The demand for data scientists to analyze data and help businesses and organizations in various industries make strategic decisions based on the numbers is growing. In particular, Raleigh, North Carolina, employs a high number of data scientists, according to calculations by North Carolina State University. Various universities in North Carolina offer master's degree programs in data science to give students the skills they need in this field that combines math, computer science, and business.
Universities with Data Science Master's Degree Programs in North Carolina
University of North Carolina Wilmington
The University of North Carolina Wilmington offers a master of science degree in data science. It is a 16-month accelerated program that the university says is a fit for recent graduates or working professionals. The program will give students proficiency in regular and statistical programming and teach them how to analyze data and communicate findings to employers. Courses include work in data mining, machine learning, statistics, computational data science and more. The program also includes a 6-month practicum so students can gain experience working with university partners and applying what they learn in the real world.
University of North Carolina Charlotte
The University of North Carolina Charlotte offers a professional science master's degree in data science and business analytics. According to the university, a professional science master's degree is different than a traditional master's degree because of its connection to current business and industry, which includes an internship or practicum experience. In fact, the university has a data science initiative to strengthen the school's commitment to giving students the skills to strengthen regional and state businesses. It focuses on research and allowing students to develop real-life skills by working with businesses in various industries. It is a 33-credit degree program.
Duke University in Durham offers a master's degree in interdisciplinary data science. It's a two-year, full-time program that focuses on technical skills of data analysis but also creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and communication. During the program, students will work in fields from economics to medicine. Students can choose courses based on their previous experience and desired area of focus. Core courses cover machine learning, visualization, data management, modeling and more. If students choose a concentration, it can be in an area such as finance, survey methods, biomedical informatics, energy and more.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University in Boone offers a master of science degree in data analytics. It's a 36 credit hour program. Students can choose to do a general degree program or concentrate in the specific areas of sustainability, supply chain, health care or marketing analytics. According to the university's website, this program will give students the knowledge to understand and interpret data within the context of business strategy.
University of North Carolina
The University of North Carolina's flagship university in Chapel Hill offers a master of science degree in information systems with a concentration in data analytics. Core courses for any specialization include programming, database systems, research methods, systems analysis and more. The data analytics specialization requires courses in big data, visual analytics, data management, text mining and more. (The core courses make up 28.5 credits, and the electives, during which students focus on their specialization, are 19.5 credits.) The 2-year degree requires 48 semester hours total and ends in an exam, and a final project or paper.
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University in Raleigh offers a master of science in analytics through its Institution for Advanced Analytics. The courses are aimed to train students to interpret data and communicate those conclusions effectively. It's a 10-month, 3-semester program that consists of courses in data mining, big data, machine learning and more. During this time, students also complete a practicum to work with a business partner to solve a problem using the skills they've learned, and then they detail their findings in a final presentation.
Program Admission Requirements
The specific program admission requirements depend on the university. Generally, universities want to see letters of recommendation and university transcripts. Some programs may look for students with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and sometimes more. Many of the universities ask students to submit GRE or GMAT scores, but not all of them do. Most programs will also ask that students have previous coursework that gives them the skills they need to succeed in the master's degree programs, including, calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and computer programming. However, some universities may give students the option to take part in the program as long as they complete the prerequisite courses.
In conclusion, North Carolina offers diverse programs for those interested in data science. But one common thread in many of the programs is that they place a focus on students' work with industry and business partners to apply skills they learn to real-world situations.