As a result of the innovative technological advancements in today’s digital era, data collection and handling is expanding at a rapid rate. We find ourselves in a data-driven time, which allows for enormous opportunities for companies across a wide range of industries to utilize information obtained from this data to inform future business decisions. It is no surprise then that this multitude of companies requires skilled and knowledgeable Data Scientists to delve into the massive amount of data that they have collected in order to extract meaningful insights.
Data science qualifications are becoming more and more popular as this valued skill becomes highly sought after.
Housing countries that are consistently at the forefront of technological innovation, like Singapore, Japan, and China, Asia is the ideal place to study data science. It is not surprising that this continent boasts some of the highest-ranked universities in the world and in this guide, we will dive into some of the best data science universities in Asia.
Top Universities for Data Science in Asia
1. National University of Singapore
- Data Science Program Link (DSA); Data Science Program Link (DSE)
- Degree(s) offered: Bachelor of Science (Honours) with Major in Data Science and Analytics (DSA); Bachelor of Science (Honours) with Major in Data Science and Economics (DSE)
Starting out as a modest medical school in 1905, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is a national research university that houses three campuses in Singapore: Outramm, Bukit Timah, and Kent Ridge. QS Asia University Rankings places NUS as the best university in Asia, while US News & World Report ranks them second in Asia and 29th in the world.
As one of the top schools for data science in Asia, the National University of Singapore’s Department of Statistics & Data Science offers two major options for their Bachelor of Science Honours degree for students interested in pursuing a qualification in data science.
The first is the Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a Major in Data Science and Analytics (DSA). This interdisciplinary, four-year direct honours program includes modules in Computer Science, Statistics, and Mathematics. The flexible curriculum structure exposes students to high-dimensional statistics, database and data processing, computation and optimization, data mining and machine learning, computer algorithms, and artificial intelligence.
The second option is the Bachelor of Science (Honours) with a Major in Data Science and Economics (DSE). This cross-disciplinary program combines strong foundational knowledge with hands-on experience to produce students who are able to interpret and analyze the impact of economic data on individuals, organizations, society, and the global economic ecosystem.
A great benefit of the DSE program is that students are able to participate in exchange programs with international partner universities and can gain experiential learning by participating in internships with local or international companies or institutions.
2. Nanyang Technological University
- Data Science Program Link (Undergraduate); Data Science Program Link (Graduate)
- Degree(s) offered: Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence; Master of Science in Analytics
Launched in 1991 as a teaching university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is today a research-intensive global academic institution. Based in Singapore, NTU’s main campus is listed among the top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world. It is ranked as one of the top three universities in Asia by both QS Asia University Rankings and US News & World Report.
NTU offers both an undergraduate and a postgraduate qualification in the field of data science.
Jointly offered by the School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) and the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS), the Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence is a four-year, full-time direct honors program. The curriculum is targeted at students who wish to find innovative solutions to societal challenges by using data science and artificial intelligence.
Postgraduate students can pursue the Master of Science in Analytics in order to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to apply groundbreaking data science techniques to solve complex challenges faced by businesses in the modern economy.
This intensive program can be completed full-time over one year or part-time over two years and is aimed at professionals looking to leverage business analytics in their respective fields or college graduates who wish to pursue a career in the data science industry.
3. University of Hong Kong
- Data Science Program Link
- Degree(s) offered: Master of Data Science
The University of Hong Kong is also among the top data science universities in Asia. Ranked as one of the top 10 universities in Asia by both US News & World Report and QS Asia University Rankings, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has achieved global recognition as a comprehensive, research-led academic institution. HKU officially opened in 1912 and boasts the title of oldest tertiary education institution in Hong Kong, China.
Offered jointly by HKU’s Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science and their Department of Computer Science, the Master of Data Science degree can be completed full-time over 18 months or part-time over two and a half years. This interdisciplinary program is taught in English and applies statistical modeling, computer technology, and operational research to problem-solving and decision-making across a range of organizations in both the private and public sectors.
Students wishing to apply for the Master of Data Science at HKU will need a Bachelor’s degree with Honours (or equivalent) and will need experience in computer programming, introductory statistics, and calculus and algebra.
4. Chinese University Hong Kong
- Data Science Program Link
- Degree(s) offered: Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Data Science and Business Statistics
Overlooking the Tolo Harbour, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) boasts the largest and greenest campus in Hong Kong, China. Founded in 1963, not only does CUHK offer a beautiful campus, but they are also ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world by US News & World Report, and one of the top 10 universities in Asia.
Established in 1982, CUHK’s Department of Statistics offers a Master of Science in Data Science and Business Statistics. This part-time program runs over two years, has a focus on both data analysis skills and the core areas of applied and business statistics.
The program has been admitting graduate students since 2004 and is aimed at executives, educators, practitioners in public health agencies, and professionals from both the private and public sectors who wish to collect and analyze data in order to enhance the quality of society.
5. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Data Science Program Link
- Degree(s) offered: Master of Philosophy in Data Science and Analytics (MPhil(DSA)); Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science and Analytics (Ph.D. (DSA))
Hong Kong certainly does not have a shortage of exceptional educational institutions! The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in Asia by both QS Asia University Rankings and US News & World Report. Founded in 1991, HKUST achieved the status of one of the top young universities in the world in just three decades.
As one of the best data science universities in Asia, HKUST offers graduate students both a Master of Philosophy in Data Science and Analytics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Data Science and Analytics, both on a full-time basis.
The MPhil (DSA) runs over two years and exposes students to the challenges involved in the development of educational, scientific, and commercial applications of data science and analytics.
The Ph.D. (DSA) can be completed in three years (with a relevant research master’s degree), or four years (without a relevant research master’s degree). This program develops the skills required to pinpoint theoretical research challenges related to practical applications, develop and take on research that addresses the identified challenges, and uncover solutions that are data science and analytics related.
Whether you are wanting to undertake an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in data science, there is no doubt that Asia offers a number of exceptional universities to consider. In a time where data informs decisions and actions across almost every industry, graduates who have the knowledge, skills, and ability to extract meaningful insights from large sets of data are guaranteed a prosperous career as a Data Scientist!
I hope this guide on the best data science universities in Asia was informative and insightful. Make sure to check also our Available Programs for International Students and find out how you can study abroad.