How to Choose a Data Science Major: Which Data Science Degree?

Data science uses scientific systems and methods to collect raw data about companies, brands or software. The information collected is used to help companies make future decisions. With a growing demand from companies, data science is a promising choice. If this is a career that interests you, you need to know about the best data science majors.

Data Science is a large field. Therefore, to start a successful career, you need to know how to become a data scientist. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to choose a data science major and which data science degree can help you achieve your professional goals.

Why choose a career in data science?

During the last two decades, the world has been rapidly digitized. More than ever, a deep understanding of data science is needed to collect, manage and understand information online and offline. Online businesses and organizations are becoming increasingly popular.

Data scientists are well compensated for the valuable role they play in almost every industry. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) presents data scientists data among Computer and Information Research Scientists. According to BLS, data scientists earn an average annual salary of $126,830, with plenty of room for increase based on location, experience, and specialization.

Data Science Job Outlook

According to the IUS Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for data scientists is projected to grow by 22 percent by 2030. Data science is a growing and progressive field, leading to an estimated 3,000 job openings per year.

Satisfaction with work in data science

Like any job in business analytics, a career in data science offers high job satisfaction. Your professional experience and technical skills create opportunities that are more competitive than many other scientific careers. There is room to deepen your knowledge and change career paths or develop further as a data scientist.

Salary Potential for Data Science

Career Minimum education level Average salary
Data Architect Bachelor’s degree $123,052
Machine Learning Engineer master diploma $122,717
data scientist Bachelor’s degree $104,261
data engineer Bachelor’s degree $100,583
Data analyst Bachelor’s degree $62,557

How to Choose a Data Science Major: Tips for Selecting the Right Data Science Degree

Tip 1: Research

If data science is a field that interests you, start doing some thorough research. It is important to know income percentages, job satisfaction and relevant educations offered at various colleges and universities. You should become well versed in data science as an educational and professional path before committing to it.

Tip 2: Follow a Data Science course

Once you have an idea of ​​what data science is all about, choose a program that appeals to you. Some good degrees include a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in data science. For example, a Bachelor of Science in Statistics or a Master of Science in Business Analytics is a good start.

Tip 3: Talk to data scientists

Current data scientists have professional experience and in-depth knowledge that can help you. Speaking with a professional can provide immediate answers to your questions. They can also help you make an informed decision about your chosen career path and advise you on the best settings.

Look for schools that offer data science degree programs. To narrow it down, you can list the top five schools you are interested in. You can do further research by asking future college alumni questions to help you choose one.

Tip 5: Map out a decision tree

A decision tree is a diagram that helps you visualize your decision-making process. After considering the above tips, create a decision tree with all your research results. You can include applications, universities, and links to sites for help. For proper consideration, you can make a pros and cons list to help you choose the best data science major.

What Data Science Degree: Best Majors for a Data Science Career

Knowing the best data science majors makes for a successful career.


Statistics is the analysis and interpretation of data. A statistician helps to capture, analyze and translate data into data science. When you become a statistician, you will acquire critical thinking, computer skills and analytical skills. Harvard University is one of the best schools for a degree in statistics.

  • Associated career paths: Economist, statistician, business analyst, market researcher
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

computer technology

Computer science is another major data science major. A computer scientist handles large amounts of data, has analytical skills and programming skills. They use a computer with a large storage capacity as their primary resource. In a computer science program, you learn soft skills such as adaptability, curiosity, and communication skills.

  • Associated career paths: Software developer, software engineer, database administrator
  • Education levels: Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, PhD

data engineering

Data engineering performs hypothesis tests and builds models that help store and analyze data. With a strong background in engineering, you may decide to enroll in graduate programs from a high-ranking university and even earn a graduate degree.

  • Associated career paths: Business Intelligence Analysts, Software Engineer, Data Modeling
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree


Biostatistics merges with biomedical sciences to solve problems in medicine, biology and public health. Majoring in biostatistics could mean studying to create solutions to healthcare systems and health challenges. On average, the annual salary of a biostatistician is $77,848.

  • Associated career paths: Research Engineer, Data Manager, Data Analyst
  • Education levels: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree

machine learning

Machine Learning is a form of artificial intelligence that allows computers to function independently without being programmed. Several fields, such as medicine, image processing and speech recognition, apply algorithms extracted from machine learning. A machine learning engineer is paid $112,266 annually.

  • Associated career paths: Business Intelligence Developer, Software Engineer, Machine Learning Engineering
  • Education levels: Master’s Degree, PhD

Other practical courses can lead you to a successful career as a data scientist. Studying these majors can solve real-world problems and create common career opportunities for you. Below are other notable majors in data science.

  • Computer programming
  • Meteorology or Astrophysics
  • Foreign language
  • Data analysis
  • Math
  • data mining
  • Database Systems
  • Data visualization
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Social Sciences

Is a career in data science right for me?

Yes, a career in data science is right for you if you are interested in the field. Data scientists fuel their curiosity by being open to this evolving field. They possess specialized skills such as deep learning, mathematics, statistics and programming. A data scientist identifies, assesses and creates solutions to problems. They have critical thinking skills and programming skills. If these things interest you, you should definitely consider a career in data science.

FAQs about the best data science major

Can I learn data science myself?

Yes, you can learn data science yourself. Online resources like boot camps or online classes from sites like Coursera and Udemy can help. Do your research to find the best in-person and online data science courses to achieve your career goals.

Why is data science in high demand?

Data science is in high demand as data is collected from companies, institutions and software. A data scientist’s job is to read and analyze data and make decisions. These companies need data scientists to help them run smoothly.

Do I need experience to be a data scientist?

Yes, you need experience to be a data scientist. Having work experience before applying for a job as a data scientist is a plus, but there are other ways to be a data scientist. The first thing you need to do is get a degree and certification from a reputable organization. You can also apply for an internship at a company.

Which degree is best for data science?

A bachelor’s degree is best if you want to become a data scientist. You can also continue your education through graduate programs by choosing a master’s or PhD program.

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