Data Science Bachelor Degree Online

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated January 7, 2024
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Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.

Degrees

Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Data science is a field that uses scientific methods, processes, and algorithms through which data scientists can extract crucial information from unstructured or structured data. It is an interdisciplinary field as it collects data from different sources. An online data science bachelor’s degree can be an excellent choice for students who want to understand how to develop data models to predict and interpret big data. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 36% increase in job outlook in the field of data science[1]. Completing a data science bachelor’s degree online could help students get practical experience in the field and obtain well-paying jobs.

Data-Science

Best Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online

Choosing an online bachelor’s degree requires careful consideration by students. Prospective students will need to understand a few aspects while getting into a bachelor’s program, like the cost of getting the undergraduate degree, the time required for completion of the program, the availability of financial aid, curriculum, credits, and the quality of faculty. Students will also need to consider their concentrations and field experiences. Based on these and other factors, some of the best data science bachelor degree online programs are: *

Northern Kentucky University, founded in 1968, is a public university in Highland Heights, Kentucky. The university’s academic programs are organized into 7 colleges offering various degree programs to more than 14,500 students.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
Northern Kentucky University Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Kentucky 41099 $10,392 48%

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Program

A data science bachelor degree online is a four-year academic program that involves concepts and theories of data science project lifecycle. The program includes the study of data modeling, machine learning, data mining, and algorithmic models and requires about 90 to 120 credits. A bachelor’s degree will help students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, technical communication, and more through an interdisciplinary curriculum integrated with other subjects like engineering, science, etc.

Through the data science degree program, students can understand methodologies and concepts used in the data analysis process. They experience a broad category of techniques and applications for storing, analyzing, providing access, and gathering data to help organizations make better decisions. There are several specializations offered in the online data science bachelor degree like data science, machine learning, data analysis, data systems and processing, big data analysis, computing in python, deep learning, and more, all of which various organizations demand. The courses students will be required to complete will depend on what specialization they choose. Some of the standard courses available in most data science programs are:

Descriptive Statistics

In this course, students learn how to summarize and organize data so that it is simplified and easily understood. Rather than making inferences from sample data, they focus on describing the data available. They are taught different techniques to describe the data in a sample.

Data Exploration

In this course, students learn many steps, including modeling, interpretation, and preprocessing of the results. This is also known as exploratory data analysis, which provides a few tools to understand the data better.

Introduction to Data Science

In this course, students look at the working and study of a large amount of data. They learn how to ask the correct questions and analyze the raw form of available data. Students will also model the data using efficient algorithms and visualize data better.

Database systems

In this course, students will learn about a database, an organized collection of data that can be stored and accessed in an electronic form. They will learn how structured data sets are held in the memory of computers or on the cloud, which can be accessed differently.

Data Warehousing

In this course, students look at how to use specific infrastructure elements provided to down-the-line users. This would include learning to access the data shaped to align with the business rules and store the data in an easy-to-query structure. It will also help users access critical data from different sources in one place.

Data Mining

In this course, students learn how to explore and analyze data to uncover meaningful rules and patterns. Students understand how to run machine learning algorithms, among other things.

Some of the other courses in the data science bachelor degree online programs include:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Data Visualization
  • Economics Analysis of Public Policy
  • Big Data Analytical Tools
  • Introduction to Business Data Analytics
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Optimization and Decision Analytics
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Information Analysis
  • Technical Aspects of Data Management
  • Predictive Modeling

Degree Types for Online Civil
Engineering Programs

The two primary types of data science online bachelor’s degree programs are the Bachelor of Arts or BA in data science and the Bachelor of Science or BS in data science. These two degrees have many similarities but differ in many ways in their purpose.

Bachelor of Arts in Data Science

The Bachelor of Arts in data science or BA data science degree emphasizes human behavior and ethics. The program is project-oriented and combines data science’s practical and theoretical uses. The courses taught in the program could include computing and mathematics, inferential depth and computational, ethics and human contexts, etc. Being interdisciplinary, the bachelor of arts program could include concentrations like physics, economics, linguistics, psychology, and more.

Bachelor of Science in Data Science

The Bachelor of Science in data science or BS in data science teaches students how to apply the theory of data science and put it into practice for analysis. Students learn how to develop skills to solve very complex problems. The program could include courses like data mining, mathematical modeling, data visualization, etc. This degree provides opportunities for professional development and networking. Students also work closely with their faculty on research and other hands-on experiences.

Areas of Specialization for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Programs

Specializations or concentrations are domains in one area of data science that students can choose while completing their bachelor’s program. They provide in-depth knowledge in the selected sub-field of data science. The selection of specialization in the online bachelor’s in data science program must be made carefully as it could significantly influence the kind of expertise and field experience students would gain during the program. Here are some specialization options for data science students to explore:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Strategy-Making and Business IntelligenceStudents learn how to transform data into valuable insights that can help businesses reach their maximum potential. They learn and understand the many problems critical to companies.Data strategists, BI engineers, BI developers, Bi analysts
Market Data AnalyticsStudents learn how to analyze external data sources like data from customers and their experiences and track performances in logistics and e-commerce. They also look at market data and customers and learn about finding new business opportunities.Product analysts, web analysts, and market analysts
Cognitive Specialists and Machine LearningStudents focus on feeding inputs of data through building pipelines of data, algorithms to train models, benchmarking base systems, and convenient data sources.Data scientists, researchers, AI specialists, ML engineers
Data Mining and Statistical AnalysisStudents learn data mining techniques, statistical frameworks, and real-world applications. Together with novel data mining algorithms and statistical methods, massive and complicated dataset challenges are addressed.Data analysts, business analysts, statisticians
Data Architecture and Database ManagementStudents learn how to minimize the scope of errors that get sought out throughout the process of decision-making across different institutions.Database administrators, database professionals, data specialists
Data EngineeringStudents learn to integrate data from different sources and structure them into meaningful patterns which could be used for decision-making.Database professionals, data engineers, and data analysts
Data VisualizationStudents learn to use visualization tools like tables, charts, plots, graphs, maps, and infographics to present interpretable and legible data.Data visualization engineers, data scientists, software developers
Operations-Related Data AnalyticsStudents learn how to seamlessly sync data from a data warehouse into the front-line tools that end users use. They learn to automate processes better, improve communication within cross-functional teams, and create more efficient workflows.Decisions analysts, planning analysts

Why should I do a Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online?

Obtaining a data science online bachelor’s degree will help students become professionals in the data science field. Data science professionals are very much in demand, with various industries requiring talented data science undergraduates and graduates. This discipline is versatile and can help students land positions of great value. Being an interdisciplinary field, data scientists can collaborate with other professionals in various settings, expanding their scope and career prospects. Moreover, an online bachelor’s degree in data science can be a very interactive and engaging experience for a student, with brainstorming sessions, analytical debates, etc.

Data science has transformed many organizations and businesses, so data scientists are usually in high demand. With their knowledge and expertise, data scientists can help different professionals and organizations make intelligent and informed analyses and decisions. Among the many skills that undergraduate students would have acquired at the end of their programs would be the ability to:

  • demonstrate professional ethics and behaviors consistent with the principles required of a professional in the field of data science;
  • demonstrate critical thinking skills in different fields of data analytics;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles of software systems and concepts of data science;
  • demonstrate effective communication to collaborate with diverse stakeholders while making analyses or in other projects related to the field of data science;
  • demonstrate skill sets learned from data science theory and use them to transform data into meaningful information while identifying new opportunities for individuals and organizations.
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of data analytics technologies and systems;
  • incorporate different elements of data analytics and analyze, document, and design system components by using appropriate data analytical models and techniques; and
  • recognize divergent thinking skills, emerge as leaders in the field of data science, and exhibit an aptitude for continuous improvement and learning.

Free Courses for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Students

Free courses may help understand the different requirements that the data science field might require from an individual. These courses also help students decide what roles in data science would suit them because of the varied exposure one gets through taking them. Some examples of free courses suitable for online data science bachelor degree students are:

CourseDescriptionProvided by
IBM Data Science Professional CertificateIn this course, students develop hands-on skills using different professional data scientists’ languages, tools, and libraries. They will learn how to import and clean data sets, visualize, analyze and build machine learning models.Coursera
Data Science-Working with DataIn this course, students learn how to prepare, analyze, and interpret data using various software and programming languages. They also learn to use research, methodology, and programming in data science.Alison
Data Science: CapstoneIn this course, students learn how to apply different data science skills in solving practical problems encountered in the field of data science. They will also be able to work on independent projects which involve interpreting and analyzing data.Harvard University

How to get into the Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Program?

Most colleges have a list of admission criteria that students must meet to pursue an online bachelor’s degree in data science. The admission procedure for programs in data science is competitive as there is a lot of demand for these programs. Different institutions have varying criteria for admissions; however, the most common data science degree requirements are:

  • Previous official transcripts from high school or college-level
  • A high school diploma (or GED) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or more on a 4.0 scale (this would differ based on the program)
  • ACT and SAT scores
  • A Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose
  • Personal essay (differs based on institutional requirement)
  • PSAT scores (required by some colleges)

How Long does it take to complete the Data Science
Bachelor Degree Online Program?

It typically takes about 4 years to complete an online bachelor’s degree in data science. However, the time to complete the program is influenced by factors like courses, electives, concentration, lesson delivery mode, etc. Students prefer online classes because they can complete the program at their own pace and focus on priorities like work, personal chores, and family commitments. Here is a quick summary of the duration of the data science degree program:

  • Time to complete a full-time data science bachelor’s degree: about 4 years
  • Time to complete a part-time data science bachelor’s degree: 4 to 6 years

Accelerated Data Science Bachelor Degree
Online Programs

With accelerated data science bachelor degree online programs, students can finish earning their degrees in less than the usual 4 years. Some accelerated programs combine a bachelor’s and a master’s in data science, allowing students to earn both degrees in about 5 years instead of the required 6 years. Examples of some universities providing such accelerated programs are:

UMass Dartmouth – Accelerated BS & MS in Data Science

University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Accelerated BS & MPS in Data Science

Quinnipiac University – Accelerated Dual-Degree BS in Data Science & MS in Cybersecurity

Accreditations for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Programs

Accreditation ensures that colleges regularly measure their performance and that students receive a quality education. When a college receives accreditation, students can be assured that its programs will be of a certain standard of quality and depth. Earning a degree from an accredited institution will lead to easier employability and better pay. Accreditation is also one of the criteria for securing financial aid. The six main accrediting bodies in the U.S. are:

Accreditation can also be programmatically awarded. Accredited data science bachelor degree online programs are endorsed by the Data Science Council of America, which recognizes the digital services and expertise programs of data science, data analytics, and data engineering.

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Read the accreditation guide for more information on why accreditation is a critical factor in higher education.

How to Pay for a Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online?

The cost of data science bachelor’s degree online programs could range from $26,000 to $50,000 in the United States, depending on the tuition fees, whether the program is thesis or non-thesis-based, accommodation costs, and travel costs. Although online students do not have expenses of commute and accommodation, several colleges charge an additional technology fee in addition to the tuition fee. With rising costs and high fees, how to pay for college is always a question on students’ minds. Fortunately, one can consider the financial aid available to undergraduate students to reduce their financial pressure. Some of these include:

Scholarships

Scholarships are a good possibility of funding that a student will not need to pay back to the funding source unless they fail to fulfill the terms on which the scholarship was granted. Scholarships can be awarded based on academic merit or accolades in other areas like music, sports, art, etc.

Grants

Grants may be awarded to students based on their financial needs. They are often given out by government agencies, non-profit or for-profit institutions, and educational institutions. Grants can be used to pay for tuition or other educational expenses.

Private Student loans

Private educational loans provided by banks and financial institutions are another means of funding higher education. If one fails to repay the loan in good time, they could look for grants or donors to help them pay off their debts.

Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans are of low interest and funded by governments. Students do not have to pay these loans back till they graduate from their programs and are employed for a stipulated time.

FAFSA

FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an application form that determines the status of a student’s eligibility for federal financial aid. To understand more about it, read the FAFSA student aid guide.

Scholarships for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Students

Scholarships are a good way for students to pay for their online data science bachelor’s degree. Deserving students can apply for such scholarships, which will help them reduce their educational expenses considerably. Students who get scholarships to fund their education will be less burdened and can focus on their education and growth. Here are a few to explore:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Great Minds in STEM ScholarshipThe Great Minds in STEM or GMiS scholarships are provided to applicants who demonstrate merit through academic leadership, campus activities, and achievements. Applicants must pursue technology, science, engineering, and data science programs.$500 to $5,000TBA
Acxiom Diversity ScholarshipThe Acxiom Diversity Scholarship program encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with a disability to apply for data science programs. This award is given to up to five recipients each year.$5,000TBA
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society ScholarshipsThe Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in undergraduate programs related to the information technology field and healthcare industry.$5,000TBA

FAQs Related to the Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Program

How long is the degree in data science?

The undergraduate data science degree can take up to 4 years to complete if pursued full-time. However, it could take 4 to 6 years if a student opts for part-time study.

What can you do with a data science bachelor’s degree online?

Is a data science bachelor’s degree worth it?

What is the difference between data science and data analytics?

What does the bachelor’s degree in data science curriculum entail?

Can students with an undergraduate degree in data science apply for licensing in this field?

What specializations are available in data science?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after a Data
Science Bachelor Degree Online

Data science bachelor’s programs benefit students who wish to pursue different roles in the discipline and work on various public or private projects. So long as data and information are the keys to successful business growth and profits, data science will always be in demand across sectors. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 36% increase in the job outlook for data scientists, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Some of the careers data science bachelor degree online program can lead to are:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2030)
Data ScientistsData scientists use various analytical tools and methods that help them in extracting meaningful insights from data. They use machine learning to classify data and analyze and interpret complex digital data using statistics from websites, especially assisting in businesses’ decision-making.Analytical skills, technical skills, statistical skills$100,91036% (much faster than average)
ActuariesActuaries use statistics, mathematics, and finance theory to analyze economic uncertainty and risks. Many actuaries work for companies related to finance, like insurance companies. Actuaries could also spend hours finding patterns and figures which make their data.Computational and mathematical skills, analytical skills$105,90021% (much faster than the average)
Financial AnalystsFinancial analysts usually guide individuals and businesses in making decisions about spending money to attain a profit.Statistical skills, analytical skills, problem-solving$95,5709% (as fast as average)
Market Research AnalystsMarket research analysts usually study the preferences of consumers, conditions of businesses, and other factors that help assess potential sales of any service or product.Decision-making skills, detailed oriented, verbal communication skills.$63,92019% (faster than average)
Operations Research AnalystsOperations research analysts use logic and math to solve complex issues in business operations.Detailed-oriented, decision-making skills, problem-solving skills$82,36023% (much faster than average)
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and TestersSoftware developers design computer programs or applications. Software quality assurance analysts and software testers help identify problems with programs or applications and report defects.Analytical skills, problem-solving skills, technical skills$109,02025% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Students

Prospective students or students currently enrolled in data science online degrees should consider professional certifications that will help them advance their careers. The whole process of professional certification is standardized and regulated. Completing such certifications will enable students to advance in their interest fields. Students can also prove to employers the in-depth knowledge and advanced skills they would possess through such certifications. Some of the certifications that can help undergraduate students advance their careers are:

Data Science Council of America Senior Data Scientist

This certification helps individuals gain unique knowledge and technical skills related to the data science field. They will be able to understand how to use these skills to help an organization gain success.

Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst

The Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst certification can help students become SQL developers. The certification is an advanced and in-depth take into data analysis, considerably increasing a candidate’s chances of employability.

Data Scientist-Advanced Analytics

This certification provides an understanding of data integration projects and big data analysis. Applicants learn about the responsibilities of a data scientist in developing further theories and methods to refine the field.

Principal Data Scientist

This certification provides an understanding of how one can apply the principles of data intelligence and data analysis to help businesses in expansion. The certification will help professionals understand the competition between businesses and how data analytics can help them get ahead of the competition.

Licensing in the field of data science in the United States could depend on various factors like the level of expertise, employer, education, and state in which the individual is working. Students who have completed their undergraduate degree and higher and have a minimum of two years of experience are eligible for licensing; however, out of those two years, one year of experience should have been exclusively in data science. In most private sector roles, licensure is not required. But government and military positions will have their independent licensing norms.

Additional Resources for Data Science Bachelor
Degree Online Students

For students pursuing a data science bachelor’s degree online, membership in professional organizations and globally recognized bodies can be an excellent way to further their prospects. Professional organizations provide access to many resources like internships, research projects, or project grants in data science. They also allow individuals to interact with esteemed professionals in the data science field through strong networks and connections. Here are a few resources data science students can explore to widen one’s horizons:

OrganizationDescription
United States Data Science InstituteThe United States Data Science Institute facilitates the transformation, capability, and innovation of organizations, academia, non-profit organizations, and governments in the field of data science. They are committed to raising the global standards which data science professionals have.
Association of Data ScientistsThe Association of Data Scientists supports and extends its efforts to integrate the different branches of practice and knowledge in data science. The organization also supports the free interchange of information and encourages data science education.
American Statistical AssociationThe American Statistical Association is dedicated to promoting resources to facilitate education, development, and research. They are committed to integrating the profession of statistics with other diverse areas like data science.
Data Science Council of AmericaThe Data Science Council of America is an example of leadership amongst data science organizations; it drives the initiatives, policies, and decision-making processes of critical moments in data science. It empowers leaders and stakeholders in the industry to develop versatile data talent.
Institute for Operations Research and Management ScienceThe institute for operations research and management science, or INFORMS, promotes best practices in analytics, data science, management science, and more. It enhances the ability of professionals to participate in different kinds of programs and benefit from professional development services.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.

Degrees

Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

Disclaimer:

The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.