South Dakota Trade Schools

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Trade Schools & Colleges in South Dakota

If you live in the state of South Dakota and you are interested in furthering your level of education beyond a high school diploma, then you have certainly come to the right place! Doing solid research regarding achievement of your educational goals is always a good first step. In the state of South Dakota, employment projections that expand over the next several years show that approximately 28-31% of the jobs that are available will be appropriate for individuals who have only completed a high school diploma. It is critical to note that while this percentage is not extremely low, the rate of pay that will be associated with these available jobs is likely to be at the lower end of the spectrum.

Conversely, 59-63% of the jobs that are available in this state will require applicants to hold some level of a post secondary degree or training program. As with any other state, it is important to realize that your rate of pay will surely be directly related to the level of education that you have successfully completed. For instance, if you have only completed a two year associate's degree program you can surely expect the amount of money you receive to be less than if you had completed a graduate level degree program. Below, you will find a brief introduction to a few of South Dakota's top colleges and universities.

You will definitely want to keep in mind that this list is not conclusive. In fact, there are many community or junior colleges and vocational institutes that may be more appropriately suited to your career goals. Take your time, peruse the details provided for each of the schools discussed, and make informed decisions that will benefit your future and fit into your lifestyle.

The University of South Dakota is the oldest educational institution in the state. In addition, it is also South Dakota's only liberal arts university; it is also home to the state's only law school and medical school. Located in Vermillion, this university has an undergraduate population of about 6,500 students. This publicly operated university boasts seven different colleges and schools for interested students to choose from: the School of Health Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, Law, the School of Education, Medicine, and the Beacom School of Business. Another great educational option in South Dakota is Northern State University. Although this university is known for its focus on undergraduate degree programs, it does offer nine graduate degrees for interested students to choose from.

Operated as a public educational facility, this university has a very small student enrollment of only about 2,200 students. Currently, this university's academic degree programs are subdivided between four different schools and colleges: Fine Arts, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Business. South Dakota State University is another viable option for interested students to peruse. Located in Brookings, this educational facility is the largest university in the state. Currently, the undergraduate student enrollment was reported at nearly 10,000 students. Despite the fact that this university began as an agricultural college, it has since expanded to include many other great academic options. For instance, prospective students can choose between strong degree programs in areas such as nursing, pharmacy, agriculture, engineering, and liberal arts.

Black Hills State University operates as a public educational facility. This university is fairly small with a student enrollment of only about 4,000. Although this university was founded as a teacher's college, it now has nearly sixty different degree programs for individuals to choose from. Currently, this university is comprised of three different colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Technology, and the College of Education. This university is located in Spearfish. The fifth most popular collegiate option in the state of South Dakota is Dakota State University.

This university is located in Madison and was founded in 1881. Current online research shows that this learning facility has a student enrollment of about 2,500 students. Although practically any driven, interested student is applicable for this school, individuals who are planning to pursue careers in computer programming, business, physical science, or education are likely to find the curriculum more appropriately suited to their goals. In correlation, graduate level degree programs are offered in areas such as information systems, educational technology, and information assurance. Ultimately, the degree programs at this facility place a huge emphasis on skills oriented programs of study and technology.


Why Online Schools Could be Your Best Option

When it comes to deciding to attend school to either further your education or perhaps to change careers the biggest question we get asked if “Should I attend a traditional college or go online”? The answer really depends on your answers to the below questions

1. Do you live close to a campus? – Often we find students that are in states like South Dakota where the nearest school that offers the program they are interested in taking is 100’s of miles away. If distance is preventing you from attending then taking the program online is your best choice. Also the school you want to attend might have an online division so make sure to see if this option is available.

2. Do you currently have a fulltime job? – If you are like most adult learners you hold down a job and studying at night or on the weekend is really your only option. If you just graduated high school then you’ll have more flexibility to move to the town where your college is and work part-time while attending school.

3. What are your budget constraints? Do you plan on working full-time like mentioned above? Do you not want to take out a big student loan? Do you have scholarships available to you? These are all questions to be answered first as every college is different and sometimes online colleges offer cheaper tuition rates than traditional colleges.
4. How motivated of an individual are you? Be truthful about your answer to this one. Motivated students do really well with online courses as they plan out their day, are motivated and can learn with little to no assistance from others. If this doesn’t sound like you then perhaps attending a campus would be a better option. Several South Dakota colleges we found offer a blended programs curriculum where you take 50% of your classes online and the rest of the time you come into a classroom.


Up and Coming Industries in South Dakota


Manufacturing Sector – The sector employs over 42,000 with close to $2 billion in annual wages. The state has over 1,118 manufacturing businesses and 1 in every 10 employed in the state work in this sector.

Farming and Agriculture – An amazing 98% of all farms in South Dakota are family owned. The industry has a $21 billion dollar impact on the county that employs over 80,000 South Dakotans.

Tourism Industry – With popular attractions such as Mount Rushmore the state employs over 43,000 not including the food and lodging industry.


Top Skilled Trade Careers

Renewable Energy – The EIA expects that the total sector will increase by 10% and solar followed by geothermal will lead the way. Wind energy ranks 2nd in the Nation. Jobs are in the rise, especially for solar installation as more and more homes in SD are using the photovoltaic tax breaks.

Electrician & HVAC Technicians – These are always solid trades in any state. As homes continue to be built the need for electricians and HVAC technicians will always be in demand. Trades like being a plumber requires a 6 years of experience as a contractor or plumber or 1900 hours so you can apply for your journeyman plumber’s license in SD.

Automotive Mechanics – Trade schools in the state offer training programs in collision repair and diesel technology. Many of the jobs you’ll find require ASE certification which some of the schools offer.

Nursing – One of the hardest hit states that suffer a nursing shortage is South Dakota. In fact the Rapid city Regional Hospital had to close 417 beds recently as they simply don’t have enough qualified nurses. The hospital states they are looking to hire 100 nurses in 100 days as they don’t have any options since the population is aging. The state has 26 hospitals that pay on average $53,050 per year for a registered nurse compared to $65,470 nationwide.


South Dakota Career Resources