Guide to Data Analytics Degree

Data analytics professionals are in high demand for high paying positions. Read ahead for a guide to data analytics degree programs available today.

If you are researching education for an in-demand career field with high salary potential a data analytics degree might be right for you. Educated data analytics professionals are in high demand for 2021 due to a variety of important factors. Never has there been a better time to pursue this type of degree, but what are the top nationwide online schools offering data analytics programs today? What types of job positions are available for people with data analytics degrees? 

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, the option to attend online and in-person schools are once again both available. Online programs provide the same quality of education as do in-person classes and are perfect for data analytics studies, however. Read ahead for a handy guide to online data analytics degree programs available for you today.


What Is Data Analytics?

Data analytics involves the collection and processing of data and information from online sources and large-size datasets. Statistical analysis of collected data is also involved. Research is conducted into ways data provides solutions for modern problems and answers to constantly evolving questions. Technology is an integral part of running a business in 2021 and therefore some level of data analytics is essential for successful enterprises regardless of size. This is as true for mega-corporations selling products internationally as it is for recording artists building fan bases. Data analysts now commonly use Structured Query Language (SQL) to collect data from databases. SQL allows data analysts to interact with multiple and relational databases simultaneously and is widely considered a more user-friendly language than its predecessors. SQL is also a simple langue albeit one capable of handling complex data analysis with impressive speed & accuracy.

Behind the Recent Demand for Data Analytics Professionals

What is behind the recent (and significant) demand for data analytics professionals? The facts are quite simple: Technology has advanced faster and created more data/information in the last two decades than many companies are capable of handling under current business/staffing models. The advent and rapid implementation of relational databases into many everyday business operations is a more involved answer to why more data analysts are needed today. Relational databases heavily interact with other relational databases, making data collection/analysis a more complex process.

Back to more basic facts, customer needs have grown as rapidly as the technology tracking them. Ways to get products into the hands of customers also expanded and are continuing to expand. Essentially, companies need to stay on top of customer-based analytics to stay in business. Additional reasons behind the recent demand for data analytics professionals include:

  • Amount of connected devices continues to increase daily

  • Today’s increased amount of data is more easily accessible

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making (DDDM), which uses hard facts to help companies make informed decisions, has become essential to succeed in modern times

Salaries and Types of Jobs Available

The salary range for data analyst positions is between approximately $68,000 and $95,000+ per year. The median salary is approximately $95,000, which is almost twice as high as the median salary average for most U.S. jobs today. Even the average entry-level salary for data analysts is approximately $70,000, which is also much higher than most starting position salaries for other jobs.

Projected Growth Rate(s)

Actual salaries and job growth rate projections vary based on the type of data analyst job obtained. For example, operations research analyst positions are expected to grow by twenty percent through 2029, much more than most other vocations during the same time-period. Computer systems analyst jobs are expected to grow by seven percent through 2029, slower than operations research jobs but still faster than many other vocations. 

Job Types

Data analyst positions are categorized in four primary types. Descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive data analysts are all in great demand in 2021 and the foreseeable future. Each of these four primary types are further broken down into specific job titles and positions, including:

  • Business intelligence

  • Data science/scientist

  • Quantitative analysis

  • Data engineer

  • Analytics consultant

  • Operations analyst/consultant

  • Project manager

  • Market analyst

  • Transportation logistics

  • IT systems analyst

Tuition & Financial Aid

The more education you obtain the more likely you are to receive a higher starting salary in data analytics. Still, high-quality certificate and degree programs are available nationwide. Tuition costs for these programs vary based on the level of degree you pursue, the school from which you obtain it and if you enroll as an in/out-of-state student. For example, East Carolina University offers a data science master’s degree program at $8,077.80/yr for in-state students and $27,414.60/yr for out-of-state students. The University of West Florida offers a data science master’s degree program at $11,538.00 to all students whether in-state or out. 

Certificate programs cost significantly less and last from three to twelve months. Certificate programs are enough to get you certain entry-level positions in some companies but not enough to earn you the highest salaries. Data analyst bachelor’s degree program tuition ranges from approximately $8,000 to $25,000 per year. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form might help you obtain financial aid including Federal Pell Grants, which helps cover the cost of some or all your tuition. Each school also potentially offers proprietary scholarship money based on your prior academic achievements and other personal/extracurricular merits. 

Top Nationwide Online Data Analytics Schools 2021

Top quality nationwide online data analytics programs are available in 2021. Accredited certificate as well as bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs are all available online. Some of the top nationwide online data analytics schools available today include: