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A High Demand Degree: Online Master’s in Data Science

Industry trends and technological advances such as the increase in the number of connected devices, the growing importance of analytics and the rise of cybersecurity threats have made obtaining an online MS in Data Science degree, offered online at Lewis University, more rewarding than ever. Within the past decade, cybersecurity has gone from a luxury reserved for only the largest enterprises to a necessity for almost every organization. According to President Obama’s budget for fiscal 2017, $19 billion in federal resources has been allocated for cybersecurity1, which involves hiring of over 10,000 cybersecurity workers, including many data scientists. 

Effects of Smart Technology 

The problems posed by lack of cybersecurity are multiplying as more devices are able to connect to the Web. Tech research firm Gartner says 6.4 billion devices will be connected to the internet this year2. The devices include the typical smartphones and laptops as well as smart light bulbs, HVAC units, building management systems, fridges and cars. 

Turning on a coffeepot via a smartphone while on the way back from the airport may be great for users, but it’s another connection that needs to be protected. Understanding the labyrinth of interconnections and attack vectors possible these days requires the skills of a well-trained data scientist. 

Business Analytics Trend

Many areas of business now demand advanced analytics. In particular, advertising, marketing and sales have incorporated analytics into the core of their operations. Analytics are used for many business functions such as streamlining processes, eliminating waste, retaining customers, recruiting staff and detecting patterns within vast amounts of data, which has caused an increase demand for the role of Director of Marketing Data. Fast growing companies need to effectively leverage the flow, integration and usage of their influx of marketing data.

Data Science Will Continue to Grow

Data science has experienced a surge in interest over the past decade, and no slowdown is in sight. According to a report from General Electric, 89% of companies believe that not adopting a big data analytics strategy means they will risk losing market share and momentum.3

The same report states that the biggest fear for companies that do not implement analytics is that competitors will gain market share at their expense. As a result, these organizations are rapidly embracing the analytics movement and will be demanding data scientists behind the scenes to decipher their data. 

Educational Demand

Colleges are not producing data scientists fast enough. Even with the number of degree programs rising steadily, a severe shortage remains. Therefore, professionals receiving proper training as a data scientist have the opportunity to set themselves apart in the job market. 

According to Burtch Works — an executive recruitment agency that matches top big data and data science talent with jobs — 46% of data scientists have PhDs and 42% hold Master’s degrees. Lewis University’s MS in Data Science online can provide the technological background and data analysis skills to pursue a beneficial career in the high demand field of data science.

1https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget
2http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3165317
3http://www.ge.com/digital/sites/default/files/industrial-internet-insights-report.pdf