SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More and more people are starting to see the value of a technical school education. According to the South Dakota Department of Labor, the average salary for an Associates Degree is higher than a Bachelor’s Degree in the state.
We head to the classroom to see some new courses being added at STI.
Tatayana Gray-Vanderziel was looking for a good middle ground after earning her CNA for nursing, before pursuing her LPN. The new Medical Assistant Program at Southeast Tech sounded like the right fit.
“It’s a good starter to start and just get into the medical field. And just get that swing of things with clinics, hospitals, wherever you are. I think it’s a good job opportunity to start so people can get to know you and you can shadow doctors and get to know what it feels like to be helping other people,” said Gray-Vanderziel.
She’s not the only one taking advantage of this new course. STI President, Robert Griggs, says about 40 students enrolled in this inaugural semester.
“We heard very loudly from area employers in healthcare that medical assisting was a field, an occupation that was going to be in high demand. So in response to that we worked with Sanford and Avera and some of our health professionals to put together a Medical Assisting program that we began offering this fall,” said Robert Griggs, President of Southeast Tech.
On top of that, another 40 students signed on for a new construction certificate program.
“In both of these instances, I think students realize there is high, high demand for these skills and skills are critical for employers in our region,” said Griggs.
Plus, students like Gray-Vanderziel say saving money on top of a personalized education makes it an easy choice.
“I think it’s more intimate and more personal. You get to know the people you are here in class with, instead of like a whole room of 500 people and the professor doesn’t even know who you are,” said Gray-Vanderziel.
Griggs says Southeast Tech is now working on adding dental assistant and veterinarian technician programs for next fall.