SIOUX FALLS, S.D. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, by the year 2022, 65% of jobs will require postsecondary education. But many South Dakota students are not heading straight to college after they graduate.
According to the National Student Clearing house 57% of high school students in Sioux Falls went straight to postsecondary education in 2016, which is down 2% since 2013.
In Harrisburg the number was 72% for 2016.
After graduation, some might assume the next stop is a degree.
For 43% of Sioux Falls students, that's not the case, but the number of young people pursuing postsecondary education rises after they are out of high school for a while.
“Then within the two years following high school that percentage raises to 65%,” Sioux Falls Assistant Superintendent Academic Achievement Theresa Boysen said. “Which speaks to students really seeking out the path that is interesting for them and moving forward after they've done some career searching possibly.”
She says the low unemployment rate could be an indicator of why some students are not furthering their education. They could be finding jobs that will hire a high school graduate.
District administrators say they do not pressure students to go to college.
“Ultimately if you are going to a four year college you're making a pretty significant financial decision as well as an educational decision and we want to make sure that it's something that they have an interest in, something they have some aptitude in, and something that could become a career for them,” Harrisburg High School Principal Ryan Rollinger said.
When administrators guide students, they want to find out what their goals are.
“You know we would like 100% of our students to find what is right for them,” Boysen said.
This Summer Governor Daugaard unveiled his workforce development initiative.
“We know there is a push for those technical trades, and again, it's not that we're pushing kids into those, but maybe making them more aware of those opportunities,” Rollinger said.
And some of these careers do not require any education after high school.
“I think the bigger message here is that students really have to look at those options. We have many businesses and opportunities for stackable certificates, and so they're looking at earning certificates where they can get that in high school, whether it's in welding, or computer science, and they can move right into the job market from there,” Boysen said.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics considers a bachelor’s degree or beyond, associate's degree, or certificate or certification in a field all forms of postsecondary education.
According to the Center on Education and the Workforce in the year 2020, 24% of jobs will require only a high school diploma. That is down six percent from 2010.
The South Dakota board has a statewide goal of having 65% of people between the ages 25 and 34 holding some kind of credential.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the fastest growing fields over the next few years will be in STEM, healthcare professions, healthcare support and community services.