Fancy earning a data science degree in Rocky Mountain territory? Here are some things you need to know about Colorado schools, job prospects, online alternatives, graduate scholarships, and networking opportunities! If you’ve already packed your snowboard, feel free to skip ahead to our list of all the data science programs in Colorado.
Studying Data Science in Colorado
Nicknamed “Silicon Mountain,” the Centennial State has a lot going for it in the way of data science.
- Booster organizations like the Colorado Technology Association are seeking to drive investment into areas like the Denver Tech Center (DTC).
- The Colorado government is supporting activity with its open data portal, Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM), and the related app challenge, Go Code Colorado.
Thanks in part to General Assembly and Galvanize, Denver is a well-known data hotspot, but it’s not the only player. Famous for its fizzing energy (this is the town where Gnip was born), Boulder is home to Techstars Boulder and the Boomtown Accelerator. Visitors to Rocky Mountain high will also discover the NSF-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its Mesa Lab Computing Facility.
Data Science Research & Initiatives at Colorado Universities
Some of this growth is fueled by Colorado’s university system, including the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. Here are some of the ways Colorado schools are investing in data science:
- Supported by its Research Computing resources, CU Boulder’s Department of Computer Science has fingers in many research pies. In 2015, the university also created the Earth Lab. Meanwhile, over at the Computational Bioscience Program, graduates are applying unusual computational approaches to significant biomedical questions.
- CU Denver has a dedicated Big Data Management and Mining Lab (BDLab), with projects funded by industry and government, and an active Mobile and Networked Systems (MNS) Laboratory. To encourage start-ups, the Business School has also built the Center for Information Technology Innovation and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, which serves as a networking hub for new business.
- The University of Denver’s Department of Computer Science is particularly interested in information security/privacy and humane gaming. DU regularly hosts a statewide Analytics Challenge at the Daniels College of Business.
- The Department of Computer Science at Colorado State University (CSU) has several active research projects in areas like big data, AI, bioinformatics, etc. One of its big data specialists, Sangmi Pallickara, was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award.
Online Data Science Programs in Colorado
We cover general things to look for in an online data science program elsewhere, so here we decided to examine what makes programs in Colorado unique.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
Online graduate certificates in data science in Colorado may help you to prioritize career goals. Depending on your level of knowledge, you might be interested in:
- The “groundwork” Graduate Certificate in Data Analysis from CSU-Fort Collins.
- The “more advanced skills” Graduate Certificate in Data Science from Regis University.
- The “industry-focused” Certificate in Business Intelligence from CSU-Global.
If you’re trying to develop a particular set of skills, have a look at our master list of Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science. Here you’ll find solid programs in everything from data mining to health informatics.
Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
When it comes to online master’s degrees in data science, Colorado’s offerings can be divided into two categories: nonprofits and for-profits. The non-profit category includes schools like CSU-Fort Collins and CU Denver:
- CSU-Fort Collins is the flagship university of the CSU system, and its online Master of Applied Statistics (MAS) echoes the campus experience. Students are taught by the same faculty.
- CU Denver’s online MS in Information Systems-Business Intelligence has the same requirements as the campus program, with the same faculty.
The for-profit category includes Aspen University and Colorado Technical University (CTU), which offers a doctorate program.
Data Science Bootcamps in Colorado
Live in Colorado and interested in pursuing a career in data science or data analytics? You may want to consider attending a bootcamp! Bootcamps are short-term, intensive programs dedicated to quickly help equip participants with the basics necessary to work in the field. Some bootcamps in Colorado focus on data science, which is the study of how knowledge can be extracted from various forms of information; others concentrate on data analysis, a more practical approach to drawing conclusions from information; and yet others combine the study of both data science and data analytics. See the MastersInDataScience.org guide to bootcamps if you are interested in learning more about data science bootcamps or data analytics bootcamps in Colorado.
Data Science Scholarships in Colorado
We chose to focus on institutional aid that would cover the school’s data science programs, but don’t take this as the end! The Graduate Studies Office can refer you to general scholarships and fellowships and other sources of financial aid.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
- Department of Statistics Awards & Scholarships: This department administers the data-focused MAS degree and offers a variety of awards to current statistics students, including the Elmer E. Remmenga Scholarship in Applied Statistics.
Colorado Technical University
- Lifelong Learning Grant: The LLG is given to Colorado Technical University alumni who have achieved their degree and wish to pursue their next level degree at CTU (e.g. a master’s degree to the Doctor of Computer Science – Big Data Analytics).
- Other Grants & Scholarships: Depending on your background, you may also be eligible for some of CTU’s other institutional grants and scholarships. Check the webpage for details.
University of Colorado-Boulder
- Department of Computer Science Assistantships and Fellowships: The department offers Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs) to its MS students, including those pursuing the Data Science and Engineering Sub-plan. Fellowships are also offered to PhD students.
- Leeds School of Business MS Scholarships: Merit-based scholarship awards are available for MS candidates, including MSBA in Business Analytics students.
University of Colorado-Denver
- Big Data Science and Engineering (BDSE) PhD Fellowship: This generous PhD fellowship award covers both tuition & fees for the doctoral program and provides students with an annual stipend of up to $34,000 (depending on the level of student’s financial need).
Data Science Events in Colorado
Data Science Meetups & Communities in Colorado
- Analyze Boulder (AB): AB is a very active community of data geeks who live, work, and play in Boulder, Colorado. Members give short, TED-style talks once a month on data topics that they’re focusing on.
- Boulder/Denver Big Data: This massive and popular meetup is geared towards educating the Boulder/Denver community about emerging big data technologies. Members are encouraged to share their experiences and expertise in NoSQL & big data technologies.
- Colorado Data Science: Organized by Galvanize, Colorado Data Science has a lot of members (3,500+) and a number of meetups, including happy hours and fireside chats with start-up entrepreneurs.
- Data Science and Business Analytics: Sponsored by scores of big names, including Cloudera and Tableau, this meetup hosts a lot of tech-heavy talks and live classes.
- New Tech Colorado: New Tech is a meetup of almost 15,000 of tech lovers and the largest community-run group in the state. It hosts monthly events in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Longmont.
Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Colorado
Major data science conferences (e.g. Strata Data Conference, Predictive Analytics World, IEEE Conferences, SIGKDD, The Machine Learning Conference etc.) may only stop in Colorado once in awhile. International Data Week was in Denver in 2016. Here are homegrown events worth considering:
- Boulder Startup Week and Denver Startup Week: Both cities host separate start-up weeks: Denver in September and Boulder in May. There are talks, trips, and networking opportunities all over town.
- Colorado Tech Summit: Championed by the Colorado Technology Association (CTA), this one-day summit includes keynotes from prominent tech leaders and hands-on workshops in areas like virtual reality, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, smart cities, etc.
Data Science Jobs in Colorado
Looking to kick-start your data science career in Colorado? Let’s talk about Denver.
- STEM jobs in Denver on the rise according to USA Today.
- According to the CompTIA, Denver added over 7,000 tech jobs in 2018.
The headquarters of MapQuest and Photobucket are here. So too is the office of Oracle-owned Datalogix. Over in the River North (RiNo) district, the Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation has some opportunities.
And then there’s Boulder. Often regarded as the cooler sibling, Boulder has companies like Rally Software, SolidFire, an IBM campus, and the research we mentioned at CU Boulder. People often talk about the small-town feel and the excitement around new projects.
But if you’re thinking of working in Colorado, you don’t have to be limited by geography. The state’s start-up attitude—creating data science companies where once there were rocks—has spread itself beyond the major metropolitan areas. Heck, even Pluralsight Flow was founded at a coworking facility in Durango.
Data Scientist Salaries in Colorado
According to data from the O*NET OnLine in 2019, data scientists made an average $89,700 per year in Colorado.
Last updated: February 2021
Interested in STEM Careers?
If you’re looking for information on career paths that involve STEM, see our guides below:
Data Science and Analytics Careers:
- Data Scientist
- Data Architect
- Data Engineer
- Data Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Quantitative Analyst
Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Careers:
- Computer Engineer
- Computer Scientist
- Information Security Analyst
- Computer & Information Research Scientist
- Computer Systems Analyst
Marketing and User Research Careers:
Compare Careers and STEM Fields:
- Data Analyst vs Data Scientist
- Computer Science vs. Computer Engineering
- Cyber Security vs Computer Science
- Data Analytics vs. Business Analytics
- Data Science vs. Machine Learning
Related STEM Degrees
- Master’s in Business Analytics
- Master’s in Information Systems
- Master’s in Computer Engineering
- Master’s in Computer Science
- Master’s in Cyber Security Programs
- Master’s in Accounting Analytics
- Master’s Applied Statistics
- Master’s in Business Intelligence
- Master’s in Data Analytics for Public Policy
- Data Science MBA Programs
- Master’s in Geospatial Science and
- Geographic Information Systems
- Master’s in Health Informatics
- Master of Library and Information Science
Data Science Programs in Colorado
We found 8 universities in Colorado 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.