Most Affordable Online Master’s in Big Data Degrees

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Google users upload over 400 hours of video to the website every minute, which means Google needs around 1 Petabyte (or one million Gigabytes) of storage every day.

But they are not alone. In the tech era all companies have millions and billions of data points that need to be dealt with in some way. Which is why they often turn to experts in Big Data for help.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Big Data Degrees

What is Big Data?

Big Data refers to the large volume of data (facts and statistics) that a business collects on a daily basis. This information can be structured or unstructured, and come from a wide range of source or relate to many different elements of the business. Big Data experts help to identify what information is important, and to interpret it in meaningful or productive ways.

If you’re considering another degree, but know you want an affordable online education, check out College Choice’s ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges.

How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Big Data?

Because of the high level of expertise needed to process big data, those trained in this field are in high demand and have a number of well-paying careers available to them.

For example, data scientists, (also known as computer and information research scientists) have a median salary of $114,000/year. The job market for this lucrative career is also expected to grow by 19% in the coming decade, meaning 5,000 new job openings.

Why Choose An Affordable Degree in Big Data?

The national news has been plagued by stories about students leaving school with mounds of debt in the form of student loans. It’s important to get a good education, but students should not be forced to borrow tens of thousands of dollars just to get that education.

Affordable programs provide a great education, but with tuition costs that are workable for all students. And with university aid, grants, and scholarships available, a large number of programs can become even more affordable than simply their tuition would suggest.

What Are the 30 Most Affordable Online Big Data Programs?

College Choice considers several factors including institutional merit, student well-being, and return on financing to develop rankings. Institutional merit combines metrics such as student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates and endowment to measure each school’s ability to provide excellent and cost-effective education for each student.

Student well-being measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at their school. And finally return on financing looks at the monetary benefits that students are likely to receive from each school’s education, weighted against the costs of attendance, namely tuition and student loans. In the end, we believe these are the Most Affordable Online Big Data Programs.

College Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. California State University-Fullerton
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    California State University-Fullerton is a public research university located in Fullerton, CA. Fullerton is the largest school in the Cal State system, with a total enrollment of around 40,000 students, including around 6,000 graduate students. Cal State Fullerton offers more than 240 undergraduate degrees, as well as 118 types of master’s and a number of doctoral degrees.

    Program Features

    Cal Fullerton offers a Master of Science degree in Information Technology. It is a 30-unit program available fully online. Students attend a Boot-Up camp before the program begins, as well as an end-of-the-year seminar to assess their progress. Courses from the program include:

    • Systems Analytics, Design and Development
    • Business Database: Design & Process
    • Integrated Enterprise Information Systems
    • Revenue Management Modeling

    The program utilizes a cohort format, with students completing the same year-round schedule taking two courses per semester over a 20-month period.

    Notables

    Students are only allowed to be enrolled in this program part-time and must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. For admission to the program, students must either submit GRE or GMAT scores, as well as a professional resume and a statement of purpose. Students also prepare a leadership and creativity statement.

  2. North Carolina A&T State University
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    North Carolina A&T State University is a public university located in Greensboro, NC. North Carolina A&T is a historically black college, and has a little under 12,000 total students, most of which are undergraduates. It is the largest historically black university in the United States and has one of the leading engineering departments for African Americans.

    Program Features

    NCAT offers a Master of Science in Information Science degree in Information Technology. Students complete either 30 or 36 units of coursework, depending on if they choose a thesis or non-thesis option. Foundation and elective courses include:

    • Telecommunications Management
    • Optical Communication Systems
    • Enterprise Management Systems
    • Computer Database Management

    Students in the thesis track take one six-credit thesis course during their last semester, while non-thesis students choose an extra two elective courses to pursue during this time. Students on the coursework only track must pass a comprehensive exam.

    Notables

    Graduates from the program have gone on to pursue careers including computer networking and communications, web technologies, and database management. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may be given unconditional admission.

  3. Bellevue University
    Location

    Bellevue, NE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Bellevue University is a private, non-profit university located in Bellevue, Nebraska. The school was founded in 1966 and has traditionally focused on providing adult education, with most of its undergraduates being 25 or older. They have a student body of around 10,000 total students and an endowment of approximately $28 million. It became a full university in 1994, after originally starting as Bellevue College.

    Program Features

    Bellevue University has a Master of Science in Business Analytics degree program. This is a 36 credit-hour program comprised of courses in business foundations, information system foundations, and business analytics courses, such as:

    • Advanced Data Mining Applications
    • Information System Management
    • IT Infrastructure
    • Financial Reporting & Analysis

    Graduates from the program may be eligible for professional licensure or certification through certain professional organizations, depending on their requirements.

    Notables

    Bellevue also offers a Master of Science in Data Science, as well as a Master of Science in Management of Information Systems and in Computer Information Systems. Applicants must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum GPA of 2.5 for the most recent 60 credits of coursework. Students who do not meet all requirements may be granted conditional admission on a limited basis.

  4. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    West Virginia University is a public university located in Morgantown, West Virginia. The school has secondary locations in Beckley and Keyser, as well as clinical campuses for their medical programs located in Charleston. Around 29,000 students attend the main campus, while another 3,000 students attend classes through the secondary locations. Their endowment is over $560 million.

    Program Features

    West Virginia has a Master of Science degree program in Business Data Analytics. This is a 10-course, 30 credit-hour program, including classes such as:

    • Foundations of Business Intelligence
    • Ethics & Data Collection
    • Decision Sciences & Analytics
    • Business Simulation Modeling

    In many of these classes, students utilize a tool called GoFirst Cluster, which is a WVU computing resource that gives students the opportunity to gain experience with a controlled, secure cloud-computing environment.

    Notables

    Students in the program also gain exposure to tools including R, Tableau, Python, SQL, Hadoop, Spark, Hive, Shiny, Microsoft Excel, RStudio and GitHub. Students come to campus for orientation at the start of the program, as well as when they finish the program. During the final on-campus visit students will also present their capstone projects.

  5. Arizona State University-Phoenix
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Arizona State University is a public research university located in Tempe, AZ. ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States, with a total enrolled population of around 72,000 students, including almost 60,000 undergraduates. In the past decade, ASU has cultivated a reputation as one of the top research universities in the world.

    Program Features

    ASU offers a Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, which is offered fully online through their distance learning service. The degree plan includes ten courses, for example:

    • Marketing Analytics
    • Data-Driven Quality Management
    • Introduction to Enterprise Analytics
    • Data Mining II

    The final course in the sequence is an Applied Project course, where students address a problem in a domain where the use of their analytical skills give them real-world experience through real world problems and case studies.

    Notables

    There is also a full-time, on-campus MS-BA degree program offered at ASU’s Tempe campus. Applicants to the program must submit GRE/GMAT scores, along with a current resume and responses to provided essay questions. There is no minimum GPA and military veterans are eligible for a fee waiver.

  6. Iowa State University
    Location

    Ames, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Iowa State University, also referred to as Iowa State, is a public research university located in Ames, Iowa. The school is considered a flagship of the Iowa state university system, with a student population of around 36,000. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching ranks Iowa State as having a very high level of research activity.

    Program Features

    Iowa State University offers a Master of Business Analytics, which is a blended, fully-online program that brings together a multitude of different departments and specialties. Students must take 30 credit-hours of classes, divided between core and elective courses such as:

    • Business Analytics Foundation
    • Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
    • Applied Time Series (Forecasting)
    • Applied Statistical Modeling

    Courses draw from departments including the Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Statistics, and Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.

    Notables

    Applicants to the program should be currently employed, with two-plus years of work experience in a data analytics related job. They should also have a bachelor’s degree in a STEM or STEM-related field. GMAT and GRE scores are not required, but students should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

  7. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a public university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is the second largest university in the state of Wisconsin and one of only two public universities in the state to offer doctoral degree programs. They have a student body of around 26,000 students, which includes 21,000 undergraduates.

    Program Features

    The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offers a graduate certificate in Business Analytics, which requires students to complete a total of 15 credit-hours of study. Courses from the program include:

    • Predictive Analytics for Managers
    • Business Forecasting Methods
    • Database Marketing
    • R Programming for Business Analytics

    The program teaches students to use a wide range of reporting and OLAP tools, such as Excel Data Mining Client, Python, R, SAP, and others. Students wishing to apply to the program must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.

    Notables

    Students may take up to 20 percent of their required course credit at a school other than UWM. Students must complete the program within three years from the initial enrollment in the certificate sequence. UWM has an MS in Management degree program that can be combined with this graduate certificate program.

  8. University of California Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of California Los Angeles is a public research university located in Los Angeles, CA. It is the second oldest university in the University of California system, and offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs from a diverse cross-section of disciplines and professions. Just under 45,000 students attend UCLA each year, and the school also maintains a number of celebrated athletic programs.

    Program Features

    UCLA has a Master of Science in Engineering program, which includes a specialization in data science engineering. It is a 36 credit-hour, nine course program, with sample courses such as:

    • Database Systems
    • Machine Learning Algorithms
    • Advanced Topics in Speech Processing
    • Web Information Systems

    Students have two options for completing the degree program. They may take a Capstone Project course during their final semester at UCLA or they may take three written exams for three different graduate level courses within the student’s area of specialization.

    Notables

    Once students have completed the required electives for their degree, the remaining credits may be drawn from engineering electives without needing approval from their advisor/the department. Students are expected to complete the degree with two academic years and one quarter. Three years is the maximum allotted time for this program.

  9. Missouri University of Science & Technology
    Location

    Rolla, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Missouri University of Science and Technology, also known as Missouri S&T, is a public university located in Rolla, Missouri. The school has around 9,000 students, most of whom choose to pursue either STEM or Business programs. The flagship college at the school is its school of engineering, whose students make up more than 70 percent of the university’s overall enrollment.

    Program Features

    Missouri S&T offers a fully-online Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics and Data Science degree through their distance learning service. The program focuses on giving students the ability to be descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive: saying what has happened, what will happen, and what should be done, through courses like:

    • Introduction to Big Data Analytics
    • Cloud Computing and Big Data Management
    • Use of Business Intelligence
    • Data Mining and Machine Learning

    Students take a total of four courses, which includes one core courses and three electives.

    Notables

    Certain elective courses from the program are also available on-campus. The graduate certificate program is open to those holding a BS, MS, or PhD degree in business, social science, or STEM-related majors/fields. The minimum overall GPA for graduating from the program is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The certificate courses can count towards an MBA or MS program, if the student is dual enrolled.

  10. Dakota State University
    Location

    Madison, SD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Dakota State University is a public university located in Madison, South Dakota. DSU emphasizes the use of technology in its classrooms and through its curriculum. Dakota State requires all of its undergraduate students to take introductory computer science courses and to use tablets and laptops in class. The school has around 3,300 total students, including around 350 postgraduates.

    Program Features

    Dakota State offers a Master of Science in Analytics degree program, which includes four different specialization tracks: business, healthcare analytics, information systems, and general. The degree involves completion of 30 credit-hours of study, in courses such as:

    • Statistical Programming
    • Modern Applied Statistics I/II
    • Big Data Analytics
    • Data Warehousing and Data Mining

    Students take a base of 24 credits, split between electives and core courses, before then pursuing two courses in their chosen specialization.

    Notables

    The program can be delivered either online or on-campus. Online students utilize a series of tools including live and encoded streaming videos of classes, interactive course web boards, course websites, and E-mail. Full-time students can complete the program in four semesters, but all students must complete the degree within five years of starting the program.

mini icon

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Online Bachelor’s Degree and Program Guide

Online Bachelor’s Degree and Program Guide

April 16, 2021   |   Victoria Hudgeons

Considering an online bachelor's degree? Distance education might be ideal for you. Explore our guide and learn how to choose the right program for your goals.

Online Master’s Degree and Program Guide

Online Master’s Degree and Program Guide

April 6, 2021   |   CollegeChoice Staff

Enrolling in an online master's degree program can enable you to study at your convenience. Learn why distance education might be the right choice for you.

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.