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Best Universities for Master’s in Data Science


Data Science – The Discipline 

As we live in the Information Age, everything we do, we consume, we are processing information. Information could be personal, business, leisure, or of any kind where one conveys a message. Information is created and consumed, both consciously and subconsciously. Data Science, as a discipline, is counted as one of the top choices for young students today. It is one of the most revolutionary and sought-after career pathways for skilled professionals. Data Science and the applications cover all disciplines and faculties, not specifically limited to this list, but include:

  • Finance
  • Business
  • Health Care
  • Consulting
  • Pure and Applied Sciences
  • Forensics
  • Anthropology
  • Climatology
  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Data Science professionals advance their expertise past the traditional methods of data analysis. The traditional methods are time-consuming, laborious, and susceptible to human errors. Instead, they employ their expertise within the ambit of Data Science’s digital life cycle, which goes through the stages of –

  • Capture
  • Maintain
  • Process
  • Analyze
  • Communicate

To create structure and order from vast tracts of unstructured and complex data, a Data Scientist works to master the continuum of the life cycle. The Data life cycle mandates precision with incisive versatility and flexibility at each stage of the process. A specialized skill set is imperative to accomplish these tasks, leading to the establishment and evolution of the study of Data Science, as a discipline, at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

An aspiring Data Science graduate student must have proven affinity and intermediate proficiency in Statistics, Linear Algebra, Programming, and Mathematics. It would be ideal to meet the prerequisite qualifications preset by the School/University for the graduate program in Data Science. Also, as a graduate student, one must be prepared to undertake coursework spanning technologies like R Programming, Hadoop, Apache Spark, Tableau, NoSQL Databases, MapReduce, PYTHON, and others. Having gained proficiency through the coursework, a Data Science graduate will have the skills to stay on top of the data life cycle, drawing actionable insights that drive business and academic imperatives.

Allied Specializations

Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Business Analytics

Top #10 universities for Master’s/MS in Data Science in the World* *as per QS World Rankings, 2022

#1Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA
#2Stanford UniversityUSA
#3Carnegie Mellon UniversityUSA
#4National University, SingaporeSingapore
#5University of California, BerkleyUSA
#6Oxford UniversityUK
#7Harvard UniversityUSA
#8University of CambridgeUK
#9Écolé Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL)Switzerland
#10Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH)Switzerland
*as per QS World Rankings, 2022

Top #10 universities for Master’s/MS in Data Science in the US*

#1Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
#2Stanford University
#3Carnegie Mellon University
#4University of California, Berkley
#5Harvard University
#6Georgia Institute of Technology
#7New York University
#8University of Washington, Seattle
#9Brown University
#10University of Southern California
*as per US News Rankings, 2022

Top #10 universities for Master’s/MS in Data Science in Canada

#1University of Toronto
#2HEC Montreal
#3McGill University
#4Simon Fraser University
#5University of British Columbia
#6Queen’s University
#7Ryerson University
#8Carleton University
#9University of Waterloo
#10University of Western Ontario
*as per US News Rankings, 2022

Top #10 universities for Master’s/MS in Data Science in the UK

#1University of Oxford
#2University of Cambridge
#3University of Edinburgh
#4Kings College, London
#5University of Manchester
#6University of Bristol
#7University of Glasgow
#8University of Birmingham
#9University of Sheffield
#10Lancaster University
*as per US News Rankings, 2022

Top Destinations to study Data Science

Data Science as a stream has been incorporated in top Engineering and Business School curriculums across top universities in the World in the past decade. The top destination for students seeking a Master’s/MS/Graduate degree –

  • Data Science
  • Business Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Information Systems
  • Management Information Systems
  • Data Analytics fields

Top education destinations for potential graduate students in Data Science would be the US, Canada, UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Ireland. Ideally, when selecting a university for graduate study, one would look for desirable attributes of the program and the varsity. These include brand value, solid academic pedagogy, practical hands-on training, research potency, stay-back option, industry linkage, and stellar placement record. Another attribute worth factoring into the decision-making process would be a proven track record for excellent student experience.

Career Pathway for a Data Science graduate

A Data Science graduate can engage in two career pathways, one being a core Data Science professional, in roles like –

  • Data Analyst
  • Database Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Consultant

The second pathway would involve a Data-intensive role like:

  • Business Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Strategist
  • Business Insights Manager

Either career pathways mandate advanced skills in Data Analytics, Programming, Data Management, Data Mining, and Data Visualization, which will ideally be among the mapped learning outcomes of the graduate program in Data Science of the chosen university.

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