Check out this quick guide to finding your dream school (and big data job) in the Evergreen State. It has details on scholarships and research projects to meetups and start-up opportunities. Already have a university in mind? Feel free to skip ahead to our list of all the data science programs in Washington.
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Studying Data Science in Washington
Welcome to Dataville. This is the land of Microsoft and its research division, Amazon, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Life is looking up for start-up entrepreneurs as well:
- Thanks to all of its university hospitals and research institutions, Washington’s healthcare industry is deeply involved in data science partnerships.
- Seattle Startups has a lengthy list of companies interested in Big Data Analytics.
- Startup Washington also encourages small business growth in the state.
Better yet, many of these initiatives are being supported by organizations like the Washington Research Foundation (WRF)—which helps innovators launch companies in life sciences, physical sciences, and IT—and the extremely deep pockets of Paul G. Allen and Bill Gates.
Data Science Research & Initiatives at Washington Universities
We’ll tell you straight—the University of Washington (UW) is driving the data science bus. Ranked #6 in Best Graduate Computer Science Programs by U.S. News & World Report – as of 2018, the school has made a commitment to big data.
For example, UW’s eScience Institute is one of only three Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments, and it runs programs like Data Science for Social Good (DSSG). It has partnerships with other universities (e.g. Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative) and researchers involved in the West Big Data Innovation Hub.
We could also mention:
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which has received millions of dollars in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for global health research.
- Urbanalytics, a research unit in the Information School focused on responsible urban data science.
- Data Intensive Research Enabling Clean Technologies (DIRECT), an NSF-funded graduate training program at UW’sClean Energy Institute.
That’s not to disparage the work of other universities—UW Tacoma has an active Center for Data Science with multiple projects in play and Seattle University is doing great things for start-ups at its Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center.
Online Data Science Programs in Washington
Washington has some distance learning options in data science, as wall as campus-based programs.
We cover general things to look for in an online data science program elsewhere, so here we profile your choices in the Evergreen State.
Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science
UW offers an online Certificate in Data Science. It’s particularly geared toward tech professionals who already have some background in statistics, SQL, and programming and want to learn tools such as Hadoop and MapReduce.
If you’re beyond this skill level, or you need something more specific, have a look at our directory of Online Graduate Certificates in Data Science. There are certificates in every field (e.g. data mining, analytics, healthcare informatics, etc.) from solid schools across the country.
Online Master’s Degrees in Data Science
When it comes to online master’s degrees, you’ll have a choice of focus:
- CityU’s online Master of Science in Computer Science with a Concentration in Big Data Management has a solid core of computer systems and engineering.
- Alternatively, UW Tacoma’s hybrid Master of Science in Business Analytics (online + on-site) is offered by the business school. Although it covers major analytics and data science tools, the focus is on corporate applications.
Healthcare professionals may also wish to explore UW Tacoma’s online Master of Science in Clinical Informatics and Patient-Centered Technologies (CIPCT). Offered full-time or part-time, this program explores every spoke of informatics (nursing, biomedical, public health, etc.) in order to give students a comprehensive grasp of the field.
Data Science Scholarships in Washington
For this section, we focused on university scholarships (i.e. institutional aid) that apply to the school’s data science program. But the Office of Graduate Studies will have more info on general aid (e.g. CityU’s scholarships) and alternative financing options (e.g. low-interest loans).
- Albers School of Business and Economics Scholarships:
- Albers Graduate Scholarships: The Albers School of Business and Economics awards a large number of graduate scholarships to students in the PMBA, MSF, MPAC, and MSBA programs—most based on financial need and academic achievement (see the website for a full list). Only one application form is required.
- Albers Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) Merit Scholarship: Albers also offers merit-based scholarships specifically to incoming MSBA students (part-time or full-time) admitted to the fall term. Awards are based on a student’s GMAT score, an essay, and undergraduate performance.
University of Washington-Seattle
- Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) Program Scholarship: All incoming MSIS students are eligible for this scholarship. However, you must fill out a scholarship application in order to be considered.
Data Science Events in Washington
Data Science Meetups & Communities in Washington
Seattle is bristling with meetups for data scientists. Here you’ll find groups devoted to tools (e.g. Seattle Spark Meetup, Python Data Science – Seattle – Bellevue, etc.), specialties (e.g. Seattle Marketing Analytics Group), and even causes (e.g. Seattle Skill Based Volunteering Opportunities). We’ve highlighted 5 popular communities, but be sure to ask around for suggestions.
- Big Data Developers in Seattle: BDD is sponsored by IBM, which runs similar meetups across the country. It’s a chance for data scientists to play with tools and technologies and learn about IBM’s initiatives (e.g. Watson).
- Seattle Data/Analytics/Machine Learning (DAML): DAML is a pretty relaxed group of data scientists and software engineers who meet every month for lightning talks and tutorials. Meetups are usually hosted by big-name organizations (e.g. Twitter, Zillow, The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, etc.).
- Seattle Data Geeks: The self-proclaimed nerds at Seattle Data Geeks often ask authors, innovators, and data teams at cool companies (e.g. PayScale) to share their latest work and research. Meetups are very popular.
- Seattle Data Science: With 5,700+ members, SDS is organized by Galvanize and powered by paid workshops, parties, and community events (e.g. Cognitive Builder Faire Seattle).
- Seattle Scalability Meetup: One for the hard-core tech lovers! Talks and workshops are focused on engineering large systems for scalability (Distributed Systems, Machine Learning, AI, Blockchain, databases, etc.) and the organizers promise “no marketing pitches, no light use case discussions.”
Data Science Conferences & Workshops in Washington
Luckily for graduate students, Seattle is often a stop on the data science conference circuit—in recent years, MLconf, Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), IEEE’s Big Data Developer Conference, The Data Science Conference, and SIGKDD have all paid a visit to the city. Here are a few more regional events to explore:
- PASS Summit: Founded by Microsoft, PASS Summit is a conference for Microsoft SQL Server and Business Intelligence (BI) professionals.
- Summer Institute in Statistics for Big Data (SISBID): Every year, UW’s Department of Biostatistics hosts an intensive institute for biologists, quantitative scientists, and statisticians. It’s focused on advanced analytics/statistical techniques for biological big data.
Data Science Jobs in Washington
We’ve already mentioned Microsoft and Amazon, but we could also add names like Tableau, Redfin, F5 Networks, and Cray with its supercomputers. Brick & mortar businesses like PACCAR, Starbucks, Costco, and REI also call the state home.
But, wait, there’s a whole lot more! For instance, there’s Globys; KenSci, a healthcare data start-up born from research at UW Tacoma; and Maana. Other notable Washington start-ups include:
- INRIX: Car traffic analytics (founded by former Microsoft employees)
- PayScale: HR analytics (founded by former Microsoft employees)
- DS-IQ: Retail analytics (founded by former Amazon employees)
Data Scientist Salaries in Washington
According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information research scientists (includes data scientists) raked in an average of $143,080 per year. The top 10% of jobs earned $171,430 on average.
Data Science Programs in Washington
We found 5 universities in Washington 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 email@example.com.