What Is a PhD in Data Science?
If you have always been fascinated by science, especially if you are interested in statistics and the scientific method, then a PhD in Data Science might be for you.
Data science is a field of study dedicated to applying the science of statistics to the problem areas of data visualisation, data science and machine learning. In this field, the challenge is to use data analysis and mathematical formulas to predict data patterns and draw conclusions from them.
Data science has become popular because it covers a wide range of topics, including the use of statistical methods for analysing and interpreting data. The primary goal of the discipline is to explain the way data enters the scientific community and influences decisions. Data is analysed to find patterns and connections, and then possible solutions are explored. With big data and new statistical computing methods, patterns can be uncovered, and relationships can be tested.
As more and more industries rely on information generated by computers, data science will be one of the key players in the future.
Browse PhDs in Data Science
Computer Vision with Deep Learning for Human Data ModellingDurham University Department of Computer ScienceDurham, England
Energy dissipation in human soft tissue during impactsLoughborough University School of Sport, Exercise and Health SciencesLoughborough, England
PhD Position in Explainable Artificial Intelligence (with a Focus on Knowledge Representation, Modelling, Optimisation, Computational Intelligence, or Applications in Manufacturing Systems)Aberystwyth University Department of Computer ScienceAberystwyth, Wales
Dissecting the epigenetic and transcriptional regulators of persistent pro-fibrotic growth in keloid scarsQueen Mary, University of London William Harvey Research InstituteLondon, England
What Does a PhD in Data Science Focus On?
The primary focus for a PhD in Data Science is statistical methods. This means that you would study statistics in all its forms at the macroscopic and microscopic level, including statistical computer science, theory and applied mathematics. The advantage is that you get an insight into how large-scale data works. Thus, a position in a company where you are analysing large amounts of project data can be made available through a PhD.
PhD programs in data science provide university students with a thorough grounding in the theoretical aspects, but they are also taught the practical aspects of the discipline. PhD students are taught how to conduct proper experiments and interpret the results of scientific studies.
The importance of data and its interpretation is of paramount importance in all fields, and a PhD programme in data science addresses this topic, with some institutions also offering taught modules that doctoral students can use to deepen their knowledge.
Within a data science field, there are several areas of focus. One of them is the analysis of large databases and their effective interpretation. With this doctoral qualification, you could conduct statistical analysis, research studies and even exploratory data analysis. You could see what kinds of relationships exist between variables. You can explore areas such as Databases, Human Resource Management Machine Learning, or Information Technology during your studies.
Entry Requirements for A PhD in Data Science
A PhD in Data Science involves conducting original research in this area; therefore, applicants must have a good knowledge of statistical methods, computing, probability calculation, statistics and other related topics.
Basic requirements are typically a strong Master’s degree in mathematics, computer science or statistics from an accredited university. International students will also need to meet several minimum English language requirements set by the university, usually as part of a TOEFL or IELTS exam.
Although there are many advantages to obtaining a PhD in Data Science, it requires hard work and perseverance to master the techniques of analysis; to become an effective researcher, you will need strong mathematical and logical skills.
If you are interested in a PhD in Data Science but are unsure whether you have the background or resources available, consider taking a Master’s degree in this subject, or if you are a prospective student, contact the department you are interested in to see if they have any advice for you.
Duration and Programme Types
You can earn a PhD in data science in as little as 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time at a leading university. There are also online courses; many universities offer online PhD programmes which allow you to complete your entire doctoral programme from home. You still need to meet your course requirements by attending lectures and doing laboratory work, but your work can be completed at your own pace and off-campus.
Costs and Funding
The cost of a PhD in Data Science will depend on the university you study with, but average tuition fee is £4000-£6000 per academic year for UK/EU students and £16,000-£19,000 per academic year for international students.
Due to the popularity of Data Science PhD projects and the increasing demand for individuals who can elaborately analyse large data sets, it is not difficult to obtain PhD funding in this area. In many cases, funding for full-time research can be obtained from the university’s Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), covering tuition fees and living costs.
Available Career Paths
A PhD in Data Science will enhance your data analysis skills and allow you to specialise in areas not available to others. A PhD offers many opportunities for those interested in statistics; you could become an engineer, statistician, consultant or academic lecturer. There are even PhDs in Data Science that offer internships in financial institutions or government agencies. Upon completing your doctorate, you can enter the workforce in many areas depending on your aptitude and experience.
A PhD in Data Science can lead to a wide range of jobs in many fields. If you are interested in working for a company that uses data one way or another, a PhD would be the perfect choice for you. If you are interested in independent research and studying various scientific methods and data, you will do well with a PhD. You could also spend your time teaching or doing your own research.
A person who has a PhD in data science can work in many industry-related positions. For example, you may work in the financial industry as an analyst for mergers and acquisitions, in healthcare, as a statistician, or as an information systems administrator. You can even get a job as an IT analyst, project manager, and software designer.
You can use your knowledge in the workplace to start up your own small business. Many small businesses today are founded on the back of a PhD. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies started as a result of a doctor trying to solve a problem or answer a long-standing question plaguing their industry.