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Career Colleges    » South Dakota

South Dakota Career Colleges and Universities

Career and Technical Training in South Dakota

Career Colleges, Technical Schools, and Universities in South Dakota

Find a guide to South Dakota's career schools and colleges, and training programs. South Dakota is a great choice for expanding your education. Each program from a South Dakota Career College, a post-secondary for-profit institution, offers an education with an in-demand career field. The programs are designed to get you work-ready, equipped with the practical knowledge, and the competence needed to obtain a competitive career in South Dakota.

At career colleges in South Dakota, you typically don't take general education classes in core subjects such as English and math. Instead, you focus on career-related courses.

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South Dakota Career-Focused Degree Programs

Higher education is not just for recent high school graduates. Mid-career adults can take advantage of South Dakota career training at a technical institute, trade school, college or university.

South Dakota colleges, universities, career schools, and technical schools

According to the 2010 U.S. census, South Dakota has 814,180 residents occupying nearly 76,000 square miles of territory. Sioux Falls, with 153,888 residents, also has the largest number of colleges, universities, technical institutes, and career schools. The total number of undergraduate students in the 31 South Dakota colleges and universities exceeds 47,000 including both full-time and part-time students. There are also 6,444 graduate students.

Tuition costs at South Dakota colleges and universities

Undergraduate tuition at South Dakota universities and colleges varies widely, with public institutions costing considerably less. However, many of the private South Dakota colleges and universities have financial aid programs that greatly reduce the out-of-pocket cost to the student. A few examples of undergraduate tuition costs at public South Dakota colleges include:

  • Black Hills State College: $6960 in-state; $8,675 out-of-state
  • Dakota State University: $7,620 in-state; $9,335 out-of-state
  • SDSU - Brookings: $6,887 in-state; $8,602 out-of-state
  • University of South Dakota - Vermillion: $7,209 in-state; $8,924 out-of-state

Some private South Dakota university and college annual tuition rates are as follows:

  • Augustana College, Sioux Falls: $23,276
  • Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell: $19,000
  • Mount Marty College, Yankton: $17,078
  • Presentation College, Aberdeen: $14,250
  • University of Sioux Falls: $19,870

In addition to tuition costs, students will have to factor in room and board, books, and fees for everything from health care to parking. Most South Dakota universities and colleges offer online degree programs and hybrid programs that can reduce many of these extra costs.

There are also a number of South Dakota career schools, trade schools, and technical institutes offering training and certification in a variety of careers. Typically, annual tuition at these schools range from around $500 to over $1,000 depending on the subject matter and length of the course.

South Dakota economy and job outlook

South Dakota's early economic drivers were gold mining and agriculture. Although mining has declined, agriculture (both livestock and crops) is still a major factor in South Dakota's economy. Other major economic sectors are manufacturing (food processing, machinery, and computers), financial services, personal and business services, government, and tourism. As of October 2011, South Dakota had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 4.5 per cent.

South Dakota's mean annual income was $34,390 in May 2010, the most recent figure from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Incomes for occupations requiring a college degree are generally higher. Here is a sampling of mean annual incomes for some representative occupations:

  • Business and financial occupations: $53,780
  • Computer and mathematical occupations: $54,220
  • Architecture and engineering occupations: $56,390
  • Health care practitioners and technical occupations: $60,120
  • Legal occupations: $60,600
  • Management occupations: $84,470

The BLS does not include self-employed individuals in its statistics, and many degree programs at South Dakota universities and colleges lend themselves to self-employment. There are also a wide range of salaries within each of the BLS major categories. For instance, post-secondary teaching mean annual salaries in South Dakota range from $46,100 to $70,600, depending on subject matter, while elementary and secondary school teachers earn from $37,250 to $42,960. Post-secondary teaching positions often require advanced degrees, however.

Author: Roger Diez
Career Education in South Dakota Cities:

South Dakota Colleges, Universities, and Schools
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