The Best Data Science Programs in Minnesota for 2024

Are you considering a career in data science and looking for the best education options in Minnesota? Look no further! The Land of 10,000 Lakes offers a wide range of data science programs in Minnesota and opportunities to help you thrive in this exciting field. From undergraduate and graduate degrees to online programs and bootcamps, Minnesota’s educational institutions are well-equipped to prepare you for a successful career in data science. In this blog post, we will explore the numerous data science programs available in the state, as well as the job market, networking opportunities, and financial aid options.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore data science education options in Minnesota, from undergraduate degrees to online courses and bootcamps.

  • Discover top universities and colleges offering quality programs for learners of all levels.

  • Learn about networking opportunities, scholarships & financial aid, job market trends & preparing for a career in data science in Minnesota.

Exploring Data Science Education in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to a variety of data science education options, catering to different learning styles and career goals. Whether you’re interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree, a graduate program, or enhancing your skills through online courses or bootcamps, Minnesota has got you covered.

We will now explore the diverse data science programs available in the state.

Undergraduate Data Science Programs in Minnesota

Minnesota offers several programs for individuals aiming to begin their data science journey at the undergraduate level. Winona State University’s B.S. in Data Science provides a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses in statistics, computer science, and domain-specific application areas. This four-year program offers a solid foundation in data science, with courses such as Intro to Data Science, Regression Analysis, Calculus I, and Algorithms and Problem Solving.

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Saint Paul College offers a two-year Associate of Science in Data Science program. Students may earn a Data Science Associate of Science degree upon completion. This program allows students to develop the capability to acquire and evaluate data to assess and address issues in their professional setting.

The core courses for this program include:

  • Computer Science and Information Systems

  • Intro to Programming Concepts

  • Intro to Algorithms and Data Structures

  • Java Programming

  • Database Management Fundamentals

All these software engineering courses provide a strong foundation to develop programming skills.

Graduate Data Science Programs in Minnesota

Graduate data science programs are also available in Minnesota for individuals seeking further education. The University of Minnesota’s M.S. Data Science program is a two-year full-time program that covers areas such as statistics, algorithmics, and infrastructure & large-scale computing. The program includes courses like Statistics, Algorithmics, Infrastructure & Large Scale Computing, 8xxx Level Course Requirement, Electives, Colloquium, and Capstone.

Another option for graduate students is the University of Minnesota’s Ph.D. in Health Informatics with a Data Science track. This program offers advanced training in data science, preparing students for research and leadership roles in the field of health informatics. The program’s curriculum includes:

  • A strong emphasis on data science methods applied to health-related problems

  • Courses in statistical analysis, machine learning, and data visualization

  • Opportunities for hands-on experience through research projects and internships

By completing this program, students will be well-equipped to tackle the complex challenges of health informatics and make meaningful contributions to the field, including in the area of human computer interaction.

Online Data Science Programs in Minnesota

Various online data science programs are provided by Minnesota institutions for individuals who value flexible learning. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, for example, offers a Master’s in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics program that can be completed entirely online. The program comprises several courses like Business Statistics, Data Analysis and Business Modeling, and Data Mining for Decision Making. These courses are designed to equip the participants with sound knowledge of business analytics. Graduates of this program have taken roles such as management analyst, financial analyst, senior business intelligence analyst, and data scientist.

Concordia University also provides an online Bachelor’s in Computer Science program, which covers essential data science concepts and techniques. This program allows students to gain valuable skills in programming languages, data structures, and algorithms, while also learning about the broader context of computer science and its applications in various industries.

Bootcamps, Short Courses and Certificates

Minnesota offers a range of bootcamps, short courses, and certificates for those interested in acquiring data science skills through shorter, more focused programs. The University of Minnesota provides a Data Visualization and Analytics Boot Camp, which teaches participants essential data science skills and techniques over a short period of time.

Other highly-rated data science short courses in Minnesota include:

  • Data Science Bootcamp by Noble Desktop in Minneapolis

  • Data Science training by SynergisticIT in Minneapolis

  • Data Science courses by Certstaffix Training in Minneapolis

These courses provide comprehensive training in data science and are highly acclaimed in the industry.

Top Data Science Universities and Colleges in Minnesota

Having explored the various data science education options in Minnesota, we will now delve into some of the state’s top data science universities and colleges. The top data science universities and colleges in Minnesota include:

  • The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

  • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

  • Winona State University

  • Metropolitan State University

These institutions offer data science programs that cater to different learning preferences and career aspirations.

The details of these institutions and their respective programs will be discussed in the following sections.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers an array of data science programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Data Science, a Master’s of Science in Data Science, and graduate programs in data science. These programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of statistical and algorithmic tools, as well as the ability to manage and process large data sets. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has an excellent reputation within the field of data science, with Fortune Magazine ranking its M.S. in Data Science program third in the nation.

In addition to the on-campus Master’s Degree in Data Science, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities also offers a Ph.D. in Health Informatics with a Data Science track. This program provides advanced training for students looking to pursue research and leadership roles in the field of health informatics, with a strong emphasis on data science methods applied to health-related problems.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an online Master’s degree in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. The program focuses on providing students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the data-driven business world. The curriculum includes courses such as:

  • Business Analytics

  • Data Science Strategies

  • Data Mining

  • and more

Additionally, students have the option to specialize in areas such as business analytics, artificial intelligence, or healthcare analytics.

Winona State University

Winona State University’s undergraduate B.S. in Data Science program offers students a comprehensive education in data science, covering courses in statistics, computer science, and domain-specific application areas. This four-year program provides a solid foundation in data science and prepares students for a successful career in the field.

The program also offers a minor in Data Science, giving students the flexibility to pursue additional areas of interest alongside their data science major.

Metropolitan State University

Metropolitan State University’s Data Science Bachelor of Science degree program offers a curriculum that covers courses in:

  • Statistics

  • Mathematics

  • Computer programming

  • Data analysis

This program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to excel in data science careers and provides a strong foundation in the field.

Metropolitan State University also offers specializations in its Data Science program, allowing students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Data Science Students in Minnesota

Pursuing a data science education can be a significant investment, but there are several financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to help ease the burden. In Minnesota, data science students can explore university-based scholarships and external scholarships and grants to help fund their education.

These financial aid options will be discussed in greater detail in the following sections.

University-Based Scholarships

The University of Minnesota and North Hennepin Community College both offer university-based scholarships for data science students in Minnesota. At the University of Minnesota, eligible students can apply for scholarships such as the Carson School of Management scholarship, which awards $20,000 to 20 graduate students based on merit. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be a U.S. resident or U.S. citizen and have been admitted to the full-time MS in Business Analytics program that begins in September.

North Hennepin Community College also offers financial aid options for data science students, although specific scholarships for data science programs are not mentioned. To qualify for scholarships at North Hennepin Community College, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0, be enrolled in at least six credits, and be a new or returning student. It is advisable to visit the respective school’s financial aid offices or websites for more information on available scholarships and application processes.

External Scholarships and Grants

In addition to university-based scholarships, there are also external scholarships and grants available to data science students in Minnesota. MinneAnalytics, for example, offers scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for both graduate and undergraduate students nominated from participating universities. To apply for the MinneAnalytics scholarship, applicants must visit the MinneAnalytics website and submit the scholarship application form.

Other external scholarships and grants may be available through organizations such as the Anna M. Kuhl Scholarship, Defenders of Soil, Air, Woods, Waters, and Wildlife Scholarship, and the Golden Valley Crime Prevention Scholarship. Students are encouraged to research and apply for multiple scholarships and grants to increase their chances of receiving financial aid and reduce the overall cost of their education.

Minnesota’s Data Science Job Market

Minnesota’s data science job market is thriving, with major employers and prominent industries actively seeking skilled data scientists to drive innovation and growth.

This section will examine some of the major employers in Minnesota’s data science field and the industries that rely on data science expertise.

Major Employers in Minnesota

Minnesota’s data science field is home to several major employers, including:

  • 3M

  • Target

  • Best Buy

  • GM

  • Ecolab

  • Mayo Clinic

  • Boston Scientific

These companies offer a variety of data science jobs, from entry-level roles to more senior positions, and are often on the lookout for talented data scientists to join their teams.

3M, for example, has a notable presence in Minnesota’s data science field and offers employment opportunities for data scientists and data science interns. Target, another major employer in the state, utilizes data science to enhance its supply chain operations and optimize its A/B testing platform. They have posted job openings for data scientists and data science-related roles in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

With a diverse range of industries and employers, Minnesota’s data science job market offers ample opportunities for skilled professionals to excel in their careers.

Prominent Industries in Minnesota

Data science expertise is in high demand across several prominent industries in Minnesota, including healthcare, finance, and technology. In the healthcare industry, data science is employed to investigate data patterns, derive insights, and make informed decisions in areas such as public health, disease control, and prevention. Financial organizations leverage data science techniques to make informed decisions, manage and process big data, and gain insights for financial analysis and risk assessment.

The technology industry in Minnesota relies on data science in the following ways:

  • Data scientists work with large datasets from various sources and utilize predictive and sentiment analysis to generate insights.

  • This helps the industry gain an understanding of customer behavior, refine processes, and create novel products and services.

  • Data analytics is a crucial factor for the success of upcoming technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which has a flourishing analytics cluster in Minnesota.

Networking and Professional Development Opportunities for Data Scientists in Minnesota

Networking and professional development are key to advancing a data scientist’s career and staying current with industry trends. Minnesota offers several resources such as:

  • Data science meetups

  • Communities

  • Conferences

  • Workshops

These provide valuable networking and learning opportunities.

We will now explore some of these resources available to data scientists in Minnesota.

Data Science Meetups and Communities

Minnesota is home to several data science meetups and communities that offer networking and learning opportunities for professionals in the field. MinneAnalytics, for example, is a nonprofit organization that serves the data science and emerging technology community in Minnesota. They offer complimentary membership and events for data scientists to attend, host networking events, startup showcase sessions, and conferences centered on data science and analytics.

Other popular data science meetups in Minnesota include:

  • Analyze This!

  • Twin Cities Data Science

  • Big Data Developers in Minneapolis

  • TigerGraph Minneapolis

These meetups, also known as data science events, provide a platform for data scientists to connect with their peers, share ideas and experiences, and stay informed about the latest trends and advancements in the field.

Data Science Conferences and Workshops

Minnesota hosts several data science conferences and workshops throughout the year, providing data scientists with opportunities to expand their knowledge and network with other professionals. Agile Day Twin Cities, for example, is a day-long conference in Saint Paul focused on enhancing ethical business practices and processes through coaching and product discovery.

Additionally, local events in Minneapolis and St. Paul, such as the Data Science Institute (DSI) Workshops and Data Science Seminars held by the University of Minnesota, offer valuable learning opportunities for data scientists. By attending these conferences and workshops, data scientists can stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends, expand their skill sets, and connect with like-minded professionals.

Preparing for a Data Science Career in Minnesota

Building a strong portfolio and gaining practical experience are crucial preparation steps for a successful data science career in Minnesota. This section will provide tips for creating an impressive portfolio that showcases your data science skills and projects and discuss ways to gain field experience.

Building a Strong Portfolio

An effective data science portfolio should incorporate data wrangling, data visualization, machine learning, statistical analysis, deep learning, big data analysis, proficiency in programming languages such as Python or R, and evidence of technical expertise through portfolio projects. A well-rounded portfolio should include a variety of projects that demonstrate a range of skills and techniques, such as data cleaning, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, machine learning, predictive modeling, natural language processing, time series forecasting, and market basket analysis.

To showcase your data science skills effectively in a portfolio, consider including examples of projects you have worked on, emphasizing the problem solved, data used, and techniques applied. Demonstrate your technical abilities by providing code or programs you have written for the projects. Illustrate the context, challenges, and insights obtained from each project by telling a story with your portfolio. Aim to have at least three to five projects that demonstrate your skills and knowledge in different data science areas, and keep the portfolio brief and simple, emphasizing the most pertinent and influential projects.

Gaining Practical Experience

One of the most effective ways to enhance your data science skills and improve your job prospects is by gaining practical experience through internships, research projects, and collaborations. Internships are an excellent opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world setting, gain industry knowledge, and network with professionals in the field. Companies like Target, UnitedHealth Group, General Mills, and Optum offer data science internships in Minnesota, providing students with valuable hands-on experience in a data science project.

Participating in research projects and collaborations with other data scientists can also help you gain practical experience and expand your skill set. Universities, research organizations, and industry partners frequently offer opportunities for students to engage in data science projects, providing a platform for learning and skill development. By pursuing these opportunities, you can enhance your data science expertise and improve your chances of securing a rewarding job in the field.


In conclusion, Minnesota offers a wealth of opportunities for individuals looking to pursue a career in data science. With a variety of education options, a thriving job market, and numerous networking and professional development resources, the state provides an ideal environment for data scientists to excel. By investing in your education, building a strong portfolio, and gaining practical experience, you can set yourself up for success in Minnesota’s dynamic data science field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is University of Minnesota good for data science?

The University of Minnesota’s M.S. Data Science program is highly rated, being ranked as the third best in the nation by Fortune Magazine. With an in-depth MS Degree in Data Science and Data Analytics, it is a great choice for those looking to pursue a career in Data Science.

Which is best program for data science?

For data science, the most commonly recommended program is the Data Science Specialization from Johns Hopkins University on Coursera. It is an introduction to data science and offers a robust set of tools like Apache Spark, Jupyter Notebook, RapidMiner, Apache Hadoop, SAS, BigML, D3, MATLAB, Excel, ggplot2, and Tableau.

Which institute is best for data science?

Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer the best data science programs in the United States. Therefore, these three institutions are your best choice for pursuing a degree in data science.

What majors are best for data science?

For those looking to pursue a career in data science, bachelor’s degrees in computer science, mathematics and data science are ideal. Further options include data analytics, statistics, information technology, business, engineering and physics.

What types of data science programs are available in Minnesota?

Minnesota offers a variety of data science programs, from undergraduate and graduate degrees to online and bootcamp options.

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