Data Science Programs in Virginia
Many of the big universities in Virginia (University of Virginia and Virginia Tech) offer an online program in data science for graduate students, as well as accelerated graduate certificates that are geared toward a specialization.
With a number of government and federal agencies in the area, there is a high level of tech employment in the northern part of Virginia.
- College of William and Mary: M.S. in Business Analytics
- George Mason University: Computational Data Sciences Minor (undergrad) Doctorate: Computational Sciences and Informatics M.S. in Data Analytics Engineering Masters in Information Systems MS in Computational Science Spatial Business Intelligence Graduate Certificate
- Radford University: MS in Data and Information Management
- University of Virginia: M.S. in Business Analytics
Online Data Science Programs in Virginia
Virginia Tech University Online Master of IT
The Pamplin College of Business provides an Online Master of Information Technology both 100 percent online and a graduate certificate for accelerated education. 11 total courses are needed to complete the degree, and students even have the option of selecting four of six core courses that involve Java programming, software engineering, and computer system fundamentals. As for the electives, students can select an area of specialization that will also include recommended core classes to take:
- Analytics and Business Intelligence
- Big Data
- Business Information Systems
- Cybersecurity Management
- Cybersecurity Policy
- Decision Support Systems
- Health Information Technology
- Software Development
- Software Engineering
Some of these specializations can be used to satisfy graduate certificate requirements, which need 12 credits and can also be completed fully online. There are no on-campus requirements for this program. Students can complete the curriculum in as little as two years if they take two courses per term in the fall, spring, and summer.
The online experience features a synchronous class using Zoom software that is held on one evening each week with supplemental on-demand narrated PowerPoint lectures and a virtual computer lab for programming. Zoom can also be used for study sessions with other classmates and conferences with faculty members.
George Mason University Online MS in Data Analytics Engineering
The Volgenau School of Engineering has an online Master of Science in Data Analytics Engineering. In around 18 months time, students will learn to gather and manipulate structured and unstructured data to create business solutions. Half of the 10-class curriculum focuses on traditional data science subject such as statistics, data visualization, and decision making. Example elective options to complete the program are big data, machine learning, decision theory, predictive analysis, and risk analysis. The program is accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
There are no requirements to meet on-campus for this degree. The program is open to all United States residents and there are opportunities for any term start date as long as the university is accepting admissions. Those that may not have a strong background in analytics are recommended to take a fundamental course before beginning the degree. Graduates have found work in various public and private sectors with various data science, analyst, and engineering roles.
University of Virginia Online Master of Data Science
Another online option in Virginia is through the Data Science Institute, who provides an online Master of Science in Data Science. The coursework surrounding the degree includes learning how to extract data in various structures and analyzing it with various tools to solve complicated data sets, and doing so in an ethical manner. The program recommends at least a three-year degree and completing subjects like calculus, linear algebra, statistics, and introductory programming.
The curriculum is expected to take two years to complete with 14 courses, but that could change each year as it is updated to keep up with innovation. Example courses include Foundations of Computer Science, Data Mining, Ethics in Data Science, and Bayesian Machine Learning. There is a capstone project that is completed over the final two terms.
The online system features live classes and coursework that can be completed at the student's own pace. There will be opportunities to talk with faculty during office hours and programming software will be included, along with additional resources from a 24/7 virtual library. Students that have completed the program have gone on to take roles as a data analyst, data scientist, systems engineer, and machine learning engineer.
Scholarship Opportunities within Virginia
Graduate students enrolled either part-time or full-time in the Master of Science in Data Analytics Engineering at George Mason University are eligible for the James D. Palmer endowed scholarship. The award is $5,000 for those that obtain high academic merit. The Dr. Lawrence Cranberg Endowed Scholarship in Science and Engineering is given out by a committee approved by the dean with an undisclosed award.
Full-time graduate students enrolled in a data science program at the University of Virginia are eligible for a presidential fellowship that provides full tuition and a $28,000 stipend each academic year for living expenses. This is given to students that can demonstrate working on real-world data-driven solutions.
Data Science Careers in Virginia
Virginia has the sixth-highest tech employment in the United States with over 436,500 workers according to CompTIA. They have one of the biggest ratios of any state in terms of the amount of people working in the tech industry compared to other jobs (10.7 percent).
Data Science Careers in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Area
The busy metro area of Washington-Arlington-Alexandria that also spreads into the District of Columbia, Maryland, and West Virginia, houses over 437,000 jobs, the third-most in the nation.
Charlottesville is another hot job market in the data science field with firms like Elder Research and S&P Global.
Median salary in the state is $94,493, which is among the highest in the Northeast and is comparable to Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.
Data Science Events, Meetups, and Conferences in Virginia
Big Data for Intelligence Symposium
Big Data for Intelligence Symposium Website
This two-day event hosted by the Defense Strategies Institute is geared toward those that are in the Department of Defense and related federal employees and will host many of those in the intelligence community, government agency, and academia members.
The goal of the event is to use advanced analytics to secure big data and the cloud from malicious attacks, hacking, and cyberterrorism. Many high-level officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the US Navy are scheduled speakers at the event.
Virginia Data Science Career Statistics Information
- Number of people employed within the tech industry: 436,545
- Change in jobs from 2017 to 2018: 6,412
- Average tech industry salary in Virginia: $94,493
- Estimated Virginia tech salaries ranging from $58,278 to $149,775
- Male Employment: 205,129 (67%)
- Female Employment: 99,169 (33%)