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Diving into data: BW's new data science and data analytics majors

These new interdisciplinary majors offer data-minded students the opportunity to pursue a career in the field of their choice.

Finger pointing to data on a screen

Baldwin Wallace University's two newest majors, data science and data analytics, offer students an opportunity to study in an interdisciplinary program that not only challenges those interested in mathematics or computer science but also invites students to explore and study disciplines outside of those fields.

Data analytics and data science program coordinator Dr. Aaron Montgomery says, "At Baldwin Wallace, the program encourages you to pursue a specialization in another field by choosing a collection of courses in some other discipline such as chemistry or sociology or wherever your passion lies. You'll be able to use the tools of data to answer meaningful questions while pursuing something you love."

Students can choose a concentration in any area they want to pursue after graduation, from art history to neuroscience to marketing.

Data analytics student smiling and looking at laptop

Data Science vs. Data Analytics

While the data science and data analytics majors may appear very similar, each program offers a distinct experience so that students can pursue a career in the field they're passionate about. How do the two majors differ?

  • The data science major gives students more technical preparation in mathematics and computing.
  • The data analytics major places a more targeted focus on applications of data to business contexts.

There are several overlapping skills students will learn regardless of the major they choose, as illustrated in the chart below. And if a student is unsure about which program to pursue, many required courses overlap early on, so students can change from one major while still earning required credits.

Data Science vs. Data Analytics

Career Opportunities Abound

Companies and organizations are increasingly seeking candidates who can successfully collect, manage and interpret data.

Montgomery shares, "It's never been easier for organizations to collect data, but what's going to separate good organizations from great ones are the ones that know how to use it. The data scientists of tomorrow will develop the automated tools to turn the data that they collect into actionable decisions and to render value for the people they work for."

Career opportunities in both data science and data analytics are expected to increase over the next several years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates data science will grow by 28% through 2026, with a median starting salary for data scientists around $100,000. The Bureau projects that fields hiring data analysts will grow at a rate of 14 to 25% by 2030.

Montgomery says, "Graduates of the data science program will be competitive applicants for jobs such as data scientists, data engineers, machine learning engineers and much more. Graduates of the data analyst program would be competitive applicants for positions such as data analysts, business intelligence analysts or any other number of data-oriented jobs."

Cutting-edge BW facilities

"Students in the data programs at Baldwin Wallace will enjoy the state-of-the-art Knowlton Center facilities," Montgomery adds, "including the data visualization lab, which was built and designed for collaborative work."

Knowlton features classrooms with modern technology, comfortable common-area seating and numerous spaces for collaboration. The data visualization lab includes large screens designed to foster teamwork and sharing of ideas.

Class with professor in data visualization lab at Baldwin Wallace University

Data analytics and data science students are eligible to apply for the Choose Ohio First Scholarship. Learn more about the data science or data analytics majors.

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