If you are thinking of getting a data analytics master’s degree then you might be wondering whether or not it will be worth it for you.

This post will show you whether or not a master’s in data analytics will be worth it for you and some other things that you might want to consider.

So, is a data analytics masters degree worth it? Data analytics is a hot field with a positive job outlook. Most data analytics positions require a master’s degree so it is likely that getting the degree will help a lot in obtaining a data analytics job.

There are actually a number of things to consider when deciding on whether or not you should get one and depending on your background it might not be the best option for you.

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for computer and information research scientists, which includes data analysts, is expected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average.

A data analytics master’s will qualify you for data science jobs and similar jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of data science jobs is expected to rise by 19% by 2026 and the median pay is $118,370. Data science was also rated the best job in America on Glassdoor.

So, the outlook does look positive for those that are capable with dealing with lots of data. The reason for this is that businesses have had a large increase in the amount of data that they have had become available to them in recent years and they need people with statistical skills to make sense of that data.

Types of jobs you will qualify for

In addition to data analytics, there are many other types of jobs that you can get with a data science master’s degree which can include:

  • Data science
  • Big data engineer
  • Data architect
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data visualization developer
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Data engineer

The exact jobs that you will qualify for will depend on the data analytics specialization that you choose and the types of internships and projects you do while getting the degree.

In addition, if you are able to get an internship while doing the data analytics degree then it would go a long way in improving your job prospects.

Classes you will be taking

You can expect to take classes such as data analytics, machine learning, big data, statistics, statistical learning and deep learning when obtaining a data analytics degree.

However, the exact courses that you will be taking will highly depend on the program and specialization that you choose.

You can take a look at the tracks and courses offered at Georgia Tech’s data analytics program, here, to get an idea of the classes you might be taking.

Required classes for the degree

The exact classes that you will need to have taken will depend on the program and specialization that you choose.

However, knowledge of the following will be important for the degree:

  • Programming (namely R and Python)
  • Single and multivariable calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Statistics
  • Probability
  • Data structures and algorithms

Also will need to do well in the quantitative part of the GRE.

What is the difference between a data analytics master’s degree and a data science master’s degree?

They can often be very similar. However, you’ll often find that a data analytics master’s is more focused on processing, analyzing and making sense of data. It is still very mathematical and it can involve machine learning.

Whereas, a data science degree will be more focused on machine learning aspects. It will normally include more courses related to deep learning, computer vision or natural language processing but this will depend on the specialization that you choose.

Should I do a data science master’s degree or a data analytics master’s degree?

Both of these degrees will prepare and qualify you for very similar job roles and there is a lot of overlap between them.

When deciding on which would be best for you it would help to consider the exact job role that you are looking for and to choose a program and specialization accordingly.

If you want to become a data analyst then a data analytics degree will likely be the best option. If you want to work in computer vision then a master’s degree that offers numerous classes related to that will be the best option this could include applied math, computer science or statistics degrees too.

Is a data analytics degree the same as a business analytics degree?

Another master’s degree that you might be considering is a business analytics master’s degree. It is similar to a data analytics master’s degree but there are a number of differences between them.

Data analytics is focused on using big data, statistical techniques and technology to find patterns and opportunities from data. Data analysts will improve the efficiency of how data is processed within an organization and identify new opportunities.

Business analytics uses similar statistical tools. However, it is much more focused on using the data to drive business decisions and to improve business processes.

A business degree will be less math-heavy but more focused on learning techniques to incorporate data with business objectives. As a result, you’ll find yourself taking more classes in business analytics, accounting and economics and only introductory courses from math, stats or computer science. You can look here to see an example of a business analytics bachelor’s degree.

Is a data analytics master’s degree necessary?

Whether or not a data analytics degree will be necessary for you will depend on the jobs that you’re after and your background.

There are many junior data analytics positions available for people with just a bachelor’s degree. If you have a STEM degree and you did a reasonable amount of stats and computer science then you would likely be competitive for these jobs already.

However, the pay for junior data analysts will tend to be much lower than that of data scientists and senior data analysts both of which a master’s degree will be necessary to qualify for.

How hard is a data analytics master’s degree?

Something to consider is that getting a master’s degree in data analytics will require a significant time commitment on your part and it won’t be easy to obtain.

Before deciding to do the data analytics master’s degree it would help for you to be sure that it is the right degree for you and that it is really what you want to do.

How difficult the degree will be for you will depend largely on the amount of programming, math, stats, data analysis and computer science you have already done. It will also depend on the specific track that you choose.

Alternative degrees that you might want to consider

If you are thinking of getting a data analytics master’s degree then you might also want to consider degrees such as:

  • Data science
  • Statistics
  • Computer science
  • Applied mathematics
  • Business analytics

I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.