It's a promising prognosis for South Dakota students graduating in the health care field this spring. Even before picking up their diplomas, students were handing out their resumes during a health care job fair in Sioux Falls.
Students attending Thursday's job fair can find a lot of encouragement by the sheer numbers alone. The labor department says the health care industry is one of the fastest growing of all fields when it comes to job growth, with more than 10,000 new positions expected to be created in South Dakota over the next six years.
It can take a clinical approach to looking for a job in the health care profession.
Mariah Lammers of Boyden, Iowa, is graduating from Southeast Tech with a degree in surgical technology.
"I like the trauma and the adrenaline of surgery," Lammers said.
Looking for a job amid the crowd of other applicants can be an adrenaline rush all its own.
"I don't want to limit myself to, 'I only want to look at these places.' You never know what's out there until you look," Lammers said.
For the most part, the health care field was inoculated from the downswings caused by the Great Recession. So job prospects have a healthy outlook for new graduates this year.
"It's not just about hospitals, but it is about senior care; it's about all kinds of opportunities. So it's growing quickly," Greg Johnson of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation said.
27 health care related companies cast a wide net looking for qualified applicants.
"All the employees here seem real excited to have everybody here and looking, so I think they'd be good places to work," Lammers said.
These students enrolled in majors knowing there would be a strong demand for their skills once they graduate. Now, their job search comes down to a matter of applying themselves.
"I'm going to dream big and get to where I need to get," Lammers said.
The $78 million Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls created more than 100 job openings when it opened in March.