Predictive Analytics Degree Programs

By Henry R. Steele - September 25, 2018
Reading Time: 5 minutes

A predictive analytics degree is a bachelor’s or master’s degree that will teach you how to make sense of big data, as well as teach you the leadership and business skills that are needed to bridge IT and bring it closer to other business departments. You will learn how to create interdisciplinary business strategies that will help the organization to maximize the use of its data.

What Is Predictive Analytics?

Predictive analytics is a branch of analytics that experts use to form predictions about future events that are unknown. Predictive analytics uses many highly advanced technological techniques: data mining, statistics, modeling, machine learning, and AI to study current business data and to form predictions. Predictive analytics uses many data mining, predictive modeling, and analytical methods to make such predictions. Patterns that are discovered in transactional and historical data can be used to pinpoint risks and opportunities in the future. Predictive analytics models may be used to learn about relationships among many a variety of factors to make a risk assessment with certain conditions.

With the successful application of predictive analytics, businesses can efficiently interpret large datasets to drive efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Opportunity

There is strong, growing demand for professionals with strong data analytics skills. IBM predicts the demand for data science professionals will increase by 28% by 2020. This finding was noted in a recently published report called The Quant Crunch: How Demand for Data Science Skills Is Disrupting the Job Market. Key findings of this report include:

  • 60% of all data science and analytics jobs will be in IT, finance, insurance, and professional services.
  • By 2020, the number of data analytics jobs will increase by 364,000 job listings. The total number employed in this booming field will be at least 2.7 million.
  • 40% of data scientist and related jobs require a master’s degree to be considered.
  • It takes about 53 days for an analytics manager position to be filled, indicating there are not enough of these professionals in the job market today.
  • The most in-demand skills in data and predictive analytics will be Apache Pig, machine learning, Apache Hive and Apache Hadoop.

Career Paths

The most common career paths in this growing field will be for data scientists and advanced data analysts, with jobs expected to rise by at least 20% in the next three years. These are among the most difficult jobs to fill in, according to Forbes.

Another excellent career path for a professional with a predictive analytics degree is an operations research analyst. These data professionals use mathematical and scientific methods to assist organizations to make better decisions and solve problems. These professionals will have at least 25% more job demand through 2026, which is much faster than average. As technology gets more advanced, and companies want to save money and drive efficiency, demand for these workers with advanced degrees will grow.

Salary

The median salary for operations research analysts is $81,300, with the top 10% earning more than $134,000 per year.

Forbes also notes many data scientists and data engineers with a master’s degree are able to negotiate salaries of over $100,000.

Employers

Some of the top data analytics and data science employers in the US today are:

  • Accenture
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
  • Aon
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Oath
  • MSD
  • Intel
  • Pramerica

Online Degree

Students who are working full time and have personal obligations may want to earn their degree online. Doing so allows you to earn your degree on your schedule. You rarely need to go to a college campus, if at all. A good option for an online Master of Data Science (formerly known as an MS in Predictive Analytics) is at Depaul University. This two year, online MS degree will teach you the advanced analytical and technical skills to meet the many challenges of modern, big data analytics.

You will be prepared to be a leader in data science and will be able to analyze large amounts of data and pull information from highly complex data sources. The curriculum of the program stresses technical proficiency and practical business experience. Students develop advanced skills and techniques in statistics, data mining, machine learning, and big data processing.

Required courses include:

  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Tools and Techniques for Computational Analysis
  • Introduction to Programming
  • Database Processing for Large-Scale Analytics
  • Python Programming
  • Fundamentals of Data Science
  • Data Visualization
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Web Data Mining

Bachelor’s Degree

Do you want to make yourself an indispensable asset to any business or organization with huge volumes of data to comb through? You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics from Southern New Hampshire University. This four year, undergraduate degree combines facets of information technology, business, and mathematics with data mining, optimization, and simulation. With this broad skill set and knowledge, you will learn how to not just dissect data, but also be able to place it in context of the many challenges that businesses face in the world today. With this bachelor of science, you will know how to:

  • Define and identify major data challenges in almost any industry
  • Collect and organize data and information from a variety of business sources
  • Examine large amounts of data and determine what is important and how it can be best analyzed
  • Utilize statistical analysis, simulation and optimization to perform data analysis and develop usable and real-world solutions

Some required courses in this data analytics degree program are:

  • Foundations of Data Analytics
  • Fundamentals of Data Mining
  • Data Analytics I and II
  • Decision Support Presentation
  • Introduction to Scripting
  • Capstone in Data Analytics
  • Database Design
  • Project Management in IT

Master’s Degree

Students and professionals who want to further their business careers in predictive analytics can benefit from earning a Master of Science in Analytics from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. This two year, in person degree program teaches students analytics skills that are central to most business success in the modern, data-driven marketplace. It is a full time, 15-month program with an applied data science curriculum.

One of the advantages of this program is that it trains graduates to be skilled in both modeling and data mining. Coursework will include advanced machine learning, artificial intelligence and also applied statistical approaches. Students will learn how to think in a critical fashion about programming solutions and matching techniques in an organizational context.

This program draws on the analytics skills and talents of many lecturers and professors with years of experience at major corporations. It combines statistical and mathematical studies with teaching in advanced data management and engineering. Students will be immersed in an applied and comprehensive curriculum with the following goals:

  • Perform advanced data engineering and other data related processes in the cloud and on campus.
  • Identify critical data patterns and trends.
  • Apply new AI solutions that include deep learning and reinforcement learning to deploy machines to improve human decision making.
  • Develop and deploy predictive analytics, AI and machine learning in a modern business context.
  • Communicate predictive data findings in useful and practical terms that assist businesses to succeed.
  • Derive optimized recommendations that are based upon data.

Admissions Requirements

To earn a master’s degree in predictive analytics, you will need to be well qualified to be admitted. Some of the common criteria for admission into this program at the master’s level include:

  • 0 GPA or higher
  • GRE scores may be required
  • Official college transcripts
  • 3 professional and academic recommendations
  • Resume
  • Writing samples

Curriculum

Each program has its own analytics curriculum. At Northwestern University’s master’s program highlighted above, these are the required courses:

  • Predictive Analytics
  • Introduction to Databases and Information Retrieval
  • Introduction to Java and Python Programming
  • Data Mining
  • Data Visualization
  • Analytics Value Chain
  • Analytics for Big Data
  • Data Management for Business Intelligence
  • Deep Learning

Financial Assistance

Some of the best scholarships and grants that you can get if you are studying predictive analytics are:

  • ACM SIGHPC/Intel Computational and Data Science Fellowship
  • Acxiom Corporation Diversity Scholarship
  • Bill Casper Memorial Diversity Scholarship
  • CA Technologies Fellowship for Women
  • Daniel Larose Scholarship for Data Mining Excellence
  • Fisher Family Fund Fellowship Program
  • INFORMS Analytics Society Student Scholarship

Certifications

There are many good certifications that you may want to earn to advance your career in predictive analytics:

  • Certified Analytics Professional
  • Cloudera Certified Associate Administrator
  • Cloudera Certified Associate Data Analyst
  • HDP Apache Spark Developer
  • IBM Certified Data Architect
  • Amazon Web Services Big Data Specialist
  • SAS Certified Big Data Professional

Associations

Belonging to the following organizations can be very good for your predictive analytics career:

  • Digital Analytics Association
  • Data Science Association
  • World Analytics Association
  • Data and Marketing Association

Earning a degree in predictive analytics will teach you how to expertly manipulate and derive informed solutions from large amounts of data. Given that understanding large datasets is so important in business today, it is likely that you will have many excellent job opportunities with this degree in the years to come.

References

  • IBM Predicts Demand for Data Scientists Will Soar by 28% by 2020. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2017/05/13/ibm-predicts-demand-for-data-scientists-will-soar-28-by-2020/#17e4b0c47e3b
  • MS in Data Analytics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/analytics/curriculum/
  • What Is Predictive Analytics? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.predictiveanalyticstoday.com/what-is-predictive-analytics/
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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