YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University’s Division of Workforce Education and Innovation is looking to add a new area of focus.

YSU’s new partnership with Purdue University has the opportunity to expose students to a new resource.

Jennifer Oddo, executive director of the Division of Workforce Education and Innovation, said the world of data science has truly emerged recently.

“There are vast amounts of data out there. Data that could, you know, help doctors make more informed decisions on patient care, help businesses make decisions, help law enforcement find the bad guys,” she said.

Oddo said the partnership with Purdue is crucial. It’s leading the way with data mine science programs, which is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.

“Because it’s such a fast-growing and emerging occupation, the universities don’t really have the academic programs yet,” she said.

If a student chooses to make a career out of it, it can bring in good salaries.

“They’re expecting 30 percent growth in data science by the year 2026. The average median salary nationally is $95,000 entry salary,” Oddo said.

The university is hoping to get students excited in the coming weeks because they’re hoping to launch a pilot program come fall.

“We’re hoping that our students will have those opportunities, help companies and maybe even find out where their future might lie,” said YSU President Jim Tressel.

Students hoping to get involved in this new program can expect more information in the coming weeks.