Data Science Degree Programs in Washington
Washington state’s largest employers span several different industries including tech (Amazon and Microsoft), retail (Costco Wholesale and Starbucks), and Aerospace (Boeing). The Information sector is one of the most significant contributors to Washington’s GDP and, along with Utilities, exhibited the largest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2018 and 2019.
What might this mean for the selection of data science degree programs and data science career outlook? We’ll cover this in detail below.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Washington
There are 1,480 Computer Information and Research Scientists employed in the “Evergreen State.” While this number doesn’t disaggregate the proportion of data scientists, the other factors that contribute to a strong career outlook for data scientists are present. For example, Washington is currently 3rd in the U.S. for the number of Washingtonians employed in the tech sector. Where there’s tech, there’s data science.
Washington state employers are seeking highly qualified data scientists as well over 100 jobs have been posted by employers such as eBay, Microsoft, Expedia.com, Facebook, and Google. Thus, we feel confident in stating that Washington state’s data science career outlook is strong.
Some additional good news: “Evergreen State” data scientists earn slightly more than the U.S. national average for data science salaries. Now, the bad news: your cost of living will be 31% higher than the U.S. national average. Housing is almost double (you’ll pay 97% more). So, there may be jobs galore, and earning a six-figure salary, on its own, is far more than what the average U.S. employee earns. But, be prepared to pay a higher price for housing.
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Washington
The University of Washington’s eScience Institute offers an undergraduate option in Data Science. There’s a bit of a catch, however: you’ll need to choose an undergraduate major such as Bioengineering, Computer Science, or Statistics (among others) and then complete the “Data Science Option” or track.
For example, the Data Science and Statistics undergraduate program will require coursework in Quantitative Intro Statistics for Data Science, Probability, and options to complete Intro to Statistical Machine Learning, Applied Statistics and Experimental Design, and Intro to Artificial Intelligence. By the end of the degree program, you’ll have substantial hard skills that decidedly meet the data science core competencies.
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Washington
In terms of data science degree program availability, The University of Washington is the premier institution for data science education. Their on-campus Master of Science in Data Science can be completed on either a full time or part-time basis.
This interdisciplinary program consists of courses in Data Visualization for Data Scientists, Data Management for Data Scientists, Intro to Statistics and Probability, and Statistical Machine Learning for Data Science. For full-time students, you can complete the degree in about 18 months, and part-time students can expect to earn a degree in 30 months.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Washington
For graduate degrees in data science (specifically) the University of Washington is your best bet as the other on-campus options are computer science, information systems, statistics or another STEM-degree. Certainly, you can gain data science skills through other STEM programs as long as you study the data science core competencies:
- Linear Algebra
- Advanced Statistics
- Python/R/SQL (all three)
Experimental design is also an underlying, and fundamental, data science skill (it’s just not as frequently mentioned as the others). Working knowledge of specific systems such as Hadoop, Azure, AWS, etc., can be gained through on the job experience or through self-taught instruction (there are plenty of tutorials and certification courses available via Coursera, edX, Udemy, and so forth).
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Washington
Once again the University of Washington is the winner when it comes to data science offerings. Their short, three-course Certificate in Data Science can be completed on campus or online. The essential courses are Data Science: Process & Tools, Methods for Data Analysis, and Machine Learning Techniques.
The cost is $4,335 and there are specific admission requirements such as recent experience in Python, Java, R or C#, knowledge of SQL and databases, the completion of a 30 question data science quiz, and experience or coursework in statistics and advanced math.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Washington
So, you’re interested in possibly traversing the extensive path towards a Ph.D. in data science? The University of Washington has just the program for you. More specifically, the university offers several Ph.D.s with a data science option: Astronomy, Chemical Engineering, Genome Sciences, Molecular Engineering, and Psychology (this last selection isn’t one we’ve encountered throughout our Ph.D. in Data Science institutional research, so it’s definitely unique).
For example, if you’re a Psychology student who wants the best of both worlds, the University of Washington’s data science option for a Ph.D. in Psychology includes Software Development for Data Scientists, Intro to Machine Learning, and Intro to Database Systems. Not only will you be an expert in the field of psychology, but you’ll be primed to enter the workforce as a data scientist (unless you want to stay in academia).
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Washington
Except for the University of Washington’s online Certificate in Data Science (discussed above), you’ll need to look elsewhere for online data science-oriented degree programs. We could not locate any data science bachelor’s degrees in an online format via Washington state universities.
However, Bellevue College offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Informatics, a 183-credit program that focuses on healthcare data and information engineering. Courses include Electronic Healthcare Records, Healthcare Analytics and Quality, Data Management, and Healthcare Information Seeking and Evaluation. You will take a college-level statistics course, which is one of the data science core competencies. If you’re interested in healthcare data, this program is a good starting point.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Washington
A Master of Science in Computer Science is another viable data science path, and the City University of Seattle offers this degree completely online. Total credits will be anywhere between 39 and 59 (if you need to complete prerequisite coursework) and include an array of data science-related courses such as Computer Science I: C++, Intro to Cloud Computing, and Data Exploration and Visualization.
There is more than one way to enter data science and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science will provide you with several different career opportunities, not just data science.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Washington
For an online Certificate in Data Science, we highly recommend the University of Washington’s program.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Washington
We could not find any online Ph.D. programs in data science or in a parallel discipline (i.e., STEM). However, we will update this section as online Ph.D.s in data science become available through Washington universities.