Which Data Related Majors Are Right For You?

In this age of information overload, we need a new class of experts that can extract actionable knowledge from huge amounts of data. It is important to consider this as you decide on an undergraduate major.

You can start to build your skills by participating in relevant extracurricular activities and coding programs while in college. Also, consider taking a course like Data Science for Everyone.

Educational Programs Abroad

With a growing focus on big data, students with a background in statistics or computer science have many career options in this rapidly developing field. A degree in data science can lead to work in virtually any field and offers a broad base of skills that can be applied to a wide range of problems.

The major introduces approaches and techniques that are widely applicable to quantitative analyses in almost every discipline. Courses explore the foundations of data science, as well as more advanced topics such as computational methods for data analysis; statistical machine learning and linear algebra; data visualization; and more.

A data science minor is a great option for students interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of this exciting field. Students who are considering a minor should consult their education abroad advisor to ensure that courses taken abroad will be counted toward the minor. Some programs may also offer unique, project-based internship opportunities for students to gain real-world experience in their area of interest.


Statistics is a science that focuses on collecting, classifying and representing data to facilitate further analysis and understanding of underlying trends. It can also help you to make better business decisions. Statistics are used in virtually every sector — from human resources and finance to marketing and supply chain management.

A degree in statistics is a good option if you want to build the skills necessary to interpret and analyze data sets. You can use your statistical analysis skills to make informed decisions, which is crucial in any field.

Prior to the emergence of data science as an interdisciplinary field, students would typically earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, engineering or computer science to develop skills needed to work with complex datasets. However, as demand for specialized majors has grown, some universities are now offering a designated undergraduate major in data science. These degrees provide a rigorous program of study that prepares students for careers at the intersection of computer science, statistics and mathematics.

Computer Science

Computer science is a good choice for strong, logical thinkers who are eager to contribute to innovative research that boosts cybersecurity or creates virtual reality. In this field, you can work as a computer programmer, information systems analyst or software engineer, among other positions.

This major teaches you how to analyze information and develop computer models of it, which are used in strategic segments of today’s economy and society. You can choose a scientific focus on algorithms and systems for organizing, accessing and processing information or an interdisciplinary approach that examines the use of technology in areas such as economics or health.

This option combines the study of computer theory with management skills to prepare you for a career in business and technology. You may also have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as cybersecurity, data science and business entrepreneurship. This major is offered at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.

Data Science

Data science is a multidisciplinary field that involves a fusion of analytical methods, domain expertise, and technology. It uses statistical analysis, data mining, forecasting, machine learning, text analytics, and predictive analytics to uncover insights that a company may not have even known they had.

Its use across industries is widespread. Financial services companies use it to detect fraudulent transactions, manage risk on loans and credit cards, and identify upselling opportunities. Healthcare providers use it to automate X-ray analysis and assist doctors in diagnosis, while manufacturers employ it to optimize production and supply chain management.

Students in this undergraduate major will gain critical skill sets in the areas of statistics, computing, and mathematics. They will also learn how to apply computational, mathematical, and statistical comprehension and tools to real world problems in any discipline. The program is a great option for students with diverse career interests, and it can prepare them to pursue graduate study in a direction that involves data in a significant way.