VSU Approved To Offer Master Of Science In Data Analytics

The new degree allows VSU to address the underrepresentation of Blacks/African Americans in the data science community.

Virginia State University has received approval from the State Council for Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to offer a new Master of Science (MS) in Data Analytics, starting in Fall 2024.

The Master of Science in Data Analytics program will be available in both traditional face-to-face and fully online delivery formats, ensuring students benefit from an engaging and flexible learning experience facilitated by the University's faculty.

Students pursuing an MS in Data Analytics will be trained in utilizing specialized computer systems to analyze large datasets, enabling them to identify trends and create visual presentations for strategic technology and business decisions. They will become proficient in data analytics tools for processing and storing datasets and learn industry-recognized software for data analysis. Students will also gain the knowledge and skills to apply artificial intelligence techniques to automate data analysis tasks and create visual representations of data to identify patterns. Upon completing the program, graduates can expect to be well-equipped to utilize data to solve complex business problems effectively.

"We are thrilled to launch this new master's program, which represents our commitment to preparing students for success in rapidly evolving STEM fields such as data analytics," said Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. "I am confident the program will provide students with cutting-edge skills and knowledge to pursue high-level careers in today's data-driven world."

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, Labor Market Information (LMI) shows increased demand for operations research analysts in the state. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that demand for data analysts and data administrators will rise by 9% by 2028, faster than the average growth rate.

Top-paying careers for someone with a Master of Science in Data Analytics include Data Scientist, Business Intelligence Manager, Senior Database Administrator, Director of Analytics, Information Security Manager, and Data Architect. The average salaries for these positions range from $95,000 to over $126,000.

Recent studies also show that data science currently ranks the lowest in diversity among all the various technology fields, with fewer than 4% of the workforce being African-American. Because VSU is an HBCU with a student population that is over 90 percent Black/African-American, the program will promote more equity and diversity within the community.

Data Analytics will be the 14th Master's degree offered at VSU, joining the recently approved Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and the fourth graduate program offered through the College of Engineering and Technology. Students pursuing an MS in Data Analytics will be required to complete at least 30 credit hours.

Prospective students and those interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to check back at https://www.vsu.edu/gradstudies/masters-degree-programs/ when more information becomes available.