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The Top 5 Skills You’ll Acquire With an MS in Data Science

Learn how to harness the power of data with a master’s in data science.

The era of big data is here, and many companies are grappling with how to interpret and manage the wealth of information. As a result, jobs for computer and information research scientists are expected to grow by 21% through 2031—much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 Not only is the demand for data scientists increasing, but a career in data science also topped Glassdoor’s list of Best Jobs in America2 for the past three years. Obtaining an MS in Data Science could give individuals an advantage in this rapidly expanding field. What skills can be gained through earning a master’s in data science online?

The Top 5 Skills You’ll Acquire With an MS in Data Science


There’s more to data science than sifting through numbers and statistics. Individuals need to know how to communicate their key findings with stakeholders to ensure their work is effective. Refining their communication style helps data scientists formulate what business insights are most important and how they can use data to gain a unique look at their customers.


Data scientists bring significant value to organizations, but they must collaborate effectively with other departments to be successful. Involving stakeholders in a variety of departments gives data scientists a well-rounded view of the organization.

A key skill in successful collaboration is understanding different communication styles. Data scientists tend to be very technical, but it’s important that they’re not too technical when they communicate with outside groups. An article from CMS Wire3 identifies “data citizens” as people in organizations who leverage information to inspire key business decisions. This group has the skills to use information to their advantage, but they’re not as talented at analyzing the numbers. As a result, data scientists and data citizens need to work together to come to a similar understanding.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is another key component of data analysis. Organizations use predictive analytics in many different ways, including data mining and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to update and optimize business decisions. A data scientist leads the charge with predictive analytics to make informed and educated decisions to benefit the organization.


A key skill in driving important business decisions is the ability to view a challenge from many perspectives. This approach allows data scientists to understand the issue they’re trying to resolve and use their skills and tools to address and drive good business decisions.


Programming is crucial in helping data scientists process, analyze, and generate predictions from data.4 Python, R, and SQL are just a few of the programming languages used to tackle specific tasks. Sifting through and analyzing large datasets is a key part of the job, so the ability to understand one or more of these languages is essential.

Whether you’re looking to make a lasting impact on an organization, begin a career in one of the most promising fields, or earn a high salary, an online master’s degree in data science could help you get there.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Data Science degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,