New York has tons of data science options—if you look in the right place! To help you compare choices, we’ve put together a short guide on everything from online degrees and graduate scholarships to networking opportunities and job prospects. Already know what you want? Skip ahead to our list of all the data science programs in New York.
Studying Data Science in New York
New York wants to beat Silicon Valley at its own game. A while back, the New York City Economic Development Corporation announced the Applied Sciences NYC Initiative—a city-backed project aimed at fostering world-class applied sciences and engineering campuses in New York City. To make good on its promise, the city offered universities a huge amount of seed capital.
All kinds of data science centers sprang up in response, including Columbia’s Data Science Institute (DSI), NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), and the Rochester Center of Excellence (CoE) in Data Science. Add a healthy amount of NSF and NIH research funding and a large start-up scene, and you have a formula for success. Cornell and Columbia often appear in the Top 20 of U.S. News & World Report rankings for Graduate Computer Science Programs.
Here are some other ways New York schools are promoting data science:
- Cornell’s Information Science Department is located in the futuristic Bill and Melinda Gates Hall. Research interests include NLP, computational sustainability, robotics, social media, and more. In addition, Cornell has a strong connection with the Cayuga Venture Fund, which often uses Cornell technology to fund start-ups.
- NYU’s Center for Data Science (CDS) has teamed up with UC Berkeley and the University of Washington in a five-year, $37.8 million initiative to explore new data tools and practices, promote interdisciplinary research, and encourage data-focused career paths. NYU and RPI also have close ties with IBM Watson.
- The University of Rochester has developed the Goergen Institute for Data Science and committed a whopping $100 million to data science education and research. In 2015, the NSF gave the university a $3.2 million grant to train PhD students who were at the intersection of computer science and cognitive science.
Even small institutions are getting stuck into big data. For example, the School of Computer Science and Mathematics at Marist College has a number of technology connections with IBM, Goldman Sachs, Cisco, and the NSF. It built the Cloud Computing and Analytics Center with a $3 million grant from the state.
Online Data Science Programs in New York
When it comes to online data science programs in the Empire State, you’ve got choice. Columbia and NYU have an active investment in distance learning, and Syracuse and Pace have traditionally done well in U.S. News & World Report rankings for Best Online Graduate Computer IT Programs.
We talk about general things to look for in an online data science program, so we decided to dig a little deeper into specific offerings.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
Online graduate certificates are available from New York schools, but they’re not as common as degrees. Like any graduate certificate, they tend to have different prerequisites and foci.
- For instance, although course credits in Marist’s Advanced Certificate in Business Analytics can be applied to the Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS), Marist doesn’t require applicants to have a computer science or technology background.
- On the other hand, the University of Rochester’s tech-heavy Advanced Certificate in Applied Statistics asks that applicants have a satisfactory background in mathematics and statistics and some basic familiarity with MINITAB, SAS, or R statistical software.
Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
Once you start looking for degrees, you’re in proverbial clover. There are online MS programs from major international players (e.g. Columbia’s Master of Science in Applied Analytics) and degrees deliberately focused on professional applications (e.g. Clarkson’s Master of Science in Healthcare Data Analytics).
Since distance learning can be challenging, we always recommend doing some background research on your school’s online track record before you commit. For example:
The City University of New York: CUNY launched in its online Master of Science in Data Analytics in 2012, after a number of years of distance learning development sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. It has also made a firm commitment to hybrid instruction.
Rochester Institute of Technology: RIT’s online programs have had a high rate of faculty involvement and course completion in the past, and it’s built a virtual campus to promote collaboration. Students in degrees such as the Master of Science in Applied Statistics receive a reduced tuition rate.
Syracuse University: Although Syracuse provides the teaching and course content for its Master of Science in Business Analytics, the online platform for Syracuse’s was developed by a company called 2U. 2U has similar partnerships with SMU, UC Berkeley, American University, and George Washington University. Graduation rates from these programs are typically higher than MOOCs. Alternatively, you could consider the online Master of Science in Information Management.
To really get a sense of what’s happening, try searching Quora.com for reviews of programs or using LinkedIn to contact alumni who have completed the same data science degree.
Data Science Scholarships in New York
We’ve highlighted university scholarships & fellowships (i.e. institutional aid) that might cover your data science degree, but there are plenty more out there! Check with the Graduate Studies Office to learn more about general aid (e.g. diversity funding) and financial options (e.g. reduced tuition rates).
- School of Business Scholarships: Clarkson’s School of Business administers both the MS in Data Analytics and the MS in Healthcare Data Analytics and it offers merit-based aid to certain graduate students. Students in the Scholars Program can receive up to $25,000 in tuition scholarship.
- Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Fellowships: The SEAS, which offers the MSCS with a concentration in Machine Learning, maintains an up-to-date list of graduate scholarships and fellowships for its students.
- Presidential Distinguished Fellowship: The SEAS gives this fellowship to incoming doctoral students, including students enrolled in the M.S. leading to a PhD (MS/PhD). The award covers tuition and tacks on an annual stipend of $35,000 for up to four years.
- School of Professional Studies (SPS) Innovation Scholarships: The SPS, which administers the MS in Applied Analytics, gives modest tuition awards to students in their final year of a master’s program. The scholarship is based on need and merit.
CUNY Graduate School and University Center
- Russ Peterson Technology Scholarship: CUNY awards this merit- and need-based scholarship to students pursuing the BS in Information Systems, the BS in Health Information Management, or the MS in Data Analytics. The scholarship can only be applied to tuition costs and graduate students must be within 12 credits of graduation.
- School of Professional Studies (SPS) Scholarships: The SPS offers a number of annual awards, including the Founding Dean’s Scholarship and the Stephen M. Rossen Memorial Scholarship, to students enrolled in SPS programs on a full- or part-time basis.
- Graduate School of Business Scholarships: The Graduate School of Business administers Fordham’s MS in Business Analytics and it has a limited number of scholarships available to graduate students.
- Graduate School of Arts & Science Stipends and Scholarships: Fordham’s MS in Data Analytics and Department of Computer Science are located in this graduate school. Along with tuition scholarships, there are number of assistantships and teaching fellowships.
New York University
- Center for Data Science (CDS) Scholarships: The CDS offers tuition scholarships to select students admitted to the MS in Data Science program.
- Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) Scholarships & Fellowships: The CUSP, which administers the NYU’s Advanced Certificate and MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics, offers both fellowships and merit-based scholarships to certain students.
- Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development Scholarships: Steinhardt offers the MS in Applied Statistics for Social Science Research. It has all kinds of full-time and part-time awards for graduate students, including merit- and need-based aid.
- Stern School of Business Full-Time MBA Scholarships: Stern administers the full-time MBA with a specialization in Business Analytics. MBA students are eligible for a long list of merit-based scholarships.
- Tandon School of Engineering PhD Funding: Tandon offers a PhD in Computer Science with a specialization in data science subjects. All full-time PhD students at Tandon receive financial support.
Pace University-New York
- Pace CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS): Folks who are interested in studying information assurance and cybersecurity are eligible for this sponsored program. Students must complete a bachelor’s degree in computing, a master’s degree in computing, or a PhD in Computer Science.
- Lubin School of Business Scholarships: Lubin administers the MS in Customer Intelligence and Analytics. Graduate students at Lubin are eligible for certain scholarships, graduation awards, and graduate assistantships.
- Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems (SCIS) Scholarships: Seidenberg, which offers Pace’s MSIS program, awards scholarships to both undergraduates and graduates. Students with demonstrated financial need take priority.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Department of Information Technology & Web Science Teaching Assistantships: Applicants to the MS in Information Technology program are considered for teaching assistantships. These cover tuition costs and provide a living stipend for two terms.
- Lally School of Business: Lally, which offers the MS in Business Analytics, awards scholarships to a number of graduate students. All applicants are automatically considered.
University of Rochester
- Department of Computer Science Tuition Support: The DCS may offer partial tuition discounts to qualified MS students. However, it does not offer full scholarships or teaching assistantships.
- MS in Data Science Scholarships: The Goergen Institute for Data Science offers a select number of scholarships to qualified candidates in the MS in Data Science program.
- Simon School of Business Scholarships: Simon, which offers the MS in Business Analytics, awards scholarships to more than 60% of incoming MS students. Awards range from $5,000 to full tuition. This aid includes the Meliora Scholarship (100% tuition) and Partner School Scholarships with undergraduate institutions.
Data Science Events in New York
Data Science Meetups & Communities in New York
New York is awash with meetups. There are groups for data professionals with specific NYC interests (e.g. financial trading, economics, and advertising & marketing) and backgrounds (e.g. Africa). There are also popular meetups with ties to Metis, NYC Data Academy, Keyrus, and FirstMark Capital, an early stage venture capital firm. Here are 5 more you may wish to consider:
- Columbia Data Science Institute (DSI): Columbia often makes its DSI events open to the general public (free or at low cost). Attendees get to hear about the school’s latest data-driven research and initiatives.
- New York Open Statistical Programming Meetup: Originally, this technical meetup focused on R, but now it explores all kinds of open-source data analysis tools (e.g. Python, Julia, C++, Stan, etc.). It’s been going since 2009.
- NYC Machine Learning: This is one of the largest data-related meetups in New York City. It serves as a forum for new research and hosts a speaker series focusing on topics such as machine learning, NLP, knowledge representation, and AI.
- NYC Women in Machine Learning & Data Science: Aimed at professionals of all skill levels, this meetup hosts bi-monthly events around the city. There are lectures by prominent data scientists, lightning talks, technical workshops, and lots of networking opportunities.
- UX+Data: Folks interested in data visualization may wish to check out this active meetup. Talks can range from visualizing climate data to designing virtual reality visualizations.
Data Science Conferences & Workshops in New York
Major data science conferences (e.g. Predictive Analytics World, IEEE ICDM & DSAA, SIGKDD, etc.) have a habit of wandering to and fro, but they make a point to visit NYC regularly. If you’re looking to build on your knowledge base and meet the right people, you might also be interested in:
- Chief Analytics Officer Forum: CAO Forum is a two-day conference tailored to C-level executives. Along with advances in technology, speakers also address topics like strategy, ethics, and liability. There are plenty of discussion groups, workshops, and networking opportunities.
- Data Summit: This 2-day event has a true industry focus. Plenty of corporations are involved and attendees include CIOs, CDOs, data scientists, data analysts, and software engineers. Data Summit also hosts two co-located events: Hadoop Day and Virtualization Day.
- MLconf New York City: MLconf makes a regular stop in NYC each year. Along with machine learning, this one-day conference explores topics like AI, natural language processing, data mining, and advanced tools and techniques.
- New York Scientific Data Summit (NYSDS): Led by the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory and co-hosted by NYU and Stony Brook, NYSDS is a judicious mix of industry, government, and academia. Conference proceedings are published with IEEE.
- Strata+Hadoop World New York: Thanks to the quality of its speakers and its size, Strata is often a hot spot in the data science conference calendar. This famous NYC event attracts professionals from all walks of business (e.g. finance, government, media, retail, etc.) and you’ll meet plenty of leaders in big data. Training courses are included.
Data Science Jobs in New York
If you decide to stay in the Empire State after graduation, you’re likely to be in demand:
- There were 55 Fortune 500 companies in New York in 2015, many of them in New York City. Stitchdata’s 2015 study on The State of Data Science reported that Nielsen and IBM were each hiring 50+ data scientists.
- A 2014 report from Gigaom noted that New York was second only to California in its list of data science job postings.
- IBM even claims that New York has the fastest growing population of start-ups in the country.
Telecommunications companies and Wall Street are going to be big sources of jobs, but they’re not your only choice. Some graduates, especially ones with strong research ties to California, head west. In a 2015 Jobvite survey that looked at universities with the most students hired by Silicon Valley companies, Cornell was #20—the only New York school on the list.
Data Scientist Salaries in New York
Glassdoor reports that average salaries for data scientists in NYC are below the national average. And if you’re thinking of a developing a start-up, you’ll also have to factor in the city’s high rents and prices. Having said that, it pays to remember that national salary figures tend to be skewed by the astronomical cost of living in Silicon Valley.
You may also be interested in your long-term ROI. Though they didn’t make the top of the list, Columbia (#28), Rensselaer Polytech (#29), Clarkson (#38) and Cornell (#46) appear in the Top 50 schools on Payscale’s College ROI Report. Columbia and Rensselaer saw a 20 Year Net ROI exceeding $700,000 (on campus).
We found 22 universities in New York 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.