Business Schools in South Dakota


Earn your MBA online through Capella University and serve as a leader in your field. Capella’s accredited online MBA program lets you customize your education by choosing from 11 focus areas most relevant to today’s business leaders. Make your move today by requesting information about Capella University’s online MBA program.

Syracuse University’s online MBA through the Whitman School of Management is designed to give students the analytical and decision-making skills they need to advance their careers in today’s business environment

MBA@American, the online MBA from American University is designed for domestic and global business professionals who want to start or advance their career.

South Dakota offers business students a choice of around 20 schools. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, administration, and HR, among other majors, are widely available on campus and online, along with MBAs in a variety of specialized areas.

Marketing Degree Programs in South Dakota

State of South Dakota’s Marketing Industry

South Dakota’s main strengths lie in agriculture and in the finance and insurance industries. Though oil-rich North Dakota is currently running hotter, South Dakota’s economy is still robust, manufacturing is reviving and jobless claims continue to fall, according to Chase’s South Dakota Economic Outlook in 2012.

The marketing industry is small but active. Business-friendly tax policies have lured big names like Citibank NA, Wells Fargo & Co. and Great Western Bank to the Sunshine State. In fact, South Dakota holds 18% of the country’s bank assets ($2.5 trillion in 2012), surpassing Ohio by a few million, according to the Sioux Falls Business Journal.

To add to this, Forbes magazine has consistently ranked Sioux Falls first on its list of “The Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” With a population of only 824,000 or so, South Dakota is no Silicon Valley, but it’s punching above its weight.

Job Prospects for South Dakota Marketing Graduates

The future looks bright for South Dakota marketing graduates. 2010-2020 data from the Department of Labor and Regulation suggest that employment for PR specialists will grow by 15.6% (225 jobs) and that opportunities for market research analysts will climb 25% (30 jobs). Management openings are also on the up.

If you prefer non-financial industries, South Dakota’s top employers include the government, educational institutions and healthcare industries. In 2012, Sioux Valley Hospital and Avera McKennan Hospital employed over 9,700 workers in the Sioux Falls area alone, according to statistics from Patty Inglish, MS. You could also investigate ad agencies such as Lawrence & Schiller or Paulsen Marketing.

South Dakota marketers may earn less than their California counterparts but they also pay no personal income tax. In 2012, a Sioux Falls marketing manager earned an average hourly wage of $54.03, according to the Department of Labor and Regulation.

South Dakota Schools for Marketing

There are six accredited marketing schools in South Dakota, mostly in the east of the state. Here are two for comparison:

1. University of South Dakota (USD) (

USD’s Beacom School of Business offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing, and an MBA (on-campus or online). It is one of only 5% of business schools worldwide to achieve accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

As part of its real-world focus, the school arranges internship opportunities and hands-on financial management experience. 87% of graduates have been placed in positions.

2. Dakota State University (DSU) (

Students at DSU’s College of Business and Information Systems can pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing or an MBA in general management (there is no MBA with a marketing concentration).

Like USD, DSU arranges marketing internships and provides career opportunities. Programs come with a stamp of approval from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Professional Marketing Organizations in South Dakota

In a tight-knit state like South Dakota, marketing organizations are small and friendly. Here are a few that provide regular social events and networking opportunities:

Business Degree Programs in South Dakota

As of 2014, South Dakota’s business costs were 16 percent below the national average, allowing it to rank as the number one state in the nation in terms of cost of doing business, according to Forbes’s “Best States for Business” list. Just a year before that, CNBC listed South Dakota as the number one state for business, as well, considering factors such as:

  • Cost of Doing Business
  • Economy
  • Infrastructure
  • Workforce
  • Quality of Life
  • Business Friendliness
  • Technology & Innovation

This business-friendly culture attracts large corporations and burgeoning small businesses alike, making South Dakota a hub for multinational corporations and innovative, new start-ups.

Business schools in South Dakota offer bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in established business concentrations, such as economics, management, and technology, as well as cutting-edge, highly specialized programs in business analytics, information systems, and banking security.

Business school students who earn specialized degrees in banking security often have their eyes set on jobs with some of the state’s leading banks, such as Citibank. Because of the state’s low business costs, Citibank moved its credit-card operations to Sioux Falls in the early 1980’s. As of 2014, Citibank employed 3,000 people in the state and held $2.5 trillion in bank assets, which officially made it South Dakota’s largest employer.

But large corporations don’t run the show in South Dakota. In fact, small businesses are vital to the state’s economy.

The fastest-growing companies in South Dakota in terms of revenue are small businesses. As of 2016, these companies were among the fastest-growing according to Each had fewer than 100 employees:

  • Episcosity in Sioux Falls – 167% growth, $4.1 million revenue
  • onezerOne in Emery – 125% growth, $4.3 million revenue
  • Click Rain in Sioux Falls – 114% growth, $4.3 million revenue

Income of South Dakota’s Business Professionals

South Dakota’s top businesses—like Citibank, Sanford Health, and Tyson Foods—look to hire talented professionals who have refined their skills through business school. Such in-demand expertise often merits a six-figure income.

In 2014, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics ( published the average income ranges (from median to 90th percentile) for South Dakota’s top business occupations, which included:

  • Chief Executives – $179,330 – $182,540
  • General and Operations Managers – $112,570 – $180,870
  • Financial Managers – $126,560 – $145,090
  • Marketing Managers – $107,130- $156,300
  • Sales Managers – $120,530 – $184,490

University of South Dakota

The Beacom School of Business’ Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the University of South Dakota puts an emphasis on analysis and critical thinking. This school offers several options for earning your MBA: the traditional, on-campus, full-time option, an online program and a hybrid approach that blends time on campus with online classes. The program begins with 18 hours of courses in foundation areas, which may be waived depending on your previous academic experience. The following 33 hours are devoted to advanced courses and that focus on general business or health services administration. Online or on campus, these programs follow the same curriculum, result in the same degree and are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

University of Sioux Falls

The MBA Program at the University of Sioux Falls gives you broad-based management skills, as well as the option to pursue one of four concentrations: healthcare, general management, marketing and entrepreneurial leadership. Designed for working professions, the curriculum emphasizes practical application, with classroom work forming a basis for hands-on learning. As a Christian school, ethics and personal faith are an important part of the experience. Classes are offered one evening a week so that you can balance work with your studies. The program is designed to be completed over a 27-month period.

Black Hills State University

The MBA at Black Hills State is in “applied management,” meaning that students gain practical expertise that will improve their marketability and give them a better shot at success. The school has numerous ties within the local business community and is active in economic development projects in the region. These ties give you a ready network and the opportunity to apply classroom learning. The degree is designed for working professionals; classes are sequenced for part-time study and completion over two years. This generalist degree covers entrepreneurship, business law, finance and accounting, human resource management, information technology and small business marketing in a global arena.