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 state's population is expected to grow by nearly 14.7 percent between 2015 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 14 minutes—among 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 almost 700 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 as well as fiber-optic telecom speeds that are as much as 20 percent faster than the U.S. average.* 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 and community hospitals per 100,000 residents.*
- Tourism—In 2015 alone, about 13.7 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 52,000 jobs were supported by tourism. And the industry is expected to 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 $2.8 trillion of America's bank assets—more than any other state.*
- Manufacturing—Over 42,000 South Dakotans have jobs in this sector. Plus, this state was one of just four places in the nation to experience overall gains in manufacturing jobs between 2003 and 2013.*
3. Strong Occupational Growth
Between 2012 and 2022, 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 2012 to 2022:†
- Logisticians—32.4 percent
- Marketing specialists—30.5 percent
- Transportation security screeners—26.7 percent
- Computer information security analysts—25 percent
- Event planners—24.6 percent
- Medical secretaries—23.3 percent
- Paralegals and legal assistants—19.8 percent
- Personal financial advisors—16.9 percent
- Medical assistants—16.4 percent
- Veterinary techs—16.4 percent
- Computer network architects—14 percent
- Human resources managers—13.2 percent
- Registered nurses—13.1 percent
- Medical records and health information technicians—12.7 percent
- Health services managers—12 percent
- Computer user support specialists—11.3 percent
- Private detectives and investigators—10.3 percent
- Accountants and financial auditors—8.7 percent
Position Yourself for Greater Success
Your biggest achievements are still ahead of you. So use this opportunity to begin making them a reality. Discover a nearby trade school or vocational college in South Dakota right now by entering your zip code in the program finder below!
* South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development, website last visited on February 22, 2016.
** Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, website last visited on April 12, 2017.
*** Watertown Development Company, website last visited on April 5, 2016.
**** The Economic Impact of Tourism in South Dakota, Tourism Economics, website last visited on February 22, 2016.
† South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, website last visited on February 22, 2016.