Today, big data is considered to be the largest commodity in the world, according to The Economist.¹ It’s predicted to be bigger than oil, gold or any other “valuable” asset we currently hold in the highest regard. But who controls the flow of that data is a topic of controversy and concern. Apex corporations, such as Google®, Amazon® and Facebook®, possess data that can be used to gain insights into the consumer mind and economic trends as never before.
With this valuable new commodity comes the need for people who know how to mine and manage big data from sources such as multimedia, social media and the Internet of Things in ways that are profitable and predictive over the long term. With the current rate of data exchange at approximately 27,000 gigabytes (the equivalent of 121 million books) being communicated every second,² the capability of predicting one’s behavior is possibly more valuable than just knowing it in the moment.
With STEM majors continuously on the rise, people with undergrad degrees in statistics, mathematics or computer science are a natural fit to pursue a graduate degree in data science and enter the fast-paced, growing industry of big data.
The many data science master’s concentrations to choose from
There are numerous data science graduate programs that you can pursue depending on where your career and academic interests lie. Master’s degrees include:
Additionally, there are also graduate certificate options as well as Ph.D. programs depending on your educational and career goals.
The bottom line
Once you determine what type of data science master’s you want to pursue, the categories of industry in which you can apply your skills are almost limitless. Just about every industry is using data science in some capacity. Health care, education, law enforcement, government, commerce, energy, technology and transportation all rely on data tracking, mining and analysis to keep their industries effective, protected and relative as we move into the next few decades and beyond.
With both higher than average job growth and mean annual wages, investing the time and money in a data science masters will most likely pay off financially and provide career opportunities.