Survey and Data Science Careers

A University of Michigan survey and data science master’s degree provides you with endless career paths. Learn how to start a career in data science and survey methodology.

At the University of Michigan Program in Survey and Data Science, you will use survey methodology and data science to pursue careers and jobs in diverse fields that make our world a better place.

Our alumni work in nearly every professional field where social research is conducted, providing high-quality information to decision makers in order to understand opinions, preferences, beliefs, and desires. They impact decisions through their work at social media platforms, media and communication organizations, academic organizations, survey research companies, government agencies, and market research companies in the United States and globally. And they chose the University of Michigan because, like you, they were seeking a way to combine survey research and data science as a career.

You might also be interested to know that:

  • Nearly 100% of U-M graduates over the past two decades are employed in survey and data science careers or are seeking advanced degrees
  • Recent graduates are working for Facebook, the National Cancer Institute, Pew Research Center, the UCLA, and more
  • Our graduates work throughout the United States and throughout the world, including in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

What Career Paths Are Available in Survey Methodology and Data Science?

Our graduates are at the forefront of developing and testing methods in survey and data science. Whether it’s in the office or in the field, survey and data scientists are engaged in all aspects of the research process, including:

  • Creating and developing new data collection techniques
  • Analyzing social media content to track opinion over time
  • Designing and selecting samples of participants
  • Designing and selecting samples of participants
  • Questionnaire development and evaluatio
  • Developing new techniques to link data from different sources
  • Examining how best to safeguard privacy and confidentiality of survey respondents and social media users
  • Reducing survey nonresponse

Background Needed for Survey and Data Science Careers

You may be wondering how to start a career in data science and survey methods. Because survey and data science is largely quantitative, strong statistical skills are critical to success here at Michigan and in the workplace. Our graduate students take at least three semesters of statistical modeling, which is tailored to your background and program track.

Still wondering how to start a career in data science and survey science? Here are two examples:

  • Example No. 1: If your background is in the social sciences — especially psychology or sociology — you can apply your knowledge, skills, and experience to survey and data science careers. Your focus may be on how people answer questions, measuring the accuracy of survey respondents, and analysis of data to support such investigations.
  • Example No. 2: If you have experience or interest in statistical aspects of survey methods, especially machine learning, a career in survey and data science may also be right for you. You can use your expertise or passion to help learn more about sample designs, survey methods involving missing values, statistical models that strengthen inferences drawn from survey science, and much more.

Survey and Data Science as a Career

The U-M’s graduate program in survey and data science prepares you to gain insights, uncover new findings, and innovate in the field of survey methodology and data science. Our in-demand graduates go on to exciting careers and strong job outlooks. Here are a few examples of where they work and the titles they hold:

Academic Settings

  • Assistant research professor
  • Data quality and survey methodology manager
  • Director of sampling operations
  • Postdoctoral scholar

Global Entities and Government Organizations

  • Mathematical statistician
  • Postdoctoral scholar
  • Research director
  • Survey statistician

Data Science, Research, and Survey Companies

  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Director of survey research
  • Sampling statisticians
  • Senior data scientists

Social Media Platforms

  • Head of data science and analytics
  • Research manager
  • Research scientists
  • Qualitative researcher
  • Quantitative researcher

Learn more about current job outlook and salaries available to you if you pursue survey methods and data science as a career.

Resources to Help You Succeed Professionally

Because our survey and data science MS degree is purposely small, you will have many opportunities to interact with faculty — about specific course material as well as the particular path you take through the program — on how to start a career in data science and survey science. These world-renowned experts will also provide feedback on your resume and CV, prepare you for job interviews in survey and data science careers, and connect you with employers. And our supportive administrative staff can connect you with program alumni as you prepare your career in data science and surveys.

The Professional and Academic Development Office within the U-M Rackham Graduate School, which houses the survey and data science master’s degree program, also has services available to help you with life after graduation.

Internship and Career

Get started on your path toward a survey and data science career

Get ahead and pursue your U-M master’s degree in survey and data science. If you have questions, please or fill out a request for more information or call us at 734-647-0038.

Apply today

Submit your application online today for the Master of Survey and Data Science from the University of Michigan.

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