Do you know the difference between a Data Science degree and a Data Analytics degree? Many people believe that they are one and the same. However, an organization may actually have both a data analyst and a data scientist on their team to handle and interpret information in certain ways. Each job role is distinct in that they work individually to fulfill specific organizational needs, while at the same time complementing one another to reach solutions.1
Learning more about the differences and unique qualities of data science and data analytics degree programs, as well as the career opportunities, can help you determine which path is right for you.
Data Analytics Degree vs. Data Science Degree
A Master’s degree in Data Analytics prepares students for a career collecting and studying different types of data.2 While enrolling in a data boot camp can deliver a dose of analytical skills in a matter of days, an advanced education at an accredited institution will help students develop a wide range of sought after skills, while also providing support and career assistance upon graduation.
A Data Science Master’s program involves most of the same courses offered through a data analytics program plus much more. Lewis University’s online Data Science Masters program offers unique concentrations in Computer Science and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, as well as specialized courses in subjects like data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning, says Dr. Piotr Szczurek, an Assistant Professor at Lewis University and the Director of the Data Science program.
Because of the comprehensive nature of the program, students who earn a Data Science degree develop more skills than a graduate of a basic data analytics program, he says.
Consider Your Career Prospects and Salary Expectations
Regardless of which degree or career path you choose to follow, the industry demand for professionals in both data analytics and data science continues to rise. According to Dr. Szczurek, the biggest difference comes down to on-the-job responsibility. Data analysts focus on extracting and interpreting business data, while data scientists tend work at a higher level and make recommendations based on the historical data that go beyond a simple analysis.3 “Data scientists have the skills and knowledge needed to communicate with decision makers and present solutions to them,” says Dr. Szczurek.
While salary ranges can vary for each role, data scientists generally make more as a result of the added responsibility, earning upwards of $100,000 a year4 on average compared to $62,000 for a data analyst.5
Pursuing a Data Science Graduate Program
Though both fields continue to rise in popularity, interest in data science programs is currently growing at a faster rate. “Data science is the future and is what ambitious professionals should be pursuing right now,” stated Dr. Szczurek.
To learn more about Lewis University's online Master of Science in Data Science program, call (866) 967-7046 to speak with a Graduate Admission Counselor or request for more information.