Studying Accounting in South Dakota


South Dakota's economy was not as hard hit as most. With agriculture as the backbone of the economy, the state didn't soar as high and didn't fall as far, and growth has been stable without the volatility or risk that other states weathered. Unemployment is very low – 2.8 percent according to March 2017 figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For accountants, the state offers opportunity. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations reports that the field of accounting is expected to grow 11.5 percent between 2014 and 2024. According to their figures, 4,559 accountants worked in the state in 2014 and they expect that number to grow to 5,085 by 2024.

Agriculture is the largest part of the economy, but financial services is one of the most valuable, according to the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development. Citibank, HSBC and Wells Fargo have major credit card operations in the state. Hospitals and government (Ellsworth Air Force Base is a huge presence) are among the top employers; food processing giants, including John Morrell, IBP Hog Market and Tysons, also have plants in the state. Technology giants such as Gateway and Daktronics are present, but since the state actively supports technology innovators, it's also home to hundreds of entrepreneurial start-ups. Mining is also a major industry.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics' May 2016 survey states that the average wage for an accountant in South Dakota is $64,040. The Bureau reports that an average starting salary for an accountant in Sioux Falls is approximately $45,000. With a large amount of experience that wage could grow even more to approximately $94,150. The income levels of accountants are nearly identical between Rapid City and Sioux Falls. 

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) in South Dakota begins with earning your bachelor's degree or completing a course of study which the Board of Accountancy has determined to be substantially the equivalent of an accounting degree. The CPA exam in South Dakota has four parts which can be taken separately. After passing the exam, you'll need to obtain 2,000 hours of work experience in the field, supervised by a licensed CPA, within three years of passing the CPA exam. After obtaining this experience, you'll need to pass an ethics exam before you can be licensed

The South Dakota Society of CPAs (http://www.sdcpa.org/) offers resources for accounting students and working professionals. They offer networking events, continuing education classes to keep your license current and issue advocacy programs.

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More accountants and business professionals in South Dakota are turning to master's programs to earn the 150 semester hours required for a CPA license, or just as a way to advance their knowledge in specialized areas of accounting.

The MS in Accounting through Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management is designed to build upon undergraduate education in a wide variety of majors. Whether you're a CPA license candidate looking to complete those last 30 semester hours, or a business professional looking to expand your career options, Syracuse University's master's in accounting is a perfect fit.

18 Schools Offering Accounting Degree Programs:


Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Major in Accounting
Major in Professional Accountancy
Black Hills State University (Spearfish, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Professional Accountancy
Colorado Technical University (Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Masters Degree, MBA Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Accounting
MBA - Accounting
(some programs offered online)
Dakota State University (Madison, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting
Dakota Wesleyan University (Mitchell, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Major in Accounting
Kilian Community College (Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Lake Area Technical Institute (Watertown, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Financial Services - Business Accounting
(some programs offered online)
Mitchell Technical Institute (Mitchell, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Mount Marty College (Yankton, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree, Certificate, Masters Degree, MACC Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts in Accounting
Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
Certificate in Accounting
Master of Accounting
National American University (Ellsworth AFB, SD / Rapid City, SD / Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
A.A.S. - Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Accounting
(some programs offered online)
Northern State University (Aberdeen, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Professional Accountancy
Oglala Lakota College (Kyle, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree, Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Arts in Accounting
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Sisseton Wahpeton College (Agency Village, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Technician
South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Major in Business Economics - Accounting
Southeast Technical Institute (Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
University of Sioux Falls (Sioux Falls, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
Bachelor of Arts in Public Accounting and Business Administration
Major in Accounting
University of South Dakota (Vermillion, SD)
Levels Offered:
Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, MACC Degree
Programs Offered:
Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting
Master of Professional Accountancy
Western Dakota Tech (Rapid City, SD)
Levels Offered:
Associate Degree
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

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