Considering the sunny south for your education? We’ve put together a short guide to earning a data science degree in the Cotton State. It has details on research and scholarships as well as job opportunities and salary numbers.
Master of Science in Applied Data Science
Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Data Science can be completed in as few as 18 months.
Complete in as little as 18 months
No GRE scores required to apply
Southern Methodist University
Master of Science in Data Science
Earn your MS in Data Science at SMU, where you can specialize in Machine Learning or Business Analytics, and complete in as few as 20 months.
No GRE required.
Complete in as little as 20 months.
University of California, Berkeley
Master of Information and Data Science
Earn your Master’s in Data Science online from UC Berkeley in as few as 12 months.
Complete in as few as 12 months
No GRE required
University of Dayton
Master of Business Analytics
Gain in-demand analytics skills with an online master’s in business analytics. Complete in as few as 12 months.
Complete in as few as 12 months
GRE/GMAT not required
Master of Science in Business Analytics
Earn your MS in Business Analytics online from Pepperdine University. Learn advanced tools like Python, Tableau, SQL, Hadoop, and Excel.
Complete in as few as 16 months
Delivered by an AACSB-accredited school
Earn a specialized business master’s degree
Master of Science in Business Analytics
Looking to become a data-savvy leader? Earn your online Master of Science in Business Analytics from Syracuse University.
Located in the data-fertile Tennessee Valley Corridor, Huntsville boast advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and aviation (not to mention defense). Some things that make it an appealing spot for tech include:
The Cummings Research Park, which is one of the largest science and technology research parks in the nation. This is where you’ll find many of the organizations (e.g. HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc.) that fuel the city’s economy.
The Army’s Redstone Arsenal, which plays host to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and all its research into civilian rocketry and spacecraft propulsion.
21st century projects at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park near Decatur, manufacturing at Toyota and Polaris plants, and the presence of a Google Big Data Center in Jackson County.
One thing to note—unlike the tech scenes elsewhere, Huntsville has deep roots in traditional fields. Organizations like Rocket Hatch are helping to accelerate the startup community in North Alabama.
Data Science Research and Initiatives at Alabama Universities
Most Alabama university has a vested interest in data science. Yes, the University of Alabama (UA), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) are partners of the South Big Data Hub, but the fun doesn’t stop there:
Auburn University runs a Data Science Lab in its College of Engineering that is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. It’s also part of the Agricultural Data Coalition, which supports farmers and producers in the era of data-driven agriculture.
The Samford University Center for Sports Analytics studies the relationship between big data and sports. The Center often partners with sports organizations, which gives students the opportunity to earn real-world experience. Students complete semester-long projects and present their findings to executives from partnering organizations, such as the NBA, Nike, and the Miami Dolphins.
Having said that, the schools with the widest variety of research interests may well be UAB and UAH. Just to take a few examples:
Your choices for online data science programs in Alabama are decent when it comes to degrees; limited when it comes to graduate certificates. We outline general things to look for in an online data science program elsewhere, so here we’ve concentrated on what’s available from local schools.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
Auburn has one Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics, which is available online or on-campus. This program covers the basic skills necessary to manage big data in a business setting—data mining, predictive modeling, data management, and so on—but it doesn’t dive deep into specific areas.
When it comes to online master’s degrees, most Alabama universities have chosen to focus on the business end of data.
For marketing analysts, there’s UA’s online Master of Science in Marketing with a specialization in Marketing Analytics. This combines subjects in marketing (e.g. global business, advanced import/export strategy, etc.) with in-depth statistics courses, including data mining.
For operations professionals, there’s UA’s Master of Science in Operations Management – Decision Analytics Track. This begins with serious work in stats and data science, then adds courses in decision analytics.
For diehard data analysts and managers, there’s UAH’s online Master of Science in Management Science – Business Analytics. This has a solid core of management science and business analytics, as well as some fascinating electives.
For aspiring CIOs, CTOs, and IT directors, there’s UAB’s online Master of Science in Management Information Systems. This has a strong base of management information systems and concentrations in information security or IT management.
If you’re looking to be the next big business leader, there’s also Auburn University’s online MBA with concentration in Business Analytics. From start to finish, this degree is heavily invested in stats, big data, and analysis. Better yet, Auburn is frequently ranked in the top 25 Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report.
Data Science Bootcamps in Alabama
A bootcamp is an intensive training course that introduces and orients participants to a new field. There are a number of bootcamps in the state of Alabama dedicated to data science, the study of extracting knowledge from structured and unstructured information, and data analytics, the process of drawing practical conclusions from various information. While some of these bootcamps in Alabama focus exclusively on data science, others focus on data analytics, and some may combine the study of both. If you’re interested in learning more about bootcamps in Alabama, check out our guides to data science bootcamps or data analytics bootcamps.
Data Science Scholarships in Alabama
For this section, we’ve chosen to list university scholarships and assistantships that can be applied to the school’s data science/analysis program. But this isn’t the end of the money! The Graduate Studies Office will have advice on general scholarships and alternative financing options. You’ll usually find more aid for campus-based programs and less for online degrees.
Manderson Graduate School of Business and Culver College of Commerce Fellowships and Awards: There are UA awards that apply to the MS in Applied Statistics (Data Mining Track), the MS in Marketing (Specialization in Marketing Analytics), and the MBA program. Be sure to contact the department head for more information.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
GEM Fellowship: UAH sponsors full-tuition fellowships for qualified students from underrepresented communities who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in a STEM field.
UAH Graduate Assistantships: The university offers Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs). In return for the student’s work, UAH will pay for tuition and fees for up to 12 hours per semester.
Data Science Events in Alabama
Data Science Meetups and Communities in Alabama
Meetups are a great way to join the data science community. More and more data science meetups are popping up around Alabama:
Data Science AL: This group focuses on the practical application of data science across industries.
Sloss Tech: Billed as the “Southeast’s Premier Tech Conference,” Sloss Tech is a weekend of workshops, talks, and networking opportunities.
Startup Weekend Tuscaloosa: This is one of many Startup Weekends powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. It’s part competition, part networking event, with the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary team.
The rest of the state has a more diffuse market, with Birmingham being your best bet. The biggest employers—such as BBVA Compass Bank, Protective Life, and Regions—are often in the banking and insurance sector, but ask around. There are some startups and smaller businesses—such as the data science consulting firm StrategyWise—that are devoted to data.
We found 5 universities in Alabama offering Masters of Data Science programs (and/or closely related programs, like MS in Analytics / Masters in Business Analytics). The university’s website will have the most up to date information on specific programs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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