Texas Tech University

Rawls College Online Master's in Data Science Program Earns Top 10 in Recent National Ranking

Jacob Gordon

June 17, 2021

MSDS Best Online Master's

The program was also ranked second highest for the state of Texas.

The Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) program at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business recently ranked #8 in the Best Online Master's in Data Science Programs of 2021 by Best Colleges.

Best Colleges implements a three-tiered methodology of assessing academics, affordability and online programming. The academics category (50% of the total score) considers admissions rates, enrollment rates, full-time retention rates, graduation rates and the number of postgraduate certificate completions in the given subject. The affordability category (25% of the total score) considers the average net price, the percentage of enrolled students taking federal loans and the average loan default rate. Lastly, the online programming category (25% of the total score) considers the percentage of students enrolled at the master's level, the percentage of master's program offered online and the percentage of programs offered at the master's level.

The program's latest ranking illustrates the collective effort by faculty in the Information Systems and Quantitative Sciences (ISQS) area to develop a rigorous MSDS program. After launching the online program in 2018, faculty have continuously evaluated curriculum, implemented innovative projects and experiential learning opportunities and focused on preparing students to lead a growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers data science in the top 15 fastest growing occupations with a projected 31% growth over the next 10 years.

“The ranking shows the high quality and value of our MSDS program in comparison to other programs in the country,” said Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Research; James L. Johnson Chair in Business Administration, Mayukh Dass. “The ranking also reflects the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff members to make the program one of the best in the nation.”

The 36-hour MSDS program helps students learn how to manage, analyze and understand complex data and make strategic recommendations to help solve problems for organizations. The program is also STEM-designated, meaning students graduate with not only business acumen, but also skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Students can enroll in a one- or two-year program, and while the one-year program is offered both in-person and online, the two-year program is only available online.

“The online program is a great way for students to improve their skills without sacrificing their work life,” said Dass. “Online MSDS students can complete this program while working full-time.”

Equipped with a solid technical and analytical foundation, recent graduates of the MSDS program at Rawls College have been highly successful in securing jobs. According to the latest Rawls Career Management Center (CMC) survey, ninety-one percent of the 2020 MSDS graduates were employed within three months of graduation, earning an average first-year salary of nearly $77,000, the highest among all programs.

“The placement rate for the data science program is truly amazing,” said Dass. “Placement success shows the preparedness of our students in the workforce and the hard work of the CMC to help our students achieve their career goals.”