South Dakota’s science and technology industries are paving the way for South Dakota’s economic growth

Posted on: March 8, 2017   |   Categories: Announcements, News & Updates
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Brookings, SD – Data collected by Electronic Modeling Specialist International (EMSI) for a 2016 survey of South Dakota’s science and technology industries found that 28 percent of South Dakota’s job growth in the past five years has come from five key industry sectors: value-added agriculture/agribusiness, energy and environment, materials and advanced manufacturing, human health and nutrition and information technology/cyber security/information assurance.

“As of 2016, just under 22 percent of South Dakota’s total employment is within the science and technology-related industries, accounting for more than 123,000 jobs and that number is continuing to grow. Research investments foster economic growth and helps to expand our economy by supporting emerging and existing technology businesses,” said Scott Stern Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Science and technology companies in these five sectors across the state are having a positive influence on economic growth thanks to the coordinated framework of the 2020 Vision: The South Dakota Science and Technology (S&T) plan, a joint collaboration between state government, higher education and the private sector. The S&T plan outlines a set of strategic initiatives to aid in the advancement and growth of economic and workforce development.

The goal of the S&T plan is to build science and technology capacity in South Dakota that will promote innovation, foster knowledge-based companies, create better-paying jobs and generate more opportunity for all South Dakota citizens. The growth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs South Dakota has experienced is in part, a reflection of the statewide investment in STEM research infrastructure.

Research infrastructure provides the foundation that generates ideas and fosters the development of talent that grows companies. South Dakota industries created out of STEM research such as biotechnology, has seen a 12 percent increase in jobs between 2012 and 2014 and is projected to grow by 10.8 percent through 2020. Biotechnology is helping to diversify and grow South Dakota’s economy, aiding in advancements in human health, energy and agriculture. Another sector that is important in South Dakota’s economy, information technology, is projected to see an 11.6 percent increase in jobs statewide by 2020, exceeding the national growth rate of 9.6 percent.

Not only is South Dakota experiencing a growth in STEM jobs, but also in jobs that pay higher salaries. Another study conducted by EMSI for Change the Equation noted that median earnings for South Dakota STEM jobs are $28.59 per hour, while median earnings for non-STEM jobs in South Dakota are $15.55 per hour.

An infographic map of South Dakota has been created that shows how and where science and technology industry sectors are advancing our state and the many organizations who have benefitted from programs outlined in the S&T plan.

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 About South Dakota Science and Technology: The South Dakota Science and Technology (S&T) plan was first created in 2010 at the request of Governor Mike Rounds. In 2013 Governor Dennis Daugaard tasked the SD EPSCoR Advisory Committee to update the plan to help guide and focus infrastructure development investments as well as workforce development. The S&T plan is a collaboration between the state government, South Dakota Board of Regents and members from the private sector, with the goal of building the research capacity to produce and grow the new ideas, talent and the companies that will power South Dakota’s future higher value economy.