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A bachelor's in data analytics is a four-year undergraduate degree that equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to assume roles in data management and business analytics. If you have a knack for statistics, computer savvy, and an interest in extracting insights from data, you may thrive in this field.
Recent technological advances have created significant volumes of data. Data professionals help convert this information into actionable insights. One way to begin this career path is earning a bachelor's in data analytics. Our guide provides an introduction to this degree, how much it costs, benefits of earning one, and which schools offer it.
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Why a Bachelor's in Data Analytics?
Data analytics is the process experts use to draw conclusions from raw data. Though humanity has a long history of using data to make decisions, modern data science appeared during World War II with the advent of computers.
Today, data analysts, data administrators, business intelligence consultants, and financial and operational analysts explore human behavior through information. These professionals work in an array of fields, including retail, finance, healthcare, education, and national security.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of data scientists and related careers will increase 35% between 2022 and 2032. Both the volume of data and decision-makers' increasing reliance on data to inform strategy help drive this growing demand for data analysts.
Earning an undergraduate degree in data analytics can help position you for a career in information management. Programs in this field build students' skills in statistics, linear algebra, programming languages, and computer science.
Graduates can qualify for an array of jobs. Experience or further education can prepare data professionals for leadership roles in corporations, industries, or the data analytics field.
Should You Get Your Undergraduate Degree Online?
Distance learning has evolved since the University of Illinois introduced an intranet system for its students in the mid-1960s. In 2021, 29.7% of students pursued their education exclusively online, while another 29.3% took at least one online course, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
Successful online learners rely on schedules and plans, stick to a routine, stay engaged with course materials, and ask for help when they need it. If you have self-sufficiency and motivation, you may thrive in online education settings. However, if you prefer the rigorous structures and schedules of in-person learning, you may benefit instead of an on-campus degree.
Schools With Bachelor's in Data Analytics Programs
Many schools offer a bachelor's degree in data analytics. The directory of schools in the table below represents only those institutions reporting a graduation rate greater than 50% based on NCES data. Schools are listed alphabetically.
|School Name||Student Population||Data Analytics Bachelor's Degree Program||Graduation Rate||Average Net Price: 2021-2022|
|Adrian College||1,821||Bachelor of Arts in Data Analytics||51%||$24,870|
|Baldwin Wallace University||3,220||Bachelor of Arts in Data Analytics||65%||$28,705|
|Ball State University||19,777||Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Computer Science — Data Analytics and Machine Learning Concentration||64%||$12,615|
|Bryan College||1,656||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||51%||$16,752|
|Carlow University||2,104||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||56%||$17,437|
|Drake University||4,685||Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||76%||$30,333|
|Johnson & Wales University||4,566||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||59%||$32,801|
|Lynn University||3,520||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||52%||$38,728|
|Newman University||2,848||Bachelor of Science in Business Data Analytics||52%||$18,792|
|Ohio Northern University||3,015||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||72%||$27,398|
|Ohio Wesleyan University||1,410||Bachelor of Arts in Data Analytics||66%||$27,311|
|Saint Norbert College||1,882||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||72%||$26,983|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||11,327||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||53%||$13,858|
|University of Missouri-St Louis||15,181||Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Analysis||52%||$13,211|
|University of Toledo||15,545||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||55%||$17,654|
|University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point||7,964||Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics||56%||$13,702|
Is a Bachelor's in Data Analytics Expensive?
NCES data reports the average cost of tuition and required fees for in-state students at public schools stood at $9,375 in the 2020-21 school year. That figure rose to $27,091 for out-of-state students and $32,825 for learners at private schools. While these costs are averages and can vary widely, they reveal just how expensive higher education can be.
Many factors affect a school's cost, including its brand reputation, public or private status, and students' state residency. While in college, students also pay for housing, food, transportation, and other expenses.
How can students meet these costs?
Pell Grants are need-based grants from the federal government. These financial aid sources are available for qualifying students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment.
Private organizations, foundations, civic clubs, and schools provide scholarships to qualifying students. These groups award scholarships based on merit, need, or student demographics. For example, the Milliman Opportunity Scholarship provides resources to students from groups who are historically underrepresented in data science. Like grants, scholarships do not require repayment.
Both individual schools and the federal government offer work-study programs. These part-time jobs allow students to apply their earnings toward tuition and often take place on campus.
Jobs for Graduates of Data Analytics Programs
Data analytics graduates can start their careers with jobs in cost estimation or financial analysis, among other fields. According to the BLS, cost estimators earned a median salary of $71,200 in 2022, while market research analysts earned a median salary of $68,230 per year.
With 1-3 years of experience or additional education in the field, professionals can assume more complex data science or business intelligence roles, including the jobs listed below. For each career, we've provided the 2022 BLS median salary data.
Is a Data Analytics Bachelor's Worth it?
Like any undergraduate major, a data analytics degree requires a sizable investment of time and money. By enrolling in school, you are foregoing four years of income and paying tuition costs that can cumulatively exceed $100,000, so you want to make sure that your degree is worth the investment. How can you tell? Look at the data.
A bachelor's degree in data analytics can qualify you for jobs with higher-than-average salaries, including careers that earn median salaries in the six-figure range. BLS data shows that data scientists, a broad career category that includes data analysts, earned a median wage of $103,500 in 2022 — more than double the median salary for all workers that same year.
This earning potential can signal a positive return on investment for a data analytics bachelor's degree.
Questions About Undergraduate Data Analytics Degrees
Are bachelor's in data analytics degrees hard?
A bachelor's in data analytics requires extensive knowledge of statistics, computer science, and programming languages — subjects which can prove challenging. With preparation, diligence, and focused study, however, students can master these complicated concepts.
What should I look for in a data analytics program?
When choosing your program, consider factors like cost, graduation timeline, and institutions' career preparation resources. If you have specific job goals in mind, ensure prospective schools offer courses, specializations, or minors that will help prepare you for these roles. Finally, make sure each institution holds accreditation to verify that it meets standards of academic excellence.
Will I learn coding in a bachelor's in data analytics program?
Data analytics careers generally require some coding skills, so most programs in the discipline include courses in computer languages. They can help you manage large databases and work with machine learning models. You may encounter classes about Python, SQL, C#, R, or scripting and programming.
What are the admission requirements for a bachelor's in data analytics?
Each college sets its own admissions criteria. As a general rule, however, you should hold a high school diploma or its equivalent with a minimum 2.0-2.5 GPA. Additionally, many schools require application materials like a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular resumes. You usually do not need professional experience to qualify for a traditional bachelor's degree. Many schools charge application fees, and some offer waivers.
Should I get a data analytics degree or a computer science degree?
Whether you should pursue data analytics or computer science depends on your career goals. Both degrees require math and logic skills, but diverge in several key areas: A computer science degree focuses on programming, software engineering, and computer science theory. Data science and analytics degrees, in contrast, emphasize data collection, data mining, and machine learning.
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