Data Science Programs in California
With over 2 dozen different data science programs in California, there are quite a few options to choose from. There are also a handful of online data science programs in California that also have campus locations within the state.
All degrees are a Master in Data Science degree offering aside from a Graduate Certificate in Data Science offered by Stanford University. The University of California at Berkeley's Master of Information and Data Science program (sometimes goes by the acronym MIDS) is a growing degree offering from a top-tier university, offering the degree part-time, full-time, and in an accelerated format for those that qualify.
Online Data Science Programs in California
University of California-Berkeley: MIDS Degree
Completing the program can take between 12 to 32 months depending on the speed chosen. The curriculum is 27 units with core classes focusing on data engineering, data visualization, research design, statistical analysis, and more. Featured courses for the MIDS degree include Applied Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning, and the legal and ethical issues around data science. There is a capstone project at the end that completes the program.
Weekly live class meetings will have 18 students at maximum and various features will be available, such as document sharing and group activities. Students have the option to choose a PC or mobile platform for their classes and all lectures will be recorded for on-demand access. There is a need for a week-long residency at the UC Berkeley campus to meet with faculty and other students, as well as meeting with professionals in the data science field.
National University: MS in Data Science
The San Diego-based college provides a Master of Science in Data Science that can be completed on-campus or online. Geared toward experienced professionals or recent graduates, the program offers unique features such as studying each course one month at a time for convenience. The curriculum is across 13 courses with 58.5 units, and students learn abilities such as data management and machine learning methods, creating and analyzing data files, and developing team productivity to research and improve company performance.
The program concludes with a three-month capstone project and has a requirement of students receiving a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the previous courses. Students will either work with real data from sponsored companies or other university-approved public data to analyze problems and develop solutions, showcasing the skills they have learned in their education.
Stanford University: Foundations of Data Science Certificate
For those needing quick statistics and programming education, the Stanford School of Engineering offers a Foundations of Data Science certification. There are only three courses needed to complete curriculum -- an introduction to statistics and a deep dive into Python and R programming. The entire program will take around 30 to 40 hours to complete and is entirely self-paced for up to 90 days after enrollment. There is no requirement to have prior experience before joining and no final exams or capstone projects to complete the certificate.
Scholarship Opportunities within California
A couple of scholarships are available for data science graduates entering the University of California-Berkeley. The Jack Larson Data for Good Fellowship offers an $8,500 award for those completing a Master of Information in Data Science degree and they must show how they are using the education to create a better life and society. Another scholarship for MIDS students that can demonstrate financial need waives the week-long residency fee of $500.
For women that are members of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Women in Engineering for at least a year, they are eligible for a scholarship from the organization if they are enrolled in the MIDS program at UC-Berkeley. The award is up to $7,500 toward tuition.
Students working in the Master of Science in Data Science program at the University of San Francisco are automatically entered into a university-sponsored scholarship that is between a $2,000 and $10,000 award. Those with high academic marks will be considered.
Data Science Events, Meetups, and Conferences in California
DATAx San Francisco
San Francisco has hosted multiple DATAx summits, covering machine learning innovation, AI in marketing and healthcare, big data, and gaming analytics. DATAx hosts the biggest gaming analytics conference in the world, where leading professionals share the impact of data science and what methods they use for success with AAA publishers such as Ubisoft, Activision, and Electronic Arts.
Another summit, AI in Marketing, collects various high-level marketers and data scientists from a wide variety of companies like Uber, Instacart, and GoDaddy. Attendees will learn how AI helps bring in customers and keeps them using products and services, as well as learning the latest disruptive technology.
Big Data Science
Boasting with over 5,000 members, one of the biggest monthly meetups is the Big Data Science group in Fremont. Every fourth Sunday of the month, content involves general information around AI, machine learning, and the internet of the things, along with interactive experience with using software tools. Students of all levels in data science are welcome to join.
Parents are welcome to join younger students, but only one as meetings are limited in size. Location of the meetings vary and other in-depth topics they have covered are chatbots, blockchain, and automation.
Data Science Careers in California
When it comes to opportunities in the tech industry, it is no surprise that California leads the way with over 1,780,000 jobs and is the fastest-growing state in the country according to CompTIA. Only the state of Washington comes close to their level of employment along the Western portion of the United States. Of the many popular metro areas in the state, the Bay Area combination of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Clara has over 425,000 workers compared to the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area with over 327,000 opportunities. IT services is the leading industry sector with positive 3.9 percent year-over-year growth.
Because the state is so big, having 9.4 percent of the workforce represent the tech industry is significant. This represents over a $482 billion impact in the economy. The median salary for workers in California sits at $96,237, which is only lower than Washington across the entire country. It is higher than 101 percent of the median national wages.