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South Dakota’s industries include much more than agriculture, though agriculture is still a vital part of the state’s economy. For instance, finance and insurance hold the top spot in the state’s economy, contributing $8.1 billion to total revenue in a recent year.

Every industry requires business professionals. As you might expect, most business professionals have a tremendous responsibility to keep their organization or department running profitably. A skilled business professional will keep an organization running smoothly by investing in their employees and helping them to develop their own skills.

Business professionals working in finance and insurance must connect with their employees and ensure that they offer an equitable wage in order to keep the most talented workers in the field. They use performance management techniques to communicate expectations and recognize higher-performing employees. Business professionals who manage manufacturing companies aim to create and provide quality products to their customers.

No matter your industry of interest, there are many opportunities for students who are looking to become business professionals in South Dakota.

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Online Business Education in South Dakota

A future business student who wants to become a business consultant in South Dakota would do well to be aware of the diverse industries that provide financial benefit to the state. These include manufacturing (earning $5.1 billion); retail trade ($3.5 billion), wholesale trade ($3.7 billion); educational services, healthcare, and social assistance ($5.4 billion); construction ($2 billion); agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($3.6 billion); and arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services ($2 billion).

A business professional must have a variety of valuable skills, which can help them lead a team, department, or organization to reach specific goals. A businessperson may work in one of a huge variety of industries or fields such as mining and oil extraction, retail, educational services, construction, agriculture, entertainment and arts, lodging and hospitality, marketing, supply chain operations, accounting, logistics, finance, or entrepreneurship.

Business professionals and management students who want to work at their highest potential need to gain specific skills and qualities, many of which they can gain during their education. They must be able to recognize which risks are and aren’t worth it and be willing to take risks if it might help advance their organization. They should take initiative, leading their employees to work hard. A business professional also needs strong communication skills so that employees know what is expected of them. They should be reliable, doing what they said they would do.

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Beyond these characteristics, businesspeople can only succeed if they have the knowledge to understand how their field works and the techniques to manage people well. You can gain this knowledge and many skills through business education.

Online Associate Degree in Business (AS)

Students who are interested in an online associate business program can find several schools in South Dakota offering what they are looking for. Business degrees at this level offer classes in accounting, business administration, human resource management, marketing, bookkeeping, business administration with an emphasis on local industries, entrepreneurship, and more.

Students enrolled in a business degree will learn a variety of skills that will help them in their careers such as problem-solving, organizing, communication, planning, and technology. Their instructors, many of whom have business-world experience, are focused on helping them to gain the skills they will need after graduation. Business-related electives focusing on technical skills are also offered, and students are able to direct their degree toward their career goals with these electives.

Online degree programs are available from various locations throughout the state for those students who have commitments at home or work.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Business (BS)

Students searching for business schools in South Dakota should keep any career plans in mind when they are considering which program to attend. There are plenty to choose from. For instance, if you plan to enter business working in economics, you should be sure that the degree program you choose has an economics concentration. Many business bachelor’s programs offer concentrations or specializations in the last two years of the degree. In the first two years, you will need to complete general education courses and declare your major. A bachelor’s degree usually takes around four years of full-time attendance to complete, so your last two years will be fully focused on your major and any electives you choose to focus your education.

Students who plan to enter management should already have skills in communication, leadership, attention to detail, etc. However, these are all skills that you can hone in your major courses. Here you’ll learn about business, develop problem-solving skills, and analytical thinking. Once you graduate, you should have a wide range of career opportunities. After all, a bachelor’s is the most common degree level used to gain entry into a business career.

Online Master's Degree in Business (MS)

Online graduate students interested in working in business and information systems may find a Master of Science in Business Analytics an ideal degree for their future career goals. However, there are an even wider range of programs at this level to support the improvement of business professionals of all kinds.

Professionals or students seeking a Master of Business Administration (MBA) will also have plenty of options and can find degrees that will help them move their skills to a higher level and gain access to promotions, new career opportunities, and higher pay.

These programs offer many specialization options, such as the following:

  • MBA in Business Innovation and Marketing
  • MBA in Organizational Leadership
  • MBA in Healthcare
  • MBA in Management

Both an online master’s degree and an online MBA should take students around two years to complete, and these programs are built for busy working professionals. That means that classes are likely to be available on the weekends, in the evenings, or through an asynchronized online format so that you needn’t worry about classes interfering with your work.

Online PhD Degree in Business (PhD)

There are fewer options for those who are looking to earn a PhD in business in South Dakota. Carlson School of Management offers a PhD in Business Administration. You might also look for a doctorate in leadership and change, or another similar focus. These degrees are usually heavily focused on research and are intended to train scholars to contribute to scientific discovery in their particular specializations. Scholars also learn how to teach and the importance of pedagogy, which aims to provide them with the skills to succeed in business education.

Scholars have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of faculty and students and to network with a thriving business community. These degree program offers access to technology resources, opportunities for research, and financial support for those who need it.

Again, PhD programs often allow scholars to focus on one of several concentration areas. For instance, one school in the state offers business students at this level access to these concentrations.

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  • Accounting
  • Information and Decision Sciences
  • Supply Chain and Operations
  • Work and Organizations
  • Finance
  • Marketing, and
  • Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship

Become a Business Development Specialist in South Dakota

The best way to become a business professional in South Dakota is by gaining education in the field and interviewing until you find a company you can work with. However, there are ways to boost your chances. For instance, professional business certifications may mean the difference between just an interview and an interview, plus job offer. However, business professionals need to find and choose those certifications which will have the most positive effect on their careers. Certifications are often specific to certain professional roles, so you should review your options and find one that fits you. Here are just a few options from across the spectrum of what’s available.

  • Human Resources (PHR, SPHR, SHRM)
    These certifications may not be required, but they can help someone working in this field to move up to a management position or find a job that is better paying than their current role. Recruiters often look for applicants who have these certifications on their resumes.
  • Sales (Challenger Sales, Sandler Training, Spin Selling)
    While actual sales skills may be a requirement, a job candidate who can show proof of certification on their resume is more likely to be called for an interview. Some certifications include MEDDIC, Sandler Training, Spin Selling, and the Challenger Sales.
  • Project Management Certifications (PMP)
    Project management is a challenging process. Those project manager candidates who hold project management certifications are much more valuable as job candidates. Employers know that PMs who have earned this recognition adopt a higher-level approach toward projects and are more capable of moving them from the beginning phase through to completion.
  • Help Desk/Desktop Analyst Certifications (A+ and Network+)
    These certifications are meant for entry-level computer help desk or desktop analyst professionals. A+ certification is designed to help someone in these roles find their place in IT. Recruiters also look for Network+ certification. While it isn’t difficult to earn, it can greatly benefit job applicants.

Careers for Business Graduates

  • Operations Manager
    An operations manager ensures that the company’s work processes comply with state and federal law and that all operations within the company are conducted within budget. They may make changes to an organization’s operational management systems, best practices, and processes.
  • Human Resources Specialist
    These professionals recruit and screen job applicants. They interview the applicants and assign those hired to open positions. Some HR specialists take care of compensation and benefits, while other specialists work in training and employee relations.
  • Team Leader
    A team leader guides their team with the aim of helping them meet their goals. Similar to project managers, these professionals work with an added element of coaching and mentorship, helping their team members to grow into their roles. They may handle daily operations and make sure that each member of their team has the support they need.
  • Administrative Assistant
    This professional holds a supportive role in the organization. They distribute and manage information to their co-workers, handle administrative work, and answer phones. They organize and schedule appointments, work with administrative software, take care of administrative requests and questions from senior management, plan meetings and, during these meetings, they may take the minutes, along with performing other various secretarial duties.
  • Account Manager
    This professional ensures that each department is paying attention to and meeting the needs of each customer and client. They field customer complaints and help to find solutions. At all times, they keep a positive relationship moving between organization and customer in order to keep their business. This professional should be an excellent communicator and be knowledgeable about products and services so that they are able to provide the right solutions.
  • IT Director
    The job role varies depending on the organization. An IT director may supervise the tech infrastructure of an organization, managing a team of IT professionals and deciding on business requirements for IT systems, managing the design and launch of infrastructure, and mitigating security risks.

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  • Office Manager
    The office manager ensures an office is running smoothly. They supervise administrative support, ensuring that work is done correctly and on time. The duties of an office manager vary, ranging from reception duties to taking care of paperwork, copy editing, or filing for a department.
  • Data Analyst
    A data analyst works, unsurprisingly, with data. They collect it, clean it, and interpret specific data sets, looking for answers or finding ways to solve a problem. These professionals are found in government, business, criminal justice, medicine, finance, and more.
  • Financial Analyst
    This professional finds ways to help departments, teams, and organizations to make the most of their finances. They offer guidance on the best ways to do so. They proffer advice on how much money they should invest in the stock market or bonds. They decide which investments may bring the best returns.
  • Public Relations Specialist
    Public relations specialists create the public image for organizations and groups that they represent. Much of their effort includes writing media releases and developing social media programming, which helps to shape the public’s perception of their clients. This specialist also increase awareness of the goals of each client and the work they have done.
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