data scientistsWorking in data analytics is fairly new, but certainly big data is a growing field that is garnering much attention with the ease with which companies collect and store large volumes of information. With rising storage capabilities and the increasing affordability when it comes to collecting, storing and processing data, companies are keen to find potential employees with a background in both analytics and big data.

Computer-related degree courses teach data management, analysis and analytics to varying levels. In this article, we cover the best degree options for students with a serious interest in big data along with an aptitude for numbers.

Business Analytics Certificate

A business analytics certificate online course is studied through an active collaboration between the Girard School of Business and the School of Science & Engineering.

The 24-week course is undertaken over the internet. It covers data science, business analytics and data visualization. Furthermore, it also includes predictive modeling and machine learning which intersects with the current huge interest in artificial intelligence.

The certificate is only open to existing graduates who, due to the statistical nature of some of the course’s content, must have also passed either a previous statistics module or a statistics course at college.

Master’s in Big Data Management

A Master’s in Big Data Management is an advanced course which often builds upon a Computer Science degree. Working with detailed analytical modeling and learning about a variety of techniques to draw well-reasoned conclusions from data sets is all part of this type of course.

The Big Data courses usually require either a one- or two-year commitment and are commonly campus-based too.

Data Science Degree

A Data Science degree is a common entryway into the world of big data. Most degrees of this type require students who enroll to already have a working knowledge of programming in R and Python, along with the ability to write functions for both of these languages and to know calculus too. This is because of the need to be mathematically and programmatically competent to complete a Data Science course.

Data Science is often studied at the bachelor’s degree level. It is often framed as “Data Sciences and Big Data” for emphasis about the inclusion of big data on the curriculum, however, any Data Science course will cover big data at some point. While there are degrees available in Data Science at the master’s level, usually big data and analytical courses become more business-related instead of a broader course.

Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

A master’s in Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence aims to merge data science with AI. In the advent of machine learning and AI being used with search engines to predict and better understand what searchers are looking for, this perfectly encapsulates where big data is being crunched to draw meaningful insights in combination with AI and natural language to make those insights immediately practical through better responses to search queries.

This type of degree also has a strong focus on the human side of big data and where it links up with AI and analytics to provide benefits to end users.

There are different approaches to take when possessing a strong interest in big data and data analytics. It does depend on your statistical background and current coding knowledge as to which course is most suitable for you. Most, not all, courses are for post-graduates as a prerequisite.


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