Creating the Awesome Data Science Colleges List has opened the data for some analysis. The above chart shows the states with the most data science programs based upon the total number of colleges in the state (dark red is best, followed by orange, followed by yellow, and finally black is for states with no data science programs).
The Top States
The States Needing to Create Data Science Programs
My previous list of Colleges with Data Science Degrees has grown very large, and numerous people have requested the ability to sort and/or filter. Thus, I built a new list. It is available at: Data Science Colleges. As far as I know, this is the most comprehensive list of data science programs available. Here are some of the features it offers:
Over 200 Programs
Certificate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate programs included
Sort and Filter Programs
US and International
Ability to download the raw data as CSV or JSON
Yes, you read that last one correctly. All the data is freely available for you. If you do use the data for something, I would love to know and potentially blog about it.
The list will continue to evolve. If you find any broken links or missing programs, please leave a comment. Also, please leave a comment if you can think of ways to improve the list.
The University of Virginia is in the closing stages of creating a Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) and the eventual goal is to have an undergraduate minor and a Ph.D. program in Data Science. The curriculum for the MSDS contains a nice mix of math, computer science and statistics courses. It even includes coursework in visualization. Also, the program appears to be an entirely new program and not just the renaming of an existing program.
The University of Virginia is definitely taking the correct steps to become a recognized leader in data science education.
Many of the top data scientists you will read about or hear speak have PhD degrees. Therefore, many people think a PhD is a requirement for becoming a data scientist. That is completely not true. There is a lot of work in the data science field that does not require a PhD. In all actuality, there is not a lot of data science work that does require a PhD.
What is a PhD and why would a person get one? A PhD degree is a research degree that usually takes between two and five years of study beyond a master’s degree. The majority of the program will be focused on researching and expanding upon a very specific topic. A PhD student will push the edge of known human knowledge.
In daily tasks, most data scientists do not go that far and do not need a PhD. Most of the necessary skills can be obtained at the bachelors or masters level. Combine that education with the amazing tools available and some experience and being a data scientist is definitely achievable.
The reasons many data scientists have PhD degrees are because of the curiosity and love for learning. Those are essential traits of both a data scientists and PhD students. However, you can be curious and love learning without attending enough school to obtain a PhD.
All of this is not to say that earning a PhD is bad. If you really love learning, thrive in the academic environment, and have the desire; then definitely go for the PhD. However, do not let a lack of a PhD stop you from doing data science.