The amount of data produced and collected every day has the potential for big impact, but it requires people capable of working with both computers and numbers to translate that information into actionable insights.
The data science major is a newer undergraduate degree option in computer science. You can gain a versatile education by earning your bachelor’s degree in data science, which can lead to a career in data analytics, data engineering, database administration, and more.
Those working with data do so across business, marketing, health care, transportation, e-commerce, and more. In fact, the demand for data science is projected to grow by 22 percent between 2020 and 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) . A report from IBM shows the increasing need for this type of work across industries .
In this article, we’ll explore eight roles you could qualify for with a bachelor’s degree in data science and other opportunities you may want to consider as you embark on your career.
Although being a data scientist typically requires a master’s degree, there are many opportunities worth exploring once you’ve graduated with your bachelor’s degree in data science or a related field.
It’s worth noting that while undergraduate degrees in data science continue to grow, not every college or university has a data science major. Instead, they may offer a minor or have relevant elective courses for computer science majors that can prepare you to work in this lucrative field. Either way, the data science knowledge you gain in school can be beneficial, helping you prepare for the roles listed below.
A junior data analyst is an entry-level role within data analytics. Junior data analysts work to collect, clean, and interpret data that can help inform an array of business decisions. They rely on tools such as programming languages (SQL, R, Python) and data visualization software to offer that analysis. They must also be strong collaborators and communicators, sharing what they find with other teams and departments.
Average base salary(Glassdoor): $59,791 + $34,805 in additional compensation
This role might be a good fit if you enjoy problem-solving, critical thinking, and working with numbers to understand a larger story.
A junior data engineer is an entry-level role that typically focuses on building systems to house and manage a company’s data. As with other data roles, junior data engineers need to have a solid understanding of a company’s needs in collecting data so they can design the systems and algorithms that will ultimately benefit the data analysts and data scientists they regularly work with.
Average base salary (Glassdoor): $89,306 + $23,022 in additional compensation
This role might be a good fit if you’re comfortable using a programming language such as SQL or R and enjoy problem-solving.
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An applications architect combines their knowledge of software application development with a larger understanding of a company’s business needs. They often take on leadership roles on an applications development team, overseeing new designs, reviewing existing apps, and identifying ways to improve overall usability and function.
Median annual salary (BLS): $144,412
This role might be a good fit if you have opinions—and a working knowledge—about what makes an effective app and enjoy project management.
Some data analysts specialize in business, working with datasets to find insights that further a company’s larger business-related goals. They generally use data to look for ways to expand and improve upon business processes and may be asked to focus on an aspect of business, such as supply chain management.
Average base salary (Glassdoor): $76,388 + $20,683 in additional compensation
This role might be a good fit if you are interested in business and numbers and enjoy thinking critically about both.
Learn more: What Does a Business Data Analyst Do?
A risk management analyst often works as part of a risk management team dedicated to identifying and mitigating financial risk. They can work at insurance companies or on behalf of companies. These professionals collect “risk data”—or data from sources that suggest potential risks—before organizing, analyzing, and interpreting those sets to provide valuable insights that lead to better company practices or, in the case of wealth management, individual outcomes.
Average base salary (Glassdoor): $63,060 + $27,393 in additional compensation
This role might be a good fit if you enjoy forecasting potential problems and identifying solutions for them.
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A market research analyst looks at data related to marketing initiatives to improve market fit, customer satisfaction, and sales, among other outcomes. They may conduct original surveys with new and existing customers or pull datasets to find insights to help a company develop more competitive products and product launches.
Median annual salary (BLS): $63,290
This role might be a good fit if you enjoy working with marketing teams, conducting interviews, and contributing to new campaign strategies.
Data analysts and data scientists, among others, use the popular tool Tableau to visualize data. A Tableau developer typically needs to know the programming language SQL and have familiarity with software application design in general and Tableau specifically. They tend to work exclusively in the program to collect, organize, and analyze data while building visualizations that offer unique insights.
Median annual salary (BLS): $104,009
This role might be a good fit if you enjoy working with Tableau, problem-solving, and making things run more smoothly.
A database administrator oversees the management, security, and maintenance of a company’s databases. They must know about the common database management systems (DBMS), such as NoSQL, relational, or hierarchical databases, to ensure they’re running efficiently and that a company’s data remains protected.
Median annual salary (BLS): $98,860
Estimated job growth: 8 percent
This role might be a good fit if you enjoy project management, problem-solving, and communication.
While more institutions have started to offer a bachelor’s degree in data science, you may find that a bachelor’s degree in computer science or mathematics (with an emphasis on statistics) may be viable alternatives. You’ll gain a useful foundation with each of these undergraduate degrees.
Once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree, you may want to consider earning your master’s degree or enrolling in a professional certificate program to continue developing your knowledge and skills. Each of these options can lead to more advanced data science roles.
Becoming a data scientist often requires earning your master’s degree in the subject area. A Master of Science in Data Science typically takes two years to earn when you can attend full-time. With the degree, you could qualify for more advanced roles, such as data scientist, quantitative researcher, data architect, and statistician.
Learn more: Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?
A professional certificate or certificate program can be a quicker way to gain career-ready skills and relevant subject knowledge while earning a credential you can feature on your resume. Often, certificates take less than one year, though it's possible to earn some within six months.
Learn more: What Can You Do with a Computer Science Degree?
Earn your Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of London. Gain specialized knowledge in areas like data structures, programming with data, and machine learning.
If you’ve already graduated and are interested in expanding your skill set, consider enrolling in the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate. Develop career-ready skills in around 11 months when you’re able to dedicate four hours a week to the program.
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Computer and Information Research Scientists, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm." Accessed June 15, 2022.
2. IBM. "The Quant Crunch, https://www.bhef.com/sites/default/files/bhef_2017_quant_crunch.pdf." Accessed June 15, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.