Eye on KELOLAND

Finding hot careers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) -- South Dakota has a low unemployment rate of 2.8-percent right now.
Some of those potential employees are in still in class.

With the need for more workers rising, we decided to look at the most in-demand jobs in the state.

That means employers need workers. KELOLAND News finds out what's being done to prepare young people to fill those jobs.

We've done the stories before.

Jobs are plenty, and workers are hard to come by.

One way the state is addressing this issue is with early job education.

"We try to plug them into those opportunities so they can be doing internships and learning those job skills. We do that a lot," said Holly Borchers, Washington High School Counselor. 

At Washington High School, Borchers works with the kids to figure out what their passions are and how to turn those interests in the income.

She also keeps an eye on job trends to make sure kids are entering careers with years of potential.

 "You know, back in the day the ten hottest jobs that are right now, they didn't even exist then. So we try to connect them to what they're doing in school right now. How that's going to translate to a future job," said Borchers. 

So how do school counselors like Borchers know which jobs are "hot"?

Well, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation released a handy list!

"We look at jobs that are in demand. So we look at projected job openings and to be on this list they need to be in high demand and they also need to be high wage," said Marcia Hultman, S.D. Sec. of Dept. of Labor and Regulation. 

Here's a look at the top three careers on the Hot List:

1) Heavy Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

They have an average demand over more than 1,000 new drivers every year. Plus, they can make over $38,000 a year.

2) Registered Nurses

On average, registered nurses pull in more than $55,000 salaries.

3) Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing

They can make a median income of more than $57,000.

Many of the careers on the list don't even require a four-year degree.

Southeast Technical School works closely with the Department of Labor to create education to fit the job's needs.

"We also have a number of advisory boards. We actually have over 400 representatives throughout Sioux Falls and the region that serve on our advisory boards through different programs. They provide a lot of insight into their careers and professions," said Griggs. 

"The nice thing here at Southeast Tech is we really focus on student success. Along with that student success is helping them find those careers and helping connect them with those employers and network," said Hawks.

There are even opportunities to earn scholarships to help or fully pay for technical educations. Many times those come from future employers looking for qualified workers.

"I think for us it starts by having real close connections with business and industry. In terms of what their needs are. Not only currently but what careers in the future do they see growing and developing," said Griggs.

So whether you're looking for your next career move, trying to decide what to do after high school, or just want reassurance your career path will continue years down the road, you might want to explore the hotlist.

"Just to make sure if you're training for something, is there going to be a need for that in the future? What the wages are. Does it make sense to spend x-amount of dollars on training and what's the outcome going to be," said Hultman. 

Secretary Hultman says the Department of Labor works closely with 4-year schools, as well.

Click here to see the Career Hot List. 

 


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