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Can an Online Computer Science Master’s Degree Prepare You for the Future of Big Data?

July 8, 2024

Big data is hot, driving demand for computer science professionals with big data experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the data science job market should grow by 35 percent between 2022 and 2032. It’s also a career that pays well, with a median annual income over $108,000. The top ten percent of earners in the field bring in more than $184,000 yearly.

What’s heating things up for big data gurus? The demand for professionals who can use massive data sets to produce more-satisfied customers, prevent fraud, improve forecasting, and reduce risks and costs. Consider some of the ways data science is driving industries forward and changing the consumer experience

  • E-commerce uses big data to learn about customers’ buying habits, personalize shopping experiences, and keep people returning for more.
  • Cybersecurity experts examine mass amounts of consumer data to help prevent online fraud.
  • Manufacturers reduce costs and boost productivity by putting big data to use.
  • Healthcare providers acquire enormous databases that, when compiled and analyzed, can dramatically improve outcomes.

Most people have seen targeted ads appear on their social media feeds shortly after shopping for related products. Big data is changing consumers’ experience in several others ways as well, according to Adobe:   

  • Identifying problem areas in customer service
  • Understanding customer behavior and enhancing emotional appeals to customers
  • Targeting the right customers by using engagement data to identify potential customers most similar to existing satisfied customers
  • Predicting future trends
  • Building customer loyalty by improving their experiences

Continue reading for a closer look at some computer science jobs and subfields related to big data, followed by ways to prepare for those positions with a Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS).

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Data-Related Jobs in Computer Science 

Data scientists aren’t the only IT professionals who can look forward to double-digit employment growth in the coming decade. According to the BLS, computer information and research scientists should see a 23 percent employment increase from 2022 to 2032. Professionals in this category earn a median annual income of over $145,000.

Let’s look at some of the highest-paying computer science jobs, where a strong background in data science can make a substantial difference.

Big Data Jobs in Healthcare

Healthcare drives some of the highest demand for data science and information security professionals. Online MSCS programs like the one offered at Tulane University offer coursework that prepares students to work with big data in healthcare, such as predictive analytics. Data-related roles in healthcare include: 

  • Clinical informatics specialist
  • Healthcare IT project manager
  • Health informatics consultant
  • Informatics analyst
  • Informatics director
  • Informatics manager
  • Informatics specialist
  • Nursing informatics specialist
  • Pharmacy informaticist

Big Data Jobs in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has gotten a big boost from data science. “Data science enables you to predict future attacks by analyzing past attacks for patterns that indicate where the next attack may come from or exactly what it might be like,” CyberDB reports. “It assists companies to understand how much risk they face from several types of cyber threats to enable them to prioritize their defenses accordingly.”

Cybersecurity professionals use data-driven security strategies to stay a step ahead of cybercriminals. Big data can help identify and prevent attacks, reveal vulnerabilities, pinpoint perpetrators, and identify victims. 

Business Intelligence Jobs

Data analysis meets process improvement in business intelligence (BI). Career choices for computer science professionals in the field include analysts and developers. BI analysts review and analyze data, looking for ways to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and work toward company goals. BI developers interpret and display data while also working to improve their company’s research process.

“Companies need business intelligence developers because they compile and simplify valuable information,” Indeed reports. “Business intelligence developers often act as technology specialists and help repair or restore computer programs used for intelligence.”

BI can also overlap with AI.

Other Related Leadership and Specialized Roles 

Computer science professionals with a graduate degree who want to work in big data enjoy additional career options, including programmer, engineering, analyst, and IT management positions within companies (or divisions of companies) focusing on data and research. Here are some additional possibilities, courtesy of Future of Tech:

  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Database administrator
  • Financial analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Operations research analyst
  • Software developer
  • Statistician

Building Big Data Skills with an Online MSCS Degree

With robust employment and many career possibilities working with big data, what’s the best way to take advantage of the opportunities? A graduate degree can help computer science professionals stand out in a competitive industry, opening doors for management positions, creating opportunities in academia, and positioning Master of Science holders to oversee complex systems and networks. In addition, the BLS reports that people with master’s degrees in STEM fields tend to earn more than their bachelor’s-level counterparts.

The field of big data continues to evolve, so it’s important to find an online MSCS degree program with a modern, relevant approach. 

A Closer Look at the Tulane MS in Computer Science Program

Tulane’s online MSCS enables ambitious professionals to boost their careers, regardless of location. The program emphasizes advanced technology in practice, including big data. Students attend classes and complete assignments without relocating or delaying career advancement. They work at their own pace and customize their coursework and areas of emphasis, typically while continuing in their place of employment.

The online MSCS at Tulane introduces students to a well-connected network, including the university’s world-class faculty and classmates from varied backgrounds, locations, and areas of interest. The program features six focus areas: 

  • Algorithms and Theory
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Computational Biology and Informatics
  • Computational Geometry
  • Data Science
  • Systems

Big Data-Infused Curriculum, Concentrations and Coursework

Tulane’s 30-credit curriculum challenges students to think beyond basic programming. The online MSCS delivers multiple skills that prepare students for a world increasingly dominated by remote work and demand for virtual operational systems. Students complete nine credits in core classes and 21 elective credits tailored for a particular focus area. Classes include: 

  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks
  • Game Programming
  • Information Security
  • Introduction to Computer Graphics
  • Introduction to Data Science and Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning and NLP
  • Operating Systems
  • Reinforcement Learning

Outstanding and Experienced Faculty 

Classes in Tulane’s online MSCS program are taught by internationally recognized researchers and practitioners who understand big data and the other forces driving change in the tech world. The faculty brings a high caliber of computer science proficiency to the classroom. The online MSCS program falls under Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering.

Career and Professional Development Resources 

Tulane provides career-related services that include access to job listings, career counseling, internship opportunities, and career fairs. A degree from Tulane connects graduates to the university’s extensive global alumni network. 

Your Future in Big Data Starts at Tulane: Start Your Application Today 

Careers related to big data look promising for the present and foreseeable future, with widespread job growth and attractive salaries. People with big data expertise have the chance to build lucrative and interesting careers in a wide range of fields. An online MSCS can help them gain that expertise and move toward their dreams. Ready to take the next step? Schedule an appointment with an enrollment advisor or begin an application today.

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