or enterprise, e.g., Oracle, CompTIA, etc. Alternatively, if you have three or more years of work experience in IT, that increases the likelihood of admission eligibility.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Utah
Western Governors University also has a Master’s of Science in Data Analytics, completely online, and can be completed within 18 to 24 months. Courses include Fundamentals of Data Analytics, Statistics for Data Analysis, Data Mining and Analytics, Programming in Python, and R for Data Analysis. Their programming tool of choice, however, is SAS since you’ll take two SAS Programming courses: Fundamentals and Business Analysis Applications. At the end of 11 courses, you’ll have earned a well-rounded analytics degree that is perfect for entry into data science.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Utah
As of the 2020-2021 academic year, there were no available data science graduate certificates or their equivalent, offered via Utah universities. There are, however, plenty of online data science graduate certificates offered by universities in other states, including Ivy League schools. We will update this page as new online graduate certificate programs become available.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Utah
At this time, universities in the “Beehive State” do not offer Ph.D.s in Data Science online. Nor could we find online Ph.D.s that were related to data science.
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.