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What is Finance?

South Dakota has a well-developed financial industry that contributes significantly to the state's economy. The financial sector here encompasses various subsectors including banking, insurance, investment services, and more. The state's favorable business climate, low taxes, and pro-business regulations have attracted numerous financial institutions to come here to set up their operations.

The state’s banking industry is one of its cornerstones; it is home to numerous national and regional banks like Wells Fargo, Citibank, and Great Western Bank that provide various personal and commercial banking services as well as loans, mortgages, and investment opportunities for their customers. In addition to banking, South Dakota is also known for its robust insurance industry. It is considered to be an attractive destination for insurance companies due to its favorable regulatory environment. Many insurance companies, including those specializing in life insurance and property and casualty insurance, have established their presence here. Apart from traditional financial services, South Dakota is also witnessing the growth of financial technology companies. Fintech refers to the use of technology to deliver financial services, and this sector has been flourishing in recent years. Fintech companies in the state are leveraging advancements in technology to provide innovative solutions in areas such as digital payments, online lending, and financial planning.

Now, let's delve into the employment figures in the finance sector of South Dakota. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2020, there were approximately 23,460 people employed in the financial activities industry here. This includes individuals working in banking, insurance, securities, and other financial services.

The state's finance industry offers many career opportunities ranging from entry-level roles to higher-level executive ones, from entry-level analyst jobs all the way up to executive manager responsibilities. Common job titles in the finance sector include financial analyst, loan officer, financial planner, insurance underwriter, and investment manager - often these positions require strong knowledge and a deep understanding of financial theory as well as being adaptable enough to adapt with ever-evolving landscapes.

Students interested in completing finance degree programs will find plenty of options in this state and nearby. These options include Dakota Wesleyan University, Northern State University, Western Dakota Technical Institute, Black Hills State University, and other colleges in South Dakota that offer finance degrees.

Compare Popular Online Finance Programs

Top Ranked Campus & Online Finance Programs in South Dakota

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $8,845
    • Out-of-State: $11,947
  • Net Price: $17,264
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,344
  • Undergrad Students: 2,851
  • Graduate Students: 493
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 16:1
  • Northern State University
View All Their Popular Majors and Rankings
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $39,190
    • Out-of-State: $39,190
  • Net Price: $23,843
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 2,086
  • Undergrad Students: 1,831
  • Graduate Students: 255
  • Grads Salary: $69,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • Augustana University
View All Their Popular Majors and Rankings

Dakota State University

Score: 80.63

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $9,633
    • Out-of-State: $12,735
  • Net Price: $17,977
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,241
  • Undergrad Students: 2,757
  • Graduate Students: 484
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Dakota State University
  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $9,432
    • Out-of-State: $12,942
  • Net Price: $18,378
  • Acceptance Rate: 99%
  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 9,856
  • Undergrad Students: 7,132
  • Graduate Students: 2,724
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • University of South Dakota
View All Their Popular Majors and Rankings

Black Hills State University

Score: 73.1

  • Undergraduate Tuition
    • In-State: $9,000
    • Out-of-State: $12,100
  • Net Price: $16,782
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,425
  • Undergrad Students: 3,261
  • Graduate Students: 164
  • Grads Salary: $65,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Black Hills State University

Online Finance Education in South Dakota

Finance professionals specialize in overseeing and making decisions regarding financial issues for individuals or organizations. Their role is essential in maintaining the stability and success of an entity by providing guidance and expertise in areas like financial planning, investment management, risk analysis, and budgeting. Finance professionals' primary duty is to analyze financial data and offer recommendations that enhance performance and growth for their clients or employers. Their decisions are guided by knowledge of economic trends, market conditions, and the goals of the entity they're representing.

Finance professionals may work in any number of industries, from banking and investment firms to insurance companies and government agencies. Their exact job titles and responsibilities depend on their field of specialization; examples include financial analysts, planners, investment bankers, portfolio managers, and accounting managers.

Becoming a finance professional typically requires having an educational foundation in finance or related areas, along with certifications or licenses that demonstrate expertise - these may include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), or Certified Public Accountant (CPA), among others. Such designations not only establish credibility among potential employers, but they require ongoing professional development to stay abreast of industry regulations and trends.

Besides technical expertise, finance professionals need to possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They must be able to interpret complex financial data, identify trends, and make sound financial decisions. Attention to detail, good communication skills, and the ability to work under pressure are also essential qualities for success in this field.

Online Associate Degree in Finance (AS)

In today's competitive job market, having a solid foundation in finance is crucial for success. While many students choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in finance, an associate degree can be a valuable alternative for those looking to enter the workforce or advance their careers quickly. One of the unique advantages of an associate degree in finance is its practicality and focus on real-world applications. This means that students can gain hands-on experience with financial analysis, budgeting, and investment strategies right from the start. With a more condensed curriculum compared to a four-year program, an associate degree in finance allows students to acquire essential skills efficiently and hit the ground running in their careers.

While some may question whether an associate degree holds as much weight as its counterpart at the bachelor's level, recent studies have shown that graduates with an associate degree in finance are just as likely to secure employment as those with a higher-level diploma. Additionally, this degree often comes with a lower financial burden due to reduced tuition fees and shorter time requirements. For individuals seeking immediate entry into the job market or looking for faster career advancement opportunities within their field, earning an associate degree in finance can be both cost-effective and efficient.

Furthermore, obtaining an associate degree in finance opens up numerous possibilities for further education and career growth. Many colleges offer seamless transfer programs that allow students to easily transition into bachelor's degrees or even master’s programs if they wish to pursue advanced studies later on.

University HQ National Rankings Top 25 Finance Associates

Online Bachelors Degree in Finance (BS or B.Fin.)

A bachelor’s degree in finance offers more than just a thorough grounding in financial principles. It provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed decisions in the ever-changing world of finance. With courses in financial management, investment analysis, and risk assessment - students gain a deep understanding of the complexities of the financial industry.

One exciting aspect of pursuing a bachelor's in finance is the opportunity to explore various career paths. While many graduates choose to work in corporate finance or investment banking, others find themselves drawn to roles such as financial planning, insurance underwriting, or even entrepreneurship. The possibilities are endless, and with the demand for finance professionals expected to rise significantly in the coming years, it’s an excellent time to consider this degree program.

Furthermore, a bachelor's degree in this field equips students with valuable skills that can be applied across different industries. The ability to analyze data, assess risk, and make strategic decisions is highly sought after not only by financial institutions but also by companies across sectors such as healthcare, technology, and consulting. This degree opens doors to diverse career opportunities where individuals can utilize their financial expertise while making a significant impact on any organization they join.

University HQ National Rankings Top 25 Finance Bachelors

Online Masters Degree in Finance (MS or M.Fin.)

Obtaining a master's degree in finance can open the doors to a wide range of exciting opportunities in the financial industry. This advanced degree equips students with a deep understanding of financial concepts, strategies, and analytical tools that are essential for continued success in this dynamic field.

One of the key advantages of pursuing a master's in finance is the opportunity to specialize in a specific area within finance. Whether it's corporate finance, investments, or banking - students can choose to focus their studies on an area that aligns with their interests and career goals. This specialization not only enhances their expertise but also makes them stand out among other job applicants.

Another valuable aspect of pursuing a master's in this field is the access to valuable networking opportunities. Many universities have strong connections with prominent financial firms and organizations, providing students with direct access to potential employers or mentors. Building these relationships during your time as a student can give you an edge when it comes time to enter the job market.

University HQ National Rankings Top 25 Finance Masters

Online PhD Degree in Finance (PhD)

A PhD in finance is a highly specialized and prestigious degree that offers unique opportunities to individuals who are passionate about the world of finance. Unlike other degrees, a PhD in this field delves deep into the theoretical and empirical aspects of financial markets, institutions, and instruments. It equips students with advanced analytical skills, research techniques, and knowledge to tackle complex financial issues.

One intriguing aspect of pursuing a PhD is the emphasis on conducting original research. Students have the opportunity to contribute to the field's body of knowledge by developing new theories or testing existing ones through empirical analysis. This not only expands our understanding of finance but also opens doors for future academic or industry research positions.

Moreover, a PhD in finance allows individuals to specialize in their area of interest within finance. Students can choose from a range of subfields such as corporate finance, asset pricing, behavioral finance, or financial econometrics. This specialization enables them to explore their passions and develop expertise that can lead to exciting career prospects within academia or industry leadership roles.

Online Finance Certifications

If you’re seeking a career in finance, pursuing a certification can be a valuable asset. Finance certifications offer specialized knowledge and expertise in specific areas of finance, making you stand out among other candidates. One such example is the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. This globally recognized certification equips individuals with comprehensive financial planning skills, ranging from investment strategy to retirement planning. Obtaining the CFP designation not only demonstrates your commitment to professional excellence, but also gives you credibility and trustworthiness when working with clients.

Another popular finance certification is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), which focuses on investment analysis and portfolio management. The rigorous curriculum provided by this program ensures that CFA credential holders have an in-depth understanding of financial markets, corporate finance, derivatives, and more. The CFA designation is highly respected in the industry and could lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries.

Whether it’s enhancing your skill set or advancing your career prospects, finance certifications hold significant value for individuals working in the financial industry. They serve as a testament to your dedication to continuous learning and professional growth while giving employers confidence in your abilities. So if you're looking to distinguish yourself within this competitive field or explore new avenues within finance, consider investing in a recognized finance certification - it could be the turning point of your career.

Become a Finance Professional in South Dakota

If you have a passion for numbers and a keen interest in managing money, then a career in finance might be the perfect fit for you. South Dakota, with its growing economy and strong financial sector, offers excellent opportunities for aspiring finance professionals. Here are the steps you can take to become a financial analyst.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Finance or a Related Field

    Start off your career in finance the right way by earning a bachelor's degree in either economics, accounting or business administration from one of the state's reputable universities and colleges that offer these programs - some examples being University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, or Dakota State University - as this will equip you with essential knowledge and abilities that can only come with an education in this industry.

  • Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience through Internships or Entry-Level Positions

    As part of your degree studies, it’s imperative that you gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions. Many financial institutions offer internships that enable students to explore various aspects of finance industry. Such hands-on experience will not only add depth and diversity to your resume but also give a deeper understanding of this profession.

  • Step 3: Pursue Professional Certifications

    As part of an effort to compete in the highly competitive finance industry, professional certifications can help. Perhaps one of the most acclaimed certifications available in finance is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation - this internationally acclaimed certification proves your expertise in investment analysis and portfolio management. In addition, CPA or CFP certification can enhance career prospects within specific areas of finance.

  • Step 4: Network with Professionals in the Field

    Building a professional network is key to being successful in finance. You can attend conferences, seminars, and networking events relevant to finance professionals – or you can join finance-related organizations or associations, such as South Dakota Bankers Association or Financial Planning Association of South Dakota; this can also provide networking opportunities and access to industry resources.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Finance?

If you're considering pursuing a bachelor's degree in finance, you may be wondering what career options are available to you after graduation. The field of finance is vast and versatile, offering a wide range of opportunities across various industries.

One option for graduates with a bachelor's in finance is to work in the banking sector. Many banks offer entry-level positions such as bank tellers or loan officers, where individuals can gain valuable experience and develop their skills. With time and experience, these roles can lead to more advanced positions, such as financial analysts or branch managers.

Another popular career path for finance graduates is working in corporate finance. This involves working within an organization to manage its finances effectively and efficiently. Graduates can find jobs as financial analysts or budget analysts, analyzing data and providing strategic recommendations to drive business growth.

Having a bachelor's degree in finance opens numerous doors for graduates seeking exciting and well-paid careers. The world of finance offers endless possibilities for those who are passionate about numbers, analysis, and problem-solving. Whether it's working in banking, corporate finance, investment management, or any other area within the field of finance - there are plenty of opportunities waiting for ambitious individuals with a knack for numbers.

Potential Careers for Finance Graduates

  • Public Accountant:

    Public accountants provide financial advice and services to individuals, businesses and organizations. They ensure their records adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in accounting or finance
    • Certified public accountant (CPA) designation is strongly preferred
    • Strong knowledge of accounting principles and practices
    • Proficiency in using accounting software and spreadsheets
    • Excellent analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Effective communication skills to explain complex financial concepts to clients

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for accountants and auditors in the US in 2022 was $78,000
    • The mean annual wage for accountants and auditors in South Dakota is $72,990
  • Personal Financial Advisor:

    A personal financial advisor is responsible for providing comprehensive financial advice and guidance to clients based on their individual financial goals and objectives. They analyze clients' financial situations including income, expenses, savings, investments, and debts, and develop personalized financial plans to help clients achieve their financial goals. They also monitor clients' progress towards their goals and make necessary adjustments to their financial plans as needed.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or a related field (master's degree preferred)
    • Certified financial planner (CFP) designation or a similar certification strongly preferred

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for personal financial advisors in the US in 2022 was $95,390
    • The mean annual wage for personal financial advisors in South Dakota is $138,560
  • Financial Manager:

    A financial manager is responsible for overseeing and managing the financial operations of the organization. They play a crucial role in monitoring financial performance, analyzing financial data, and providing strategic recommendations to improve financial efficiency and profitability. They work closely with other departments to ensure accurate financial reporting and compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a related field; MBA or CPA preferred
    • Proven experience as a financial manager or a similar role

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for financial managers in the US in 2022 was $139,790
    • The mean annual wage for financial managers in South Dakota is $152,930
  • Postsecondary Professor in Business, Accounting, or Finance:

    As a professor in this field, your duties will include providing high-quality instruction and creating memorable learning experiences for students pursuing degrees in business, accounting, or finance.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • A doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in business administration, accounting, finance or a related

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for business postsecondary teachers in the US in 2022 was $108,060
    • The mean annual wage for business postsecondary teachers in South Dakota is $74,530
  • Investor Relations Associate:

    An investor relations associate will be accountable for developing and maintaining relationships with current and potential investors, acting as their point of contact for inquiries about financial performance, strategies, goals etc. They should possess excellent communication skills and in-depth knowledge of financial markets.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in finance, business administration, or a related field
    • Proven experience in investor relations or a similar role within the finance industry
    • Strong knowledge of financial markets and investment analysis techniques
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts in the US in 2022 was $108,790
    • The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts in South Dakota is $83,830
  • Economic Analyst:

    Economic analysts will be responsible for conducting research and analyzing economic data to provide insights and recommendations that assist decision-making processes. They will collaborate closely with senior management and other stakeholders in identifying trends, assessing risks, and forecasting economic conditions - while simultaneously playing an essential role in monitoring the effects of economic policies and market developments on their organization.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in economics, finance, or a related field (master's degree preferred)

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for economists in the US in 2022 was $113,940
    • There is no available mean annual wage for economists in South Dakota
  • Auditor:

    As an auditor, your role will include inspecting financial records and processes. You'll assess compliance with regulations and internal controls while also looking for areas for improvement within them - all while playing an essential part in guaranteeing our financial data is accurate and trustworthy.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field
    • Certified public accountant (CPA) designation is preferred
    • Proven experience as an auditor or in a similar role
    • Strong knowledge of accounting principles and auditing standards
    • Excellent analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Proficient in using auditing software and microsoft office applications

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for accountants and auditors in the US in 2022 was $78,000
    • The mean annual wage for accountants and auditors in South Dakota is $72,990
  • Actuary:

    An actuary is responsible for analyzing and assessing the financial risks and uncertainties associated with insurance, investments, and other financial sectors. They use mathematical models and statistical techniques to evaluate the potential impact of these risks on businesses and individuals.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, or a related field
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Proficiency in advanced statistical software and programming languages (such as SAS or R)
    • Excellent communication skills to effectively convey complex concepts to non-technical stakeholders
    • Attention to detail and a high level of accuracy in calculations
    • Professional certifications such as associate of society of actuaries (ASA) or fellow of society of actuaries (FSA)

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for actuaries in the US in 2022 was $113,990
    • The mean annual wage for actuaries in South Dakota is $125,240
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