Data Science Programs in Florida
With over 20 different data science programs, there are a number of options within Florida.
There are a number of online data science related programs, including online programs focused on Business Intelligence, Biomedical Informatics, and multiple certificates also focused on healthcare and analytics.
With Graduate Certificate data science options online, multiple on-campus Masters in Data Science degrees, and undergraduate certificate or Bachelor of Data Science programs, the state of Florida has multiple universities for most degree levels.
Online Data Science Programs in Florida
University of Central Florida: Multiple Engineering and Data Analytics Programs Online and Campus
An online Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering is offered through the College of Engineering and Computer Science. This specialization focuses on the technical aspect between businesses and the consumer and providing a satisfactory experience to the end user. The curriculum consists of four courses, all worth 12 credits: Project Engineering, Systems Integration and Testing, Systems Engineering, and Systems Architecture. These courses are available to complete online and is open to every state.
The school recommends prospective students to have a Bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field and they must send official transcripts. Admission is accepted in the fall and spring semesters, but students that are planning to enroll full time and want to apply to fellowships or assistantships are recommended to join in the fall.
For those looking for a full graduate degree, the Master of Science in Data Analytics is offered on campus. This requires 30 credit hours to complete, six of them equating to two of the following six elective courses: Text Mining, Social Media and Network Analysis, Computational Analysis of Social Complexity, Machine Learning Methods for Biomedical Data, Interactive Data Visualization, and Data Preparation. The degree culminates with a capstone project that showcases what the student has learned throughout the program.
Nova Southeastern University MS in Computer Science
The College of Computing and Engineering provides a Master of Science in Computer Science that can be completed online or on campus. 30 credits, distributed across 10 courses, are required to satisfy the degree and the curriculum is geared toward programming, analyzing algorithms, and database management. The following concentrations can be selected to complement the core courses: Computer Systems, Data Science, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, and Real-World Computing. Those that opt not to go through a concentration take five CISC core courses and five additional courses from any of the concentrations.
Online courses are distributed through the Canvas management system and is available worldwide. Those opting to take on-campus courses will generally meet in the evening. In order to be admitted into the program, students must have prior educational experience in computer science, engineering, and mathematics with an undergraduate degree. Those that do not meet these requirements must take enough of the following courses within the first two terms: Java Programming Language, Computer Organization and Architecture, Mathematics in Computing, and Data Structures and Algorithms. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a B or higher.
Scholarship Opportunities within Florida
Nova Southeastern University has a number of scholarships available for graduate students that are pursuing a degree in the College of Engineering and Computing. The Edward Lieblein Memorial Fund Scholarship is given to those that work in the federal government. Requirements to be eligible for this scholarship include submitting a letter of recommendation from both the employer and faculty member to receive an award from $500 to $2,000. A 500-word essay can also be submitted on how the program will impact the student's work.
The Professor Laurie Dringus Scholarship with an award between $500 and $1,000 requires students to submit an essay on how human-computer interaction will have an impact in their work. Other qualifications needed are completing at least one semester, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and two letters of recommendation from the employer and a faculty member that specifically notes the human-computer component of the applicant's studies.
For full-time graduate students at UCF, various fellowships are available for those that have higher academic merit. The Graduate Dean's fellowship offers a stipend for those newly entering a Master's degree program. Over $300,000 is given out each academic year as a presentation fellowship for students that pursue research and deliver presentations at a professional meeting.
Data Science Careers in Florida
Florida has the fourth-highest employment in the tech sector with over 567,000 workers according to CompTIA. That is representative of 6.1 percent of the state workforce, and pours in $71 billion into the economy. The top occupations in the state are software and web development, network administration, and computer support specialists. It is also the fourth-highest state for innovation.
Even though Florida is the second-fastest growing state in the tech sector, salary is on the lower end when compared to neighboring areas in the Southeast, sitting at $69,226 per year. That is similar to South Carolina, but lower than Georgia and Alabama. These wages are 86 percent higher than median national wages.
Data Science Events, Meetups, and Conferences in Florida
Disney Data and Analytics Conference
Disney Data and Analytics Conference Website
Hosted in Orlando, this two-day event presented by The Walt Disney Company shows how important data-based analytics can be in every industry. Throughout the conference, there are intermittent speakers, product demos, and breakout sessions that are separated into different fields: Data and Technology, Marketing and Consumer Insights, Advanced Analytics, Beyond the Numbers (dives into visualization and storytelling instead of mathematics), and Leading the Way (how executives and leadership roles can adapt data and analytics into their company).
The latest conference in 2019 had 30 presentations, 65 vendors, and over 2,000 attendees. Notable keynote speakers from last year’s event include “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Captain B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, two-time NBA champion Shane Battier (who is now VP of analytics and basketball development for the Miami Heat), and Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, CMO of IBM Watson AI.
Tampa Bay Data Science Group
With just over 1,000 members, this tech group partially sponsored by Microsoft routinely hosts roundtable discussions and new innovations in subjects like data analysis, mining, machine learning, and more. Recent discussions have been comparisons between Python and R, new features in a recent Python release, and entrepreneurial presentations. They hold monthly meetings at various locations, the most frequent being at the Alessi/Vigo Foods Bacardi Memorial Tasting Room in Tampa.
Florida Data Science Career Statistics Information
- Number of people employed within the tech industry: 567,862
- Change in jobs from 2017 to 2018: 18,147
- Average tech industry salary in Florida: $69,226
- Estimated Florida tech salaries ranging from $41,651 to $109,520
- Male Employment: 238,383 (68%)
- Female Employment: 113,572 (32%)