Data Science Programs in Washington
Online programs are scarce in Washington, but in Seattle, a Master's degree focused on Business Analytics can be obtained at Seattle University and a data science graduation certificate is offered through the University of Washington.
While not a large selection of educational data science programs, the Northwestern-most state offers some of the best places to work at with over 20 percent of the workforce representing the tech industry, and there are popular meetup groups that are geared toward beginners.
Online Data Science Programs in Washington
University of Washington
The only online option for UW is getting a Certificate in Data Science. For experienced professionals, this is a good option to switch career focus into a booming industry and only requires three courses: Data Science Process and Tools, Methods for Data Analytics, and Machine Learning Techniques. Based around the Career Accelerator at UW, these courses are completed 100 percent online with no on-campus meetings and no admission deadlines. Once students begin a course, it needs to be completed within four months.
Requirements for admission into this focus is needing at least a year of programming experience (Python, Java, R, or C# preferred), experience with querying databases (SQL), coursework in statistics and linear algebra, and completing a data science assessment that features 30 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 90 minutes. Those that still need to meet these requirements can take the courses needed along with the certificate.
The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering approves the certificate and also offers a Master of Science in Data Science that is completed on campus in Seattle, but there is an option for full and part time with an expectation to complete the curriculum between 1.5 to 2.5 years. Classes are taken in the evening and up to two courses per quarter for full-time students. Typical job opportunities accepted after completing this degree include data scientist, data engineer, data analyst, and marketing analyst.
A similar degree in the field can be achieved online is through the Albers School of Business and Economics with a Master of Science in Business Analytics. The 48-credit program is accredited by the Association to advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and can be completed within two years, and there are four different starts each year for maximum flexibility to enter. There is an additional requirement to complete a Python and R programming bootcamp course.
Additional courses will need to be completed within the first 24 credits of the program for those without prior educational experience: microeconomics, finance, financial accounting, and marketing. These will not count toward the 48 credits in the curriculum. Topics explored in the Master's degree include statistics, law and ethics, business forecasting, data management, and AI and machine learning all with a lens through business analytics.
Scholarship Opportunities within Washington
The University of Washington provides a certificate scholarship to those entering the data science program. Students must be a resident of Washington and cannot be a employee of the university nor any of their family members. The amount is between $3,000 to $4,000. Seattle University also offers a scholarship for those enrolled into a data science program. Preference is given to those who have shown high academic achievement and financial need.
Data Science Events, Meetups, and Conferences in Washington
Data Science Salon
This conference series has a stop in Seattle and focuses on the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence in physical and online retail. Topics approached include cloud automation, deep neural networks, data ethics and bias, image recognition with ML, and much more. Generally, between 200 to 500 people meet up at these conferences and each attendee will get online access to DSS Insider for further education and to access various content material.
Guest speakers include various high-level employees experienced data science and machine learning professionals. Companies that have contributed to these events include Stitch Fix, Airbnb, Nordstrom, Overstock.com, and Groupon.
Seattle Data Science
One of the biggest consistent meetups in the Seattle area is a traditional data science group that routinely holds events multiple times per month. Most content is geared toward those who are looking to break into the industry with fundamental classes, introduction sessions, discussions, and demos. For those that need some experience in SQL, machine learning, and web scraping, this is an easy start. The majority of meetings are held at a Seattle coding bootcamp called Galvanize.
Data Science Careers in Washington
The tech industry’s sixth fastest-growing state is in the Northwest. Washington has over 377,000 people employed according to CompTIA. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellvue metro area is responsible for nearly 80 percent of that number and is growing just as rapidly. A whopping 10.6 percent of the workforce falls into the tech industry, which is third-best in the country. That is no surprise considering Amazon and Microsoft’s headquarters are located in the state.
Washington holds the highest average salary in the United States at $99,653 per year, which is even higher than popular areas such as California, Colorado, and New York. With massive growth in many sectors, like IT services boosting 4.8 percent year-over-year and telecommunications and internet services rising 7 percent year-over-year, the tech industry accounts for one-fifth of the economy.