Is a Master’s in Data Science Worth It?

Author: Samantha Adamczewski

Why Is a Master’s in Data Science Worth It?

Technology is more integrated into our lives than ever before, which means that data can be found behind the scenes in almost everything you do—whether you’re shopping online, streaming new music, or driving downtown. Some of the world’s biggest and most successful companies rely on data science every day to make smarter decisions and attract and retain customers. It’s now crucial in environments where technology and data coexist. As data becomes more and more critical to business decision-making, the search is on for talented professionals who can fill essential roles in data science across industries.

If you want to be a front-runner who can present compelling narratives to communicate and support ideas and decisions, a Master’s in Data Science is worth it for numerous reasons. This degree equips you with vital skills that help you bring clarity and simplicity to an organization’s data. Your insights can help create data-backed strategies that boost sales, improve and customize the customer experience, predict trends and patterns, streamline processes, and increase efficiency.

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Data Science?

Wondering what you can do with a Master’s in Data Science? The short answer: a lot.

Data scientists, data analysts, and data engineers bring numbers to life by giving big data important context and meaning.

A Master’s in Data Science prepares you to analyze large amounts of information from a variety of sources (think social networks, surveillance cameras, databases, invoices, clickstream logs, etc.) and package and present that information in new and powerful ways.

This degree makes you a highly valued member of any team: part analyst, part programmer, part problem-solver, part storyteller. The skills you gain allow you to translate complex and technical data into impactful stories full of actionable insights that business leaders can easily understand and implement. That’s a big part of why a master’s in data science is worth it.

Why Should You Earn a Master’s in Data Science?

Beyond “is a Master’s in Data Science worth it?” and “what can you do with a master’s in data science?,” one of the main questions we hear from prospective students is “do you need a master’s degree to become a data scientist?”

The short answer? Much of the time. According to a 2020 Burtch Works study, 91% of data scientists have a master’s degree. This degree can change everything, including the trajectory of your career. If you want to be a leader, progress in your field, and land senior-level positions, then a Master’s in Data Science is worth it because it will help get you there.

So, why should you earn a master’s in data science? Because companies and organizations are seeking data scientists who can:

  • Answer questions about human behavior and outcomes
  • Apply critical thinking—not just data-analysis techniques
  • Understand the ethical implications of data usage
  • Communicate actionable insights that can be understood by non-technical teams

With this master’s degree as your foundation, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to remain responsive to changes in the field as data science evolves.

Why Consider Notre Dame for Your Data Science Degree?

At Notre Dame, we believe a master’s in data science is worth it—from the right institution. Curiosity drives innovation, and the best data scientists approach their work with a curious mind. We work to cultivate the curiosity and critical thinking skills that make data scientists leaders in their fields. We focus on developing highly trained, ethical leaders in data science who can combine expert technical and mathematical skills with critical thinking and a deep understanding of how their work impacts businesses, communities, and lives. In other words, we make sure that you’ll find your master’s in data science from Notre Dame worth it.

Here’s what gives our graduates the Notre Dame Edge:

  • Live and asynchronous sessions in an interactive online community to experience the best of both worlds
  • Exclusive immersion weekends in Silicon Valley, on campus, and online to connect you with networking opportunities and the greater Notre Dame community
  • Relevant, industry-informed, and multidisciplinary coursework that equips you for today’s job market—and tomorrow’s biggest challenges
  • Faculty who are scholars with multidisciplinary backgrounds and impressive industry experience at institutions like the Pentagon and Walgreens Health Care Alliance
  • Coursework that lets you partner with well-known companies throughout the program and as part of a capstone project

How Long Does It Take to Earn Your Degree—and What Will You Learn in Our M.S. in Data Science Program?

In just 21 months—and completely online—the Master’s in Data Science will build your technical confidence and help you become a better technical manager. You’ll be able to analyze disparate types of data, recognize patterns and trends within that data, and effectively communicate results.

In the M.S. in Data Science program, you’ll build skills that allow you to:

  • Turn data into action and frame data-driven solutions
  • Use powerful tools to analyze information
  • Think about problems differently
  • Unpack the powerful stories hidden behind organizations’ data  Apply an ethical approach to data analysis
  • Connect and communicate with audiences
  • Utilize new exploration, reporting, and monitoring techniques
  • Analyze data in new shapes and forms

We continually hear from graduates who tell us why their data science master’s is worth it. Our graduates say their degree supplies them with theoretical and tactical skills they can apply in powerful ways in their careers. From knowing when to ask “what if?” to using the right mix of statistics and narratives to tell attention-grabbing stories, their professional recommendations are valued—and yours will be, too.

Data Science Career Outlook

From large manufacturing plants to small startups and nonprofits, organizations of all kinds are producing data that needs to be put to better use to maximize time, resource, cost, and labor efficiency.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts strong career growth in data science, with the number of jobs rising by nearly 28% (11.5 million jobs) through 2026. Career opportunities tend to be even better for ethical, three-dimensional professionals who have advanced degrees and strong statistical, technical, and communication skills.

Translation: Now’s a great time to become a data scientist.

So, what can you do with a master’s in data science from Notre Dame? Nearly all Notre Dame’s data science students are employed within six months of graduation, securing promotions or new positions in technology, aerospace, education, pharmaceuticals, biomedicine, and healthcare. Whether you want to work in the private or public sector, we’re confident you’ll find Notre Dame’s data science master’s worth it during your job search.

Launch Your Career with Notre Dame’s Online Master’s in Data Science

The Master’s in Data Science program at the University of Notre Dame combines distance learning with the unmatched academic standards our institution is known for. You get the flexibility and convenience of an online program plus connection and support through in-person courses and personal student-to-teacher interactions.

The curriculum’s unique combination of technical and soft skills gives you a well-rounded perspective. Gain the knowledge and skills you need to build a successful career in data science.

If you’re not ready for a full master’s degree, then executive graduate certificate programs are also available. These condensed programs offer an overview of data science concepts, machine learning, and big data.

Request information or apply today and open the door to new career opportunities.

“I’m now using data to find ways to decrease wait time and churn. What causes people to start thinking about moving [from AT&T] to T-Mobile or Verizon? I now have the tools to figure those things out. I want to make an impact. That’s the reason I chose Notre Dame. Not because it was easy, but because it means something.” 

Emerson Almeida, Class of 2022, Associate Vice President of Global Client Advocacy