Data Science Degree Programs in Wisconsin
Data science job opportunities in Wisconsin are on an uptick. While the manufacturing industry still reigns supreme in terms of that industry’s contribution to the local GDP, our research has uncovered data science job opportunities from major corporations that don’t make the “largest companies in Wisconsin” list. Furthermore, there are ample academic choices for Wisconsin students who want to complete a data science degree.
Career Outlook for Data Scientists in Wisconsin
There are 1,490 data scientists in the “Badger State” per Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. However, thousands more data scientists work in Wisconsin under different titles like information security analyst, database architect, software developer, and more.
According to the BLS’s May 2021 employment survey, data scientists in Wisconsin have an annual mean salary of $71,710. Their colleagues in more specific data science roles tend to have higher mean wages:
- Computer and information research scientist: $103,570
- Database architect: $105,890
- Software developers: $96,900
- Information security analysts: $93,860
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue projects only moderate job growth in the information sector: 1.4% by 2025. However, data scientists aren’t limited to IT. Their skills are often important to logistics and research initiatives across every industry. In Wisconsin, data scientists may want to seek opportunities in industries with higher projected annual growth rates like mining and manufacturing.
Wisconsin’s cost of living is lower than the national average, albeit it’s just under 3%. Still, you can earn a comfortable living on a six-figure salary. Another upside to consider is if you want to continue (or start) your data science education, Wisconsin universities do offer a solid selection of data science and data science-oriented programs
On-Campus Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Wisconsin
If you live in a state (or near a university) that doesn’t offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, and you’d prefer an on-campus experience for your undergraduate degree, we recommend that you look into earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics. Why? Statistics is one of the main data science core competencies. As a matter of fact, machine learning is heavily based on statistics (yes, Calculus and Linear Algebra as well, but all stats degrees require that you take advanced math courses, meaning those beyond the general math requirement).
The University of Wisconsin’s Bachelor of Science in Statistics is an excellent choice for “Badger State” students who want an on-campus undergraduate program that will have direct relevance to their future data science career. Once you’ve successfully passed the general education requirements, you’ll complete a series of math and stats courses such as Calculus Functions of Several Variables, R for Statistics, Applied Regression Analysis, Elementary Matrix and Linear Algebra, Intro to Probability and Mathematical Statistics, and Statistical Experimental Design.
By the time you complete this degree, you’ll be well on your way to jumping into a data science role and, possibly, entering the University of Wisconsin’s Master’s Degree in Data Science (more on this below)
On-Campus Graduate Data Science Programs in Wisconsin
For on-campus graduate programs in data science, the “Badger State” surprised us with offering several options. The University of Wisconsin has an on-campus Master’s Degree in Data Science available at its Madison campus. If you do not have the math and programming prerequisites (e.g., Calculus, Elementary Matrix and Linear Algebra, and R for Statistics), then you’ll likely need to take these prior to entering the program.
For all others who already have these courses completed, you’ll move on to Statistical Methods I and II, Intro to Statistical Inference, Statistical Learning, Professional Skills in Data Science, and Data Science Practicum. Additionally, you’ll take up to 9 elective courses, all of which have direct applicability to data science.
On-Campus Data Science Masters Programs in Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin in Green Bay also offers a Master of Science in Data Science, a 36 credit program that also fulfills all of the data science core competencies. Throughout the 12 courses needed for graduation, you’ll complete Foundations of Data Science, Statistical Methods, Programming for Data Science, Data Warehousing, Data Mining, and several other data science courses. As such, if you’re a student in the Green Bay area, we recommend investigating admission requirements (they don’t require the GRE or GMAT, so that’s a definite bonus; one less exam to take!).
On-Campus Data Science Graduate Certificates in Wisconsin
Certificates are another way to showcase your data science skillset; they’re relatively quick to earn and meet the basic data science core competencies. Marquette University has put together a 15 credit Data Science Certificate that you can complete either online or on-campus in as little as 12 months.
Required coursework includes Advanced Data Science, Business Intelligence, Data Analytics, Business Analytics, and either Data at Scale, Parallel and Distributed Systems or Advanced Database Systems. It’s optimal if you have a background in stats and knowledge of a programming language prior to applying.
On-Campus Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Wisconsin
For data science students who are interested in the field of biomedicine, the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Data Science that consists of three core sequences, each being a year-long: Biostatistics Theory and Methods, Computer Science and Informatics, and Bioinformatics.
Although all courses can be considered as data science core competencies, there are several that stand out in terms of data science: Statistical theory Mathematical Statistics, Machine Learning/AI, Database Systems, Optimization, and Algorithms.
To prepare for this program, you’ll need a minimum of two semesters of Calculus, and courses in Linear Algebra or Programming and Data Structures. Also, you’ll need to take the GRE, provide three letters of reference, and a personal statement as part of the admissions process.
Online Data Science Degree Programs in Wisconsin
Online undergraduate degrees in data science are still in the emerging phase of development throughout the U.S. However, the University of Wisconsin provides a data science alternative: Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing. Your coursework will meet data science core competencies and include Programming, Database Management, Object-Oriented Programming, and Applied Data Structures and Algorithms.
This undergraduate degree has broader applicability beyond data science. But, if you’re determined to enter the data science profession, many data science employers frequently list a minimum education of a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, and this degree will meet that minimum requirement.
Online Data Science Masters Programs in Wisconsin
The on-campus Master’s in Data Science (described in the above section), is also offered online. You’ll take the same courses, but have greater flexibility in terms of scheduling your coursework. Since this is the only online data science master’s program that we could find in Wisconsin (as of late), and this degree conforms to the data science core competencies, we highly recommend the University of Wisconsin’s data science graduate program.
Online Data Science Graduate Certificates in Wisconsin
Although there are other online data science-related certificates, such as the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, our recommendation is to complete the Marquette University’s Data Science Certificate since it’s directly applicable to data science.
Online Data Science Ph.D. Programs in Wisconsin
Currently, there are not online Ph.D. programs in data science available through Wisconsin universities, but we will update this page when new offerings come about.
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.