The Best Data Science Programs in Florida: Your Guide to Success

Are you passionate about data science and considering pursuing a degree in the Sunshine State? With a growing demand for data scientists across various industries, Florida offers a plethora of opportunities for aspiring professionals. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best data science programs in Florida, covering bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. levels, as well as online options and bootcamps. Additionally, we’ll discuss networking opportunities, job prospects, and financial aid options for data science students in Florida.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida offers a wide range of data science programs with courses, specializations, and research centers.

  • Data scientists in Florida can expect an average salary of $85,540 and job growth rate of 36%.

  • Scholarships and financial aid are available for eligible students to pursue their studies.

Data Science Education in Florida: An Overview

Florida, from the energetic city of Miami to Orlando’s creative tech hub, is home to a lively data science educational environment. A wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs are available, giving students the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed in this fast-growing field. These programs provide practical experience and profound knowledge of real-world applications, efficiently preparing students for fruitful careers in data science.

The Data Science program at Florida Polytechnic University, for example, aims to equip students with statistical analysis skills and practical experience in analyzing expansive datasets and constructing data solutions. Students will work with data structures to address issues in healthcare, transportation, finance, and other sectors. Similarly, the University of Central Florida (UCF) offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes mathematics, statistics, specialized programming, and algorithm design, enabling students to focus on a field that matches their personal and career goals.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs

Bachelor’s degree programs in data science are offered at Florida Polytechnic University, University of Central Florida, and Palm Beach State College. Florida Polytechnic University offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Science program. It has concentrations in big data analytics, health systems engineering, intelligent mobility, and quantitative economics and econometrics..

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Courses within these programs often include:

  • Applied mathematics

  • Computer science

  • Probability

  • Statistics

  • Optimization

These courses provide students with a solid foundation in data science skills. Further, institutions such as Florida Polytechnic provide extensive career services for data science students, offering the required resources and support to help them seamlessly progress into data science roles after graduation.

Master’s Degree Programs

Master’s degree programs in data science are available at universities such as Southern Methodist University, University of Denver, and University of California, Berkeley, as well as institutions within Florida, like Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. These programs offer a wide range of specializations, catering to a variety of interests and career goals.

For example, Florida Atlantic University’s Master of Science in Data Science and Analytics program allows students to choose a concentration that aligns with their educational background and career aspirations. Graduation rates and full-time employment rates for these programs are quite favorable, with Florida Atlantic University boasting an 87% graduation rate and Florida International University reporting an 81% full-time employment rate at graduation for their master’s program in health informatics and analytics.

Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. programs in data science can be found at institutions like the University of Central Florida and Florida International University. The most distinguished Ph.D. program in data science in Florida is the Big Data Analytics Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida, which requires 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and includes courses in statistics, data analytics, and related fields.

Top Florida Universities for Data Science Programs

Beyond Florida Polytechnic University and the University of Central Florida, other top-tier universities in Florida offering data science programs consist of the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. These institutions provide a range of specializations, such as information security, health informatics, data science and analytics, intelligence analysis, and web development.

Also, numerous research centers and institutes devoted to data science are present throughout Florida, including the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub and Informatics Institute, along with Florida Polytechnic University’s Data Science Research Lab and Institute for Data Analytics and Visualization. These research centers provide valuable resources and support for data science students, fostering innovation and growth in the field.

Program Specializations

Specializations in data science programs in Florida universities include big data analytics, health systems engineering, and business analytics, among others. For instance, the machine learning specialization covers a wide range of topics, such as data mining, statistical learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this rapidly evolving field.

Similarly, the business analytics specialization provides students with an understanding of data mining, statistical data mining, and statistical programming for business analytics, preparing them for careers in the finance and business sectors. The health informatics specialization, on the other hand, focuses on enhancing the quality and safety of healthcare data, computer science, clinical informatics applications, data analytics, project management, and communication skills.

Research Centers and Institutes

Research centers and institutes in Florida that significantly contribute to the progress of data science education and research include:

  • Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS Research)

  • Data Science Research (DSR) Lab at the University of Florida

  • Frost Institute for Data Science and Computing at the University of Miami

  • Institute for Data Analytics and Visualization at the University of South Florida

These institutions play a crucial role in advancing the field of data science in Florida.

These research centers provide:

  • Access to data science courses and certificate programs for undergraduate and graduate students

  • Support for research at all stages

  • Services for data extraction, management, and storage

By establishing new data science facilities and investing in AI education and research, these centers and institutes contribute to the growth of data science in Florida.

Online Data Science Programs in Florida

Online data science programs in Florida are tailored to students who appreciate the convenience of remote learning. These programs are available at the certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels, providing a range of options for students with diverse educational backgrounds and goals.

Some of the most notable online data science programs in Florida are offered by:

  • Jacksonville University

  • University of West Florida

  • University of Central Florida

  • University of Florida

These programs offer comprehensive curricula that cover various aspects of applied data science, ensuring that students have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their careers upon graduation.

Online Graduate Certificates

Online graduate certificates in data science are offered by the University of South Florida, University of West Florida, and Florida State University. These programs typically span from 9 months to 1 year and may require students to possess a bachelor’s degree or have two years of experience in business or management.

Courses within these programs cover a wide range of topics related to data analysis, data assessment, and data science for public administration, ensuring that students acquire the necessary skills for a successful career in data science. The University of South Florida, for example, offers a 15-semester-hour program that covers data analysis, data mining, and statistical learning, with courses available in various formats, such as in-person, hybrid blend, and online.

Online Master’s Degrees

Online master’s degrees in data science are available at institutions like Syracuse University, University of Dayton, and Pepperdine University, providing students with the flexibility to earn their degree while maintaining their personal and professional commitments. Admission requirements for these programs may include a bachelor’s degree, transcripts, a personal statement, resume, and two letters of recommendation, with some institutions not requiring GRE scores.

Data Science Bootcamps and Short Courses in Florida

Data science bootcamps and short courses in Florida offer an alternative route for students looking to gain practical experience and skills in a short amount of time. These intensive training programs are designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful career in data science.

Highly regarded data science bootcamps in Florida include:

  • University of North Florida Data Bootcamps

  • USF CTPE Data Science Bootcamp

  • BrainStation Miami Data Science Bootcamp

  • UCF Data Analytics and Visualization Bootcamp

  • Simplilearn Data Science Training Course in Tampa

Bootcamps such as these provide students with hands-on experience, job placement assistance, and networking opportunities to help them succeed in the field.

Bootcamp Locations

Bootcamp locations in Florida include Miami, Tampa, and Orlando, with a focus on data science and data analytics. Notable providers of data science bootcamps in Tampa include Simplilearn, Noble Desktop, and USF CTPE.

In Orlando, popular data analytics bootcamps, including data visualization, are offered by the UCF Data Analytics and Visualization Boot Camp and the General Assembly Data Analytics Course.

Bootcamp Outcomes

Data science bootcamps in Florida offer various outcomes for students, such as job placement assistance, networking opportunities, and hands-on experience with real-world projects. The job placement rate for data science bootcamp graduates in Florida varies, with some research suggesting it may reach 90.6% within 12 months of graduation. However, it’s important to note that job placement rates may differ depending on the bootcamp and individual circumstances.

Networking opportunities offered by bootcamps include:

  • Industry projects

  • Collaboration with experienced professionals

  • One-on-one mentorship

  • Access to a network of data science professionals

Success stories from past bootcamp participants, such as Rita Tyna Okonkwo’s “My Data Science Six Months Success Story” on Medium, showcase the potential of these programs to help aspiring data scientists transition into successful careers.

Networking and Community Resources for Data Scientists in Florida

Data scientists in Florida can benefit from a range of networking and community resources, including data science meetups and communities, top data science events, and regular data science conferences and workshops. Data Science Florida at the Florida Institute of Technology and various local groups host data science meetups and communities, providing opportunities for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

Attending conferences and workshops in Florida not only helps data scientists stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends but also provides opportunities for networking and skill development. Some of the top data science conferences and workshops held in Florida include Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, TDWI Orlando, and WiDS Orlando.

Meetups and Events

Popular data science meetups in Florida include:

  • Data Scientists Tampa Bay

  • Miami Data Science

  • Data Science Study Group South Florida

  • Orlando MLDS

  • Data Analytics Tampa

Big Data Florida events are typically held in cities such as Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, with notable venues including the University of Central Florida, WJCT Studios, and various conference centers in these cities. These meetups and events provide valuable networking and learning opportunities for data scientists in Florida.

Conferences and Workshops

Data science conferences and workshops in Florida include Gartner Data and Analytics Summit, Data Science Salon, the University of North Florida’s Data Science Bootcamp, USF CTPE Data Science Bootcamp, and the UCF Data Analytics and Visualization Bootcamp. These events cover a wide range of topics related to AI and machine learning, business intelligence, cloud platforms, data analytics architecture, data governance, data engineering, data modeling, data management, data cleaning and fusion, and statistical modeling, among others.

Attending these conferences and workshops provides data scientists with valuable insights and connections to further their careers.

Job Opportunities for Data Scientists in Florida

With a growing demand for data scientists across various industries, Florida offers a plethora of job opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a 36% growth in the job market for data scientists by 2031, which is considerably faster than the average for all occupations. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Labor anticipates a 28% increase in data science jobs by 2026, implying a strong demand for data scientists in Florida and a promising job outlook in the field.

Data scientists in Florida can expect to earn an average salary of $85,540 per year based on data from O*NET OnLine. Job opportunities are available across various sectors, such as:

  • healthcare

  • financial services

  • retail

  • government

  • telecommunications

Cities like North Port, Clearwater, and Cape Coral are experiencing the highest demand for data scientists.

Salary Expectations

Data scientists in Florida earned an average salary of $85,540 per year in 2020, based on data from O*NET OnLine. The ratio of data scientist jobs to total jobs in Florida is approximately 0.53 per 1000 jobs, with a mean hourly wage of $43.68.

The anticipated growth of data science jobs in Florida over the next five years is approximately 36%, indicating a promising job market for data scientists in the state.

Top Industries for Data Science Jobs

Top industries for data science jobs in Florida include healthcare, technology, finance, and entertainment. Data scientists play vital roles in these sectors, engaging in activities such as data mining, data modeling, natural language processing, and machine learning to extract and analyze data from large structured and unstructured datasets, build machine learning models, and collaborate with data analysts to make informed predictions.

With the increasing demand for data science professionals across various industries, Florida offers a wealth of job opportunities for aspiring data scientists.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Data Science Students in Florida

For data science students in Florida seeking financial assistance to fund their education, various scholarships and financial aid options are available. These include:

  • University scholarships

  • Grants

  • Loans

  • Work-study programs

These options may be accessible to eligible students.

Students interested in scholarships should:

  • Investigate available opportunities

  • Verify eligibility criteria

  • Arrange application materials

  • Submit applications

  • Maintain communication with scholarship providers

Data science students in Florida may be eligible for financial aid ranging from $1,250 to $38,000, depending on the scholarship.

University Scholarships

University scholarships for data science students may be available through individual institutions’ Graduate Studies Offices. For example, the University of Florida offers a variety of scholarships specifically for data science students, such as the Glover Scholarship, awarded to outstanding data science majors with applications typically released during the Fall semester.

It is advisable to contact specific universities and inquire about their scholarship programs for further information.

Alternative Funding Options

Alternative funding options for data science students in Florida include:

  • Grants such as the Florida Student Assistance Grant Program and the HIMSS Foundation Scholarship

  • Federal loan options, such as Direct Subsidized Federal Loans

  • Private loan options, depending on the student’s qualifications and degree of study

Work-study programs offer part-time positions within the university or external organizations, providing financial aid to students while allowing them to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world settings.


In conclusion, Florida offers a wide array of data science programs and opportunities for aspiring professionals. From bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs to online degrees and bootcamps, students have various options to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for successful careers in data science. Networking events, meetups, and conferences provide valuable connections and insights, while scholarships and financial aid options help make education more accessible. Embark on your data science journey in Florida and unlock the potential of this exciting field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is best program for data science?

TensorFlow is the most widely accepted open-source data science tool and provides features for data analysis & ML algorithms, as well as visualization capabilities. Therefore, it is the best program for data science.

Does University of Florida have data science?

Yes, the University of Florida offers a Master of Science in Applied Data Science and a major in Data Science, providing students with working knowledge of data science techniques and software.

What majors are best for data science?

For those interested in pursuing a career in data science, bachelor’s degrees in computer science, mathematics and data science are the most common options for undergraduates. Data analytics, statistics, information technology, business, engineering and physics are also viable majors.

Is FSU good for data science?

Florida State University offers a highly ranked Interdisciplinary Data Science Master’s Degree Program, which provides students with the sought-after skills they need to excel in data science. With its specializations in artificial intelligence, data science, and cybersecurity, FSU is a great choice for those looking to pursue a master’s in computer science.

Which universities in Florida offer the best data science programs?

Florida Polytechnic University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, and University of South Florida are some of the best universities in Florida offering excellent data science programs.

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