JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s the first day of school for some students – some kicking off a first-ever degree.

There’s College Algebra, English 101, and Econ – all on the fall list for many students.

But a few are making up the inaugural class for Missouri Southern’s new Masters Degree in Data Analytics.

“Data repositories – think Big Data, that’s a common term there. So Data Analytics does or the study of it is, it provides professionals with skills. Workplace skills to really, as I say, kind of be able to work through the noise of all that data. And then utilize that data to come to your organizational decision making — smart, intelligent decision making,” said Dominic Buccieri, MSSU Prog. Dir. Data Analytics.

It’s something that could apply to anything from retail sales and healthcare to social media marketing.

“You know, looking at the various user engagements on your platforms, how’s it working to promote your products? Brands, etc. There are data points behind all that, that most of the general users consumers don’t realize as they’re engaging with these platforms. And it’s then having some way to take all those data points and being able to make some sense of it. So then maybe it’s promoting your brand or your product better. That’s just one application,” said Buccieri.

Students have the choice of attending classes in person or by “synchronous online.”

That option means classes are held live, giving students the ability to attend remotely but interact with the professor and other students at that time.

“Gives students the opportunity to have that full graduate school experience of building relationships with their peers and faculty without having to travel or having to, you know, our market will be more than just the Four States region, it will be worldwide,” said Dr. Lisa Toms, MSSU Provost.