Growing in your career is a life-long endeavor, starting with your first job and continuing through retirement. Getting that job is just the start, next comes the process of growing into that career, and developing your skills further. In Sioux Falls there are dozens of paths you can take to begin and continue your chosen career.

Today's high school students have many more exciting options when it comes to choosing a career path to pursue. Students can attend their home high school for core academic classes (English, Math, and Science) in the morning and choose to sign up with the Career and Technical Education Academy (CTE) for a block of time each afternoon to receive specialized training that aligns with their career goals. CTE Academy sponsors programs from culinary arts, carpentry, digital music production, welding, electronics/robotics and many more - there are over 40 different courses to choose from.

These educational opportunities and work experiences offer students and employees unlimited advantages at various levels for multi-faceted jobs in any number of professional fields.

Another choice for those who are not interested in choosing the four-year college route may be to enroll in Southeast Technical Institute (STI) in Sioux Falls. Courses such as welding, diesel mechanics, carpentry, automotive specialization, etc. enable students to earn certificates and licenses after one or two years of classes. Students may also complete apprenticeships at some businesses in Sioux Falls which lead to becoming journeymen in professional trades.

Opportunities for those pursuing more advanced degrees abound, for example, someone in nursing may decide to become a Nurse Practitioner, either at the masters or doctorate level, or an IT representative may decide to become a Web Developer by enrolling in one of the public or private universities in the city. Augustana University or the University of Sioux Falls are the two private institutions. Individuals choosing the public university route can enroll in the University Center-Sioux Falls and earn degrees from South Dakota State, Dakota State, University of South Dakota, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Black Hills State, or Northern State.

For those in a career, there are multiple resources available to further your career. Private training centers offer specialized courses, community learning centers offer basic skills training, and apprenticeship programs offer on-the-job training. The many industry networking groups in Sioux Falls also offer opportunities to meet with others in your field and share your knowledge with other professionals in the same career.

What it means to me

Endless Career Paths

by Lon Clemensen

Throughout my high school years, I took advantage of as many internships as possible to learn about various disciplines in the business environment. I worked at a part-time job while going to college to complete my undergraduate degree from Northern State University. Once employed by Wells Fargo in a human resources representative position, I took advantage of as many on-the-job training courses as possible for continuous learning opportunities. The majority of these sessions were paid by the employer, which "grew their talent from within" and benefited both Wells Fargo and me. I was later promoted to HR manager.

With a yearning for additional education, I made the decision to pursue a master's degree in Industrial Management from South Dakota State University. I completed this degree without ever having to leave Sioux Falls, through classroom and online courses from the University Center. With this career-based training and higher education coursework, I was promoted to Regional HR Director over a four-state area within Wells Fargo.

Knowing the merits of hard work and my desire to succeed in the business world, I realized my career path was almost endless, limited only by my personal goals and ambitions.

Through the encouragement of family, friends, managers, coworkers, and educational instructors, most anyone can choose the career path in which to follow. It's up to individuals themselves to establish goals, set their sights on achieving them, and determining their level of success.