Industries from business to healthcare to the government are looking for data scientists to analyze all the data that is available with today's technology, so they can use it to make decisions and improve their strategies. A master's degree in data science will place students in a position to get jobs as data scientists, which was ranked the best job in the United States by Glassdoor in 2019. Here are some options to study data science through a master's degree program in Chicago.
Chicago Universities with Master's Degree Programs in Data Science
University of Chicago
The Graham School at the University of Chicago offers a master of science degree in analytics. According to the university's website, this degree gives students the skills to interpret data and work with artificial intelligence. The foundation of the program is applied statistics, but other coursework involves machine learning, data preparation methods and more. The program also focuses on the application of business strategy and communication skills. In particular, students work with the university's corporate partners during a final capstone project to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. All of the classes are in person, and a full-time course load can take up to 1.5 years to complete and a part-time course load takes 2 to 3 years. Most students of the program have at least a couple of years of work experience, according to the university's website.
The Northwestern University School of Professional Studies has a master of science degree program in data science. This program consists of 12 courses and ends in either a capstone project or a thesis. Students can complete a general data science track or choose a specialization in data engineering, artificial intelligence, analytics, and modeling or analytics management. Courses include work in machine learning, database systems, project management and more. The program is generally completed in two to three years by part-time students.
Illinois Institute of Technology
The Illinois Institute of Technology has a master of data science program with classes for full-time students at its Mies campus. Part-time students can take classes online. This program gives students the skills to use math, computer science and statistics to understand and interpret data and communicate these findings. The program consists of 33 credits that include core courses in data processing, statistics, machine learning, project management, communications, and data preparation. Students can choose elective courses in computer science applications, probability and statistics and more. Plus, during a capstone practicum, students will work with businesses and industries in the area to put what they learn in the classroom to use in real life.
Loyola University, Chicago
Loyola University Chicago's Quinlan School of Business offers a master of science degree in business data analytics. This program focuses on giving students the skills to analyze big data and make business decisions based on their findings. It's a one-year, full-time program with evening and weekend classes, with some classes possibly offered online. The program consists of 12 courses, with required courses in programming, database systems, data mining and more. Students also choose electives in the areas of economics and finance, marketing and management and information systems and supply chain management. The program ends in a capstone project so students apply what they've learned to the real world.
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Master of Science in Business Analytics. This 32-semester hour program focuses on giving students skills in data analysis as well as knowledge of business. Required courses cover database management, data mining, statistical models and analytics strategy and practice. Students then choose electives in analytics and business categories and end the program with a capstone project, which allows them to put what they've learned into practice.
Program Admission Requirements
Admissions requirements vary by program, but generally, universities require documents like university transcripts, two or three letters of recommendation, a resume and a statement of purpose. Universities ask applicants to have a bachelor's degree and generally prefer a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 (or B). Schools may not require GRE or GMAT scores, but submitting scores can help strengthen applications, especially if applicants have a low GPA.
As far as prerequisite courses, the universities generally want students to have coursework in math and computer science. Specifically, schools may require previous coursework in calculus, probability, and statistics and linear algebra. They may also look for previous coursework in programming languages like Java, C++ or Python. Some programs may allow professional experience to show applicants' competencies in these areas, rather than coursework, or accept students on the condition that they complete prerequisite courses first.
Overall, Chicago universities graduate programs in data science have slightly different focuses and structures. However, all data science programs generally focus on math, computer science, and business to analyze and interpret data.