Big data refers to the analysis of information on a scale and complexity that is impossible manually or with older software. Insights gleaned from this field are useful for their predictive and analytic powers and are useful in nearly all areas of study. Bankers, scientists, and even journalists have come to understand the potential benefits of big data and are incorporating it into their respective fields.

While it is usually taught as a part of a data science program, big data has blossomed into a field in its own right. Because of its complexity, it takes a very specific skill set to understand and design tools that can handle amounts of information on this scale. Being one of the few people with these skills makes you extremely valuable in today’s job market.

While lots of fields use big data, this list focuses specifically on schools for data science and statistics programs in the world!

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Top Schools for Big Data in the World

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is an easy choice for a list like this. Arguably the best science and technology in the world, it’s perhaps surprising that it does not have entire departments dedicated to big data or data science. However, the university’s business analytics program more than makes up for this.

Offered by the Sloan School of Business, this specialized program makes use of big data to solve complex business issues. This program is perfect if you have a STEM background and want to enter the corporate world.

MIT delivers an exceptional big data program in the world and its business analytics program is offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. levels.

2. Harvard University

Harvard’s Department of Statistics is a top school for big data in the world that trains students to take big chunks of data and turn them into meaningful information. The department offers bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs depending on your level of education and goals.

Harvard’s flagship degree is the Master of Science in Data Science, which is co-offered by the faculties of Statistics and Computer Science. This program is one of the best in the world at teaching students how to use the latest technology to analyze data in innovative ways.

Studying at Harvard exposes you to real-world challenges on a daily basis. The Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) helps students from different disciplines use big data to tackle issues like COVID-19 and artificial intelligence. As a student here, you can be certain that your work will impact other people’s lives directly.

3. Stanford University

There’s no place like Silicon Valley to be a big data scientist. If you want to study at one of the best universities for big data in the world while being surrounded by tech behemoths and exciting startups, Stanford University is the obvious choice for you.

Stanford’s Master of Science in Statistics Data Science is updated year by year to keep up with the latest trends. You’ll be at the cutting edge of a rapidly evolving field. Upon graduation, you’ll have one of the most sought-after degrees in big data. You can get a job in a tech company, create a startup, or pursue doctoral studies in big data at Stanford or elsewhere.

Bachelor’s degrees in statistics and data science are only offered as minors.

4. ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich’s Master in Data Science is offered by its Department of Computer Science with input from the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. This program centers around the question of how computers can help turn massive amounts of raw data into something useful. Students will learn to develop programs that can process this information.

The Data Science Laboratory is a mandatory element of this program. Here, students will apply what they’ve learned to real-world problems.

ETH Zurich is one of the best institutions for big data in the world that also offers a flexible Ph.D. program that allows students to choose a topic to research. You will have access to the resources of the Department of Computer Science and the experience of its faculty.

5. University of Oxford

Oxford University’s graduate and Ph.D. programs in Social Data Science teach students to collect and analyze the information generated by people in day-to-day life. This data usually comes from our many digital devices and is used to analyze human behavior at the macro level.

At the undergraduate level, students can get a strong foundation in working with large datasets with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Maths in Mathematics and Statistics.

Oxford’s Big Data Institute is a top school for big data in the world and is one of the few research centers solely dedicated to big data. Research done here includes mapping the evolutionary tree of life of all living things and detecting a new HIV variant.

6. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is another leading big data school that has a wealth of degrees available for those who want to study big data, depending on which industry you’re most interested in. The university is known for its graduate programs in machine learning, business analytics, language technologies, etc.

Carnegie Mellon also offers bachelor’s degrees in Machine Learning Economics and Statistics, as well as several Ph.D. programs related to big data. Given that big data permeates essentially every major industry, it’s certainly an advantage to get as specific a degree as you can in the field you want to work in.

7. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is one of the only universities in the world that offers a world-class program specifically in big data. The Master of Science in Big Data Technology teaches students both the technicalities of the subject and its real-world applications. This program is supported by Hong Kong’s government, which means that financial aid is readily available.

HKUST also offers a Bachelor of Science in Data Analytics in Science, which trains specifically trains students in the scientific applications of data. You’ll help biologists, chemists, and physicists learn more about the world through their specific fields by collecting and interpreting information.


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