Considering UM or UNE? Have a look at our short guide to earning an ME data science degree. It has details on everything from research labs & scholarships to meetups & salary numbers. Already have a university picked out? Skip ahead to our list of all the data science programs in Maine.
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Studying Data Science in Maine
For a data scientist, Maine is a study in contradictions. Get a brew pub full of tech boosters, and you could hear about:
- The Maine Technology Institute (MTI), which provides early-stage capital and commercialization assistance to tech entrepreneurs (e.g. events & competitions), and the hard yards of MTI’s partners (e.g. TechPlace: Brunswick Landing’s Technology Accelerator).
- Technology clusters in unusual areas like aquaculture, forestry, and boatbuilding; success stories such as Quantrix; and the large number of organizations that are doing their best to foster local tech communities.
But chat to the naysayers at the bar, and they might point out that the state has a low population, high housing prices in Portland, spotty broadband access, and a dearth of startup activity. They may even refer you to the map of CompTIA Cyber States and ask you to compare Maine with New Hampshire.
Data Science Research & Initiatives at Maine Universities
Of course, where some see weaknesses, others see opportunities. In particular, the University of Maine (UM) has been quietly building its expertise in spatial informatics – a field with huge relevance to the state’s natural resources. It’s at UM’s School of Computing and Information Science where you’ll find:
- The National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), which is an organized research unit that overlaps with the Spatial Informatics group and tackles various research projects in geospatial science.
- The Geosensor Networks Laboratory, which is devoted to work on data management and real-time analytics of massive amounts of sensor data streams.
- The Virtual Environmental and Multimodal Interaction Laboratory (VEMI Lab), which is studying autonomous vehicle applications and developing technologies to improve environmental awareness, spatial learning, and navigation for people with visual impairments.
- MaineSAIL: Maine Software Agents & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, which is particularly interested in controlling autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and multi-AUV systems.
The University of Southern Maine (USM) also has a strong stake in data science – the School of Business’s Center for Business and Economic Research and the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy’s Data Innovation Project (DIP) are two places that are actively involved in data-driven decision-making – but keep an eye on the geospatial sphere.
Online Data Science Programs in Maine
Maine’s online landscape is dominated by UM and the University of New England (UNE). It’s worth pointing out here that UNE is generally regarded as the largest educator of healthcare professionals for Maine.
If you’re worried about quality, you can cross-check these offerings against our bullet point list of what to look for in an online data science program.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
Maine’s online graduate certificates tend to reflect the university’s departmental strengths. For example:
- UM’s online Graduate Certificate in Information Systems prioritizes programming and construction – courses focus on technical, managerial, and policy issues associated with information systems.
- UM’s online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems is specifically designed to drill students in all aspects of GIS, a popular geospatial management and analysis tool.
- UNE’s online Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics takes three semesters to complete and covers the gamut – from databases, analytics, and business intelligence, to legal and regulatory issues.
Looking for something less specialized? Our directory of Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science has a long list of programs offered by respected schools (e.g. Stanford) throughout the nation.
Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
In a Maine master’s degree, you can expect the same core coursework as the online graduate certificate, followed by plenty of opportunities to specialize. For example:
- UM’s online Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) includes electives in business (e.g. databases and data mining), spatial information system (e.g. GIS), computer science, and even education.
- UM’s online Master of Science in Spatial Informatics includes electives in spatial analysis, virtual reality, geosensor networks, robotics, and much more.
- UNE’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics takes two years to complete, with electives in areas such as consumer informatics, healthcare finance and economics, and user experience.
Data Science Scholarships in Maine
For this section, we’ve highlighted university scholarships that apply to the school’s data or analytics program. But the bucks don’t stop there! For example, UM’s section on Graduate Funding has a lot of ideas about financial aid options and USM offers both Graduate Studies Scholarships and Special Interest Scholarships. Check with the Graduate Studies Office for more info.
University of Maine
- Spatial Informatics Research Assistantships: Graduate students are eligible for a variety of research assistantships, which may be funded by individual faculty members or groups of faculty. UM suggests that you contact individual faculty to inquire about current or upcoming projects.
- MSIS Funding: The MSIS program is a non-research based degree, so the Department of Information Systems does not provide assistantships. However, you may be eligible for university-wide scholarships and assistantships.
University of Southern Maine
- Bank of America Scholarship: In order to qualify for this $2,000 scholarship, graduate students must be enrolled in a School of Business program on a full-time basis, meet the low-to-moderate income qualification, and be in good academic standing.
- CSTH Dean’s Scholarships: The CSTH scholarship is open to any student enrolled in a degree within the College of Science, Technology, and Health (e.g. MS in Statistics). Award amounts vary.
- Dean John W. Bay Scholarship: This $1,500 scholarship is intended for School of Business students who exhibit leadership potential through volunteer work at the University, School of Business, and/or community organizations. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Michael E. Dubyak Scholarship: Are you a Maine resident interested in a career in the field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM)? This scholarship will cover your full tuition for one year (i.e. a full scholarship with no other financial aid or the difference between financial aid and the cost of tuition and fees).
- Robert W. Berry Memorial Scholarship: This $1,500 award is given to a student pursuing an interest in technology and business. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better.
- STEM Scholarship: Eligible students must be majoring in a STEM program at USM and be in good academic standing. Award amounts vary.
- WEX Scholarship: WEX is another scholarship for students in STEM programs, but it is open only to Maine residents. Award amounts vary.
Data Science Events in Maine
Data Science Meetups & Communities in Maine
Portland doesn’t have many data science meetups – a sign of its youth in the tech industry. If you don’t mind expanding your parameters to areas like coding, hacking, and cybersecurity, TechMaine has a comprehensive directory of User Groups & Meetups across the state.
- Big Data Deep Analytics Portland Maine: You’ll find a lot of Mainers diving into advanced data science here. Think big data applications in every industry – bioinformatics, retail, healthcare, insurance, finance, and sensor networks.
- Maine GIS User Group (MEGUG): MEGUG is probably the biggest Geographic Information Science/Systems group in the state, and members have access to a wide range of conferences, workshops, and networking events. It also provides professional development tracking for certification.
- Seacoast (ME/NH) Data Science: This meetup migrates around the coastal towns (e.g. Portsmouth and Portland) and is open to beginners and established researchers alike. Areas of focus include data science, data analytics, data visualization, R, Python, and more.
Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Maine
Maine still has a long way to go before it can attract big name events such as Strata+Hadoop World, IEEE International Conference in Big Data (IEEE Big Data), and MLconf. However, there are a number of conferences with a data flavor. And you’re only a short(ish) drive from Boston and Manchester.
- Maine Digital Government Summit: MDGS is a veritable smorgasbord for state and local government organizations. The one-day agenda includes topics such as data & analytics, the Cloud, and emerging trends & technologies.
- Maine Start-Up and Create Week: As the name implies, this Portland event is a chance for local entrepreneurs to attend sessions with industry leaders, participate in hands-on workshops, and network like crazy. The week includes the MTI TechWalk, an evening showcase of MTI’s technology-based companies.
- Maine Municipal Technology Conference: Looking at UM’s spatial informatics programs? Check out this South Portland event. Sessions often focus on geospatial technologies & applications (e.g. LiDAR) and the Maine GIS User Group (MEGUG) is usually present.
- Maine Technology Users Group (MTUG) IT Summit & Tradeshow: MTUG’s long-running tech conference in Portland is geared toward Maine’s telecommunications and computer networking industries. Sessions & workshops focus on tracks such as infrastructure, evolution, security, and the “tech sandbox.”
- PopTech: Every October, the Camden Opera House plays host to this multidisciplinary gathering of innovators and academics. It’s deliberately broad, with topics ranging from robotics and neuroscience to clean energy and public health.
Data Science Jobs in Maine
You’ll also find company names and big data employers mentioned in TechMaine’s profiles of technology clusters. For example:
- Bioscience: This category includes IDEXX, which is involved in diagnostic and IT solutions for animal health, and The Jackson Laboratory, a genetics research institute in Bar Harbor.
- Finance & Insurance: Unum, a large disability insurance provider, is located in Portland – the same city that has fostered companies that mix IT with money (e.g. BlueTarp Financial, CashStar, and WEX.)
- Data Science: Portland’s Quantrix creates innovative data management and analytics software and Kennebunk’s Plixer specializes in network traffic management and analysis.
- Healthcare: Organizations such as Beacon Health and Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems are frequently on the hunt for well-trained data analysts.
Data Scientist Salaries in Maine
According to Glassdoor, the average estimated salary for a data scientist in the Portland area was $93,898 in 2017. This was far below the national average, which is skewed by Silicon Valley and Seattle numbers, and a good $5,000 below Boston. Indeed.com put the average data scientist salary across Maine at $88,840.
We found 4 universities in Maine offering Masters of Data Science programs (and/or closely related programs, like MS in Analytics / Masters in Business Analytics).
If you represent a university and would like to contact us about editing any of our listings, or adding new programs, please send an email to info (at) mastersindatascience.org.