Majority of Technical College Graduates have Success Finding Work

Lots of recent tech school graduates in Wisconsin say they’re gainfully employed, despite the economic downturn.

The Wisconsin Technical College System has new figures out, that show 86 percent of its Class of 2009 grads have either part or full-time jobs. And of that group, 73 percent say it’s work related to their training.

Dan Clancy is President of the Wisconsin Technical College System, which represents the 16 tech schools in-state. He says the latest numbers were a pleasant surprise. Clancy says technical schools have always had high placement rates, usually averaging more than 90 percent, but to still see rates in the mid 80s is "very encouraging."

Surveys were mailed to nearly 24,000 recent graduates, of which 17,000 responded. Data shows two-thirds of working alumni were women, largely working in the health sector. Men were mostly in industrial positions. The median annual salary for all grads was just over $31,000 — down about a thousand dollars from last year’s survey. Clancy says that decline is probably a sign of the economy, and what companies can best provide new, entry-level workers.

Interest grew in tech colleges as the recession took hold, and major factories shut down. Clancy says the last two years have seen a 20-percent spike in enrollment at Wisconsin’s’ technical colleges. But he says he’s not sure if that will fall back as the economy recovers, because many people still want to build on their skills even while on the payroll.


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