Why South Dakota Schools Are Part of a Successful Region: 3 Student-Friendly Benefits
It doesn't take long to realize that South Dakota is special. With fewer than a million residents, this state might be considered small. But the people here have turned the region's size into a major strength. In fact, it would be hard to find another state where collaboration, kindness, and honest work are valued as much as they are here. The region simply has a character that invites success.
That's why the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation expects the state's population to grow by 10 percent between 2020 and 2035. South Dakotans are building upon their successes and creating a prosperous future that a lot of people want to be part of. Throughout South Dakota, colleges and universities (including career-oriented trade schools) are helping the next generation of professionals prepare for that future.
Will you be one of those people? As you explore that possibility, think about a few of the greatest advantages of getting your education here. Students and graduates of schools in South Dakota frequently benefit from:
1. An Affordable and Appealing Quality of Life
South Dakotans are proud of their communities. From Rapid City to Watertown to Sioux Falls, people get to enjoy convenient urban amenities while still living in places that retain a small-town feel. As a matter of fact, the average commute time is under 17 minutes—the shortest in the nation.
Plus, scenic beauty is all around. You never have to go far to take advantage of amazing outdoor recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, or watersports when you're away from class or not at work. The hiking trails alone total hundreds of miles throughout the state.
And you can't beat the cost of living, which is lower than the nationwide average. That means you get to keep more of the money you earn. South Dakota doesn't even have a personal state income tax.
2. Diverse and Successful Industries
The state's economy continues to move forward thanks to a wide-ranging industrial base. As a result, anyone looking to establish a stable or profitable career can find great vocational sectors in South Dakota that are worth training for. Consider the following examples:
- Business and technology services—South Dakota has earned a reputation as one of America's best regions for doing business. In part, that's because the state doesn't impose any corporate income tax. And companies are attracted by the quality of life and potential for growth. But the state also boasts some of the lowest utility rates in the nation. The result is that it's very economical for organizations to host their computer data, networks, and various operations in the region.
- Health care—Allied health and nursing schools in South Dakota provide training for one of the state's most reliable and noteworthy industries. In fact, the state ranks first in the nation for the number of registered nurses per 100,000 residents.
- Tourism—A Tourism Economics report notes that in 2018 alone, more than 14 million people visited South Dakota to explore attractions such as the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse Memorial. As a result, more than 37,000 jobs were supported by tourism. And the industry may continue growing.
- Financial services—The ongoing expansion of businesses throughout this state is creating ongoing demand for financial professionals. But this sector is most notable for the fact that South Dakota is home to over $3 trillion of America's bank assets—more than any other state.
- Manufacturing—Manufacturing companies in the state produce everything from electronics to agricultural products. In fact, about 10 percent of all jobs in South Dakota are in this sector, according to the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
3. Strong Occupational Growth
The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation says that between 2016 and 2026, more than 33,000 job openings are expected to be generated throughout this state. And many of those jobs will be in the career sectors mentioned above. Of course, it's also possible to get practical training for many other strong industries in South Dakota. Law enforcement training, as just one example, is often available through criminal justice programs.
Check out the projected rates of employment growth for these important and satisfying occupations over the decade from 2016 to 2026:
- Respiratory therapists—29 percent
- Applications software developers—29 percent
- Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers—28 percent
- Computer information security analysts—27 percent
- Massage therapists—25 percent
- Marketing specialists—22 percent
- Personal care aides—22 percent
- Physical therapist assistants—21 percent
- Diagnostic medical sonographers—20 percent
- Paralegals and legal assistants—20 percent
- Medical assistants—19 percent
- Cardiovascular technicians and technologists—15 percent
- Personal financial advisors—15 percent
- Medical secretaries—14 percent
- Registered nurses—14 percent
- Health services managers—13 percent
- Aircraft mechanics—12 percent
- Computer network architects—11 percent
- Medical records and health information technicians—10 percent
- Computer user support specialists—10 percent
- Accountants and financial auditors—10 percent