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Top Universities in USA to Study Data Science and Engineering

  • Highlights

  • Cloud computing, analytics, and data mining are among the hottest skills in the job market

  • Work experience backed by a strong education background can boost your career prospects

  • Many American universities offer world-class education in data science and engineering

According to Linkedin’s projection of the hottest skills for last year, data and cloud computing is right at the top in countries like Germany, France, India and Ireland, closely followed by statistical analysis and data mining. With Big Data becoming bigger than ever, permeating every field of work, this projection is no surprise. More and more science and engineering students are opting for careers as data scientists, data analysts, information engineers, statisticians, and programmers.

With increase in competition however, educational qualifications tend to play a large role. In fact, the world’s biggest users of Big Data are known to hire strictly from the best of colleges, that too students with prior work experience. If you have a knack for data management or aspire to play a major role in the way data is consumed and understood, a master’s degree from one of these reputed American universities will surely bolster your career trajectory.

Stanford University, California

A frontrunner when it comes to science and technology, Stanford’s close proximity to the Silicon Valley makes it quite attractive to students who wish to pursue a career in computers and applied sciences. The university’s Department of Statistics, in collaboration with the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME), offers a Master’s of Science in Statistics: Data Science. The course aims to inculcate mathematical, computational, statistical, and programming skills among its students and widen their understanding of Big Data and its application in science and engineering.

University of California, San Diego

The university’s Jacobs School of Engineering offers a data science and engineering programme at the master’s level, where aspiring engineers are trained in software programming, database management, and statistics. The programme comprises 10 courses spanning programming, analysis, applications management and visualisation. For early- or mid-level data scientists looking to broaden their understanding and career prospects, this programme is ideal as it also connects you to engineering experts from all over the country.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pennsylvania

CMU is among the best universities in the country for pursuing computer science and research. It offers a master’s in computational data science that equips students to excel in the next generation of big data system deployments, analyse large amounts of data, and present it in a readable and understandable manner. The advantage of taking up this course is that you will have ample opportunities to collaborate with some of the biggest names in the country for your research and industrial projects. CMU encourages its students to take up internships and the campus is frequently scouted for new talent by Google and Amazon. A strong base in computer science, whether through education or work experience, is expected of applicants.

Northwestern University, Illinois

If learning on the job is what you’re looking for, the Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering offers a comprehensive MS in analytics that is a balanced mix of work experience and classroom teaching. The programme combines mathematical and statistical studies with advanced information technology and data management, focusing on data mining, optimisation, and interpretation. A three-month internship and an eight-month industry project are compulsory for all students. The university also offers a part-time online MS in predictive analysis.

New York University (NYU), New York City

If you are looking for a time-flexible course in data sciences, NYU’s Center for Data Science offers an MS course that you can complete full-time over two years or part-time over five years. NYU was the first university in the world to offer a master’s degree in data science. The course is largely interdisciplinary, spanning the departments of statistics, bio-statistics, AI, economics, psychology, and business, which also gives you immense research opportunities. You can also opt for Big Data science, data and mathematics, and data and physics as electives.

Financing Your Masters’ Degree

Data science is an expensive course, largely because of the technical costs of experiential learning, use of expensive software required for dealing with complex data. Depending upon the college, city, and course duration, it can cost you anything between Rs.25 lakh to Rs.57 lakh for tuition alone.

Colleges like NYU offer partial scholarships, while those like CMU offer no financial assistance. Added to this, there is also housing and living expenses that you need to plan for.

A loan against property for education is among the most viable options for financing your education. With low interest rates and a tenor that stretches up to 20 years, you will have enough time to repay your loan. You can avail up to 75% of the value of the property, which could be sufficient to support your tuition and living expenses.

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