The Science Of Data: Top 4 Degrees For Data Analysis and Management

In an article about the increasing gap in supply and demand for information technology professionals, CEO Rob Bearden of Hortonworks was quoted as saying that that available talent in the field equaled only 20% of the demand. At the end of 2014, Forbes reported that demand for Computer Systems Analysts with expertise in big data increased by 89.9% in just twelve months. With a median income of $103,000, there has never been a better time to invest in earning one of these four degrees.


Those with a degree in statistics enjoy a wide variety of interesting options such as data analysis and comparison. Statisticians use their training to design data experiments, collect and interpret data and present results. Those results are used to further refine business or scientific processes. Those with this degree are in high demand in many fields. Economics, biology, medicine, psychology and marketing are just a few that commonly employ statisticians.

Data Science

One McKinsey report estimated that the U.S. will need an additional 140,000 to 190,000 more data scientists by 2018. While some companies still accept graduates with a B.S., advanced degrees are becoming increasingly necessary as data management grows more complex.

Industries currently employing data scientists include the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields as well as research and software development. Those with this degree may work as computer user support specialists, assisting computer users with technical issues or conducting diagnostics designed to detect technical problems.

Information Technology

A degree in information technology is one of the best educational investments available today. There are a number of career choices available for those with this degree. Database administrators typically coordinate changes, correct errors, and apply security measures to computer database systems. Information technology project managers supervise IT staff and monitor progress to meet company standards, deadlines, and budgets.

Software systems developers design, develop and test software, as well as conduct regular maintenance to ensure optimum functionality. And there is even a master’s in library and information science emphasis for this degree if you’d prefer to work in academia.

Computer Programming

A degree in computer programming is one of the best foundations from which to launch your career as a data analyst. This degree provides knowledge of equations, counting techniques, algorithms, and basic computer network architecture. Other skills include the ability to use machines, assembly, and programming languages together, which is the first step in creating new software based on elements of existing software.

Whatever educational path you take towards becoming a data analyst, it’s guaranteed to be an interesting journey with a secure and lucrative destination.

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