Learn About Getting a Bachelor's in Data Analytics

Big data management can offer serious benefits. Here, we explore bachelor's in data analytics programs, including tuition prices and potential career outcomes.

Published November 3, 2023

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How important is big data in today's economy? Three out of five companies say they use data analytics to make business decisions, according to a 2022 survey of 116 executives at Fortune 1000 companies. This growing reliance on data analytics in the public and private sectors could lead to the creation of 1.4 million data analyst and data scientist jobs by 2023-2027, according to World Economic Forum projections.

Earning a bachelor's in data analytics allows you to pursue highly sought-after careers across industries. This guide highlights schools that offer bachelor's in data analytics programs, with information on tuition costs, common coursework, and career outcomes.

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Should You Study Data Analytics as an Undergrad?

If you want to jump into an entry-level position as a data analyst, a bachelor's in data analytics may offer an ideal pathway. Data analysts collect data, analyze it, and interpret results for business stakeholders.

While you do not always need a bachelor's degree for employment, this four-year program helps you build key hard and soft skills for the job, often with a strong return on your investment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that employment for operation research analysts will grow by 23% from 2022-2032, far outpacing the average for all occupations. The fast-growing job opportunities make studying this field worthwhile for analytical people with keen attention to detail and a knack for statistics and mathematics. Other benefits include:

  • Highly Sought-After Jobs: Data analytics jobs are in high demand, especially for bachelor's degree-holders. The BLS projects employers to add about 9,800 positions every year from 2022-2032.
  • Strong Salaries: Earning a bachelor's in data analytics allows you to compete for jobs that pay salaries well above the national median average. The bottom 10% of operations research analysts make a median pay of less than $50,440, while the top 10% earn more than $149,640.
  • Skill Development: Through a bachelor's in data analytics program, you'll gain marketable skills and strengthen your analytical competencies. The program focuses on examining datasets and drawing conclusions that help businesses increase profits.

What Can You Expect From a Data Analytics Program?

Building on your foundation in statistics and mathematics, a data analytics program teaches big data management and programming using R and Python. Concentrations vary, with some schools offering specializations in business concepts and others focusing on machine learning.

General education classes differ based on degree type. A bachelor of arts emphasizes core liberal arts coursework, while a bachelor of science degree requires science and business classes. You may also work with faculty to complete a capstone project researching a specific issue in data analytics.

To earn a bachelor's degree, you'll complete 120 credits over four years of full-time enrollment. Attending part time can extend this timeline to 5-6 years or more. Core courses explore information systems, data modeling, and data mining. Tuition varies significantly among programs, with some costing around $10,000 annually and others charging $30,000 or more each year.

Admission Requirements for Bachelor's Students

You can apply for a bachelor's degree from different entry points. Schools may accept or prefer transfer applicants with associate degrees. In other instances, programs may admit first-year enrollees or transfer students from other colleges. In the application process, you'll need to provide transcripts typically demonstrating a 2.5-3.0 GPA.

Common prerequisite courses include Python programming, calculus, and statistics. If not required, completing these prerequisites could boost your chances of acceptance. When schools use Common App, a nonprofit of more than 1,000 colleges, you can submit one application for multiple programs.

Common Courses in Bachelor's Programs

While programs differ in focus, bachelor's in data analytics degrees offer common coursework, including:

  • Statistical Decision-Making: Enrollees examine datasets from case studies to create scatter plots and begin statistical analysis. Topics include hypothesis testing, model building, and statistics sampling.
  • Database Design: Coursework focuses on incorporating user needs to create relational databases and write queries. The course covers relational database theories and practical principles of database design.
  • Data Mining: Data analysts can find patterns in data through data mining. Subjects in this course include data preparation, decision trees, clustering, and visualization. Students often use R and Python to incorporate data mining applications.
  • Visualization: Without visualization, data analysts would not be able to use charts and graphs to show the correlation between information sets. This course teaches you the fundamental techniques to create data visuals. You'll learn to use data graphics, build dashboards using data visualization platforms, and format data.
  • Data Analytics Ethics: Your work as a data analyst requires accountability, privacy, and transparency. Data analysts must understand the potential risks of leveraging data. This course teaches you to weigh ethical decisions with stakeholders' demands.

Typical Costs of Getting a Bachelor's in Data Analytics

Tuition can vary significantly among institutions. A school with a better reputation may charge more, and most private colleges have higher tuition than public schools. In 2020-2021, students at private four-year colleges paid an average of $32,825 in annual tuition and fees. In-state learners at public four-year schools paid an average of $9,375 in tuition and fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Attending a public college outside of your state can also cost more. Public colleges charged non-resident students an average of $27,091 in tuition and fees in the 2020-2021 academic year. When budgeting for schools, factor in costs of books and supplies, along with the school's residency requirements.

Federal financial aid through loans and grants provides support if you cannot cover your tuition and college costs. Scholarships, typically awarded based on identity, academic achievement, and/or need, can also provide no-strings-attached aid.

Where Can You Get a Bachelor's Degree in Data Analytics?

Some of the best schools in the country for getting a bachelor's in data analytics are listed in the table below. Listed in order of graduation rate, these ten schools comprise programs across the country.

Data Analytics Bachelor's Degree Programs
School Name Student Population Data Analytics Bachelor's Degree Program Graduation Rate Average Net Price: 2021-2022
Drake University 4,685 Bachelor's in data analytics 76% $30,333
Ohio Northern University 3,015 Bachelor's in data analytics 72% $27,398
Saint Norbert College 1,882 Bachelor's in data analytics 72% $26,983
Ohio Wesleyan University 1,410 Bachelor's in data analytics 66% $27,311
Baldwin Wallace University 3,220 Bachelor's in data analytics 65% $12,615
Ball State University 19,777 Bachelor's in computer science with a concentration in data analytics and machine learning 64% $12,615
Johnson & Wales University 4,566 Bachelor of science in data analytics 59% $32,801
Carlow University 2,104 Bachelor's degree in data analytics 56% $17,437
University of Wisconsin Stevens Point 7,964 Bachelor's in data analytics 56% $13,702
University of Toledo 15,545 Bachelor of arts in data analytics 55% $17,654
Source: NCES

What Can You Do With a Data Analytics Bachelor's Degree?

You do not always need a bachelor's degree to make it in data analytics. However, possessing a formal education in the field can open opportunities for careers in market research, operations research, and data science.

This degree offers considerable versatility to pursue careers as a data architect, machine learning engineer, or business intelligence analyst. In some instances, the careers listed below require bachelor's degrees. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed graduate degrees or additional certifications, as well.

Employers often seek candidates with work experience. You can get hands-on work opportunities after and during college through internships.

Data Analytics Careers and Wages
Careers in Data Analytics Median Annual Wage (May 2022)
Business Intelligence Analyst $95,290
Computer and Information Research Scientist $136,620
Data Scientist $103,500
Market Research Analyst $68,230
Operations Research Analyst $85,720
Source: BLS

How Do You Choose a Bachelor's in Data Analytics Program?

To find the best bachelor's in data analytics programs, consider your personal and professional goals, along with the following factors:

  • Tuition Rates: College costs vary by school and program. Some schools offer discounts to out-of-state residents from specific states and online learners. Make sure you understand your financial obligations before applying.
  • Location: If your program requires on-campus visits, consider your proximity to the school's main campus and any satellite sites.
  • Distance Learning: Most colleges offer distance learning. If you need remote learning options, research a school's online catalog of degrees and courses.
  • Teacher-to-Student Ratio: A low student-to-teacher ratio may indicate that a school offers more personalized attention to enrollees. If you prefer close attention from instructors, prioritize schools with low teacher-to-student ratios.
  • Program Length: The length of the program and availability of accelerated or self-paced formats can allow you to graduate more quickly and pursue roles in the workforce.
  • Accredited: Institutional accreditation indicates that your school and/or program have met rigorous standards. Agencies such as the Data Science Council of America (DASCA) provide programmatic accreditation to some data analytics programs.

What Else Should You Know About Bachelor's in Data Analytics Degrees?

Can you get a BA or BS in data analytics?

Yes. You can get either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science in data analytics, depending on the program. A BA includes a foundation in liberal arts classes, while a BS degree focuses on science and business coursework.

What degree is best for working in data analytics?

The degree that serves you best depends on your career ambitions. Data analytics employers hire candidates with bachelor's degrees in data analytics, computer science, or statistics for entry-level data analyst positions. As responsibilities increase and the work becomes more complex, employers may prefer master's degree-holders.

Do data analytics programs require math?

Yes. Strong candidates for data analytics programs have a solid background in mathematics. Major courses include calculus and applied statistics. That said, data analytics also focuses on building skills in communication, data analysis, data validation, and data collection.

What does accreditation mean for undergraduate programs?

You should only attend accredited programs. Without accreditation, you can't receive federal financial aid and risk not being able to transfer credits. This voluntary evaluation process ensures that a college meets academic benchmarks. DASCA accredits undergraduate and graduate degrees in data analytics that match its standards.

What are the best classes to take in maintaining a data analytics bachelor's program?

Taking courses in computer linear algebra, calculus, and statistics while in high school or as an undergraduate can give you a foundation to study data analytics in college.

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