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This is a relatively new degree category that reflects the importance and growth in the use of Big Data in a business setting. There is a lack of standard naming conventions for this type of degree. Predictive analytics, business analytics, data science, and other terms are currently used to name these degrees. However, despite the differences in degree names, the curriculum for this degree is usually somewhat similar. Most include a basic programming language, Marketing and Web Analytics, Database and Networks, Advanced Modeling Techniques, Data Visualization, and special topical areas. There are over 50 online degrees in this category today, up from two only five years ago!
Examples of industries using Big Data include Business, E-Commerce, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Science, Social Networking, Telecommunications, Politics, Utilities, and others. There is a strong need for individuals in many different roles, not just in STEM occupations, to learn data science skills. Management Consultants, Operations Research Analysts, Market Research Analysts, Engineers, Mathematicians, Statisticians, and Economists are examples of occupations in public and private enterprise where workers are likely to have the educational prerequisites (some exposure to programming and statistics/quantitative analysis) to ensure success in an analytics program and also have the interest in acquiring these skills because of their current work responsibilities or professional ambitions. Most of these occupations are projected to grow faster than the national average from 2014 to 2024.