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Average Salary for South Dakota State University (SDSU) Alumni

South Dakota State University is a university based in Brookings, S.D. that is home to around 11,000 undergraduates. The school attracts plenty of sports fans (Go Jackrabbits!) to its small-town campus, though graduates go on to find employment in nearby cities like Sioux Falls, S.D., Brookings, S.D., and San Diego, Calif. This overview is derived from alumni replies to PayScale's salary survey.

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Overall College ROI Rank

out of 1223
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ROI Rank for Public (In-State) Universities

out of 408

Mid-Career Salary Rank for State School

out of 445

Typical Early Career Salary

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Alumni

Median Salary by Job

National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are the gross, national median (50th percentile). Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
Mechanical Engineer
8 salaries
Electrical Engineer
5 salaries
Project Manager, Construction
5 salaries
Software Engineer
4 salaries
Graphic Designer
4 salaries
Civil Engineer
4 salaries
Operations Manager
3 salaries
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 203

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About This School

Administration Lane
Brookings, SD 57007-1898


State School, Research University, For Sports Fans

56 %

20 %

48 %

30 %

Freebase CC-BY Source: Freebase, licensed under CC-BY; IPEDS (As of January, 2015)


SDSU alumni can most commonly be found in the manufacturing industry, the construction industry, and the consulting industry, though they are employed throughout a wide range of sectors. The most highly represented industry among alumni is the health care industry. Starting salaries of $57K are the median among SDSU grads.


Male graduates of SDSU out-earn their female counterparts significantly, earning an average of about $65K versus $53K for women.


The SDSU alumni who make the most are Civil Engineers; they report a median pay of $66K. Mechanical Engineers and Electrical Engineers draw in a fair amount as well — $64K and approximately $60K, respectively. Relative to other positions, compensation dwindles for Graphic Designers; alumni in this role face average salaries of around $38K.


Many SDSU grads flock to Sioux Falls, S.D. Another city that attracts a wealth of SDSU grads is San Francisco, Calif.; given its high compensation ($113K is the average salary), the city's popularity should come as no surprise. SDSU grads love their alma mater so much that many stick around in Brookings despite the median salary there ranking lowest among popular cities ($46K). San Diego, Calif. is also a common pick among SDSU grads, along with Rapid City, S.D.

Degree Major

Financial compensation is highest for SDSU grads with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (CS) (average earnings climb to $148K per year). Average annual salaries for those with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design are the lowest of the pack, earning approximately $38K.


Knowledge of Product Development seems to be related to bigger paychecks; in fact, skilled alumni bring in salaries that are 39 percent more than their former classmates' salaries ($79K). Many former SDSU students are familiar with Project Management, and one in seven grads move on to positions where this experience is utilized. Also considered top-notch skills are Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Engineering Design.

Benefits and Perks

Only two-fifths of alumni for this school enjoy paid vacation days and about one in five survey participants get paid sick time. Most graduates save up for retirement through a 401(k) plan. Dental insurance applies to a majority of former students, and most grads report health coverage. Other benefits awarded to South Dakota State University alumni include a casual working environment, a company-subsidized cell phone, life insurance, and flexible hours.

Related Schools

Median pay for University of Missouri grads is about $55K, making their salaries most similar to those of SDSU grads. The University of South Dakota, the University of North Dakota, and Michigan Technological University are also similar to SDSU.

Test Scores

Academics 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Scores*
* SAT writing score is not included.
900 1190
ACT Scores 20 25

Key Stats for South Dakota State University (SDSU)


46 %
54 %
$29,754 - $80,681
$39,906 - $82,755
Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 71 votes.
$30,315 - $76,840
$30,896 - $58,100
$40,494 - $82,760
$40,695 - $107,107
$61,042 - $86,170

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