Technical college graduates defy recession trends

by admin6. May 2010 19:00

Record numbers of Wisconsin technical college graduates are entering a tight labor market, but job placement remains very strong. The Wisconsin Technical College System’s (WTCS) new Graduate Follow-Up Report indicates that 86 percent of last year’s technical college graduates in the labor force were employed within six months of graduation.


“It’s extremely encouraging to see most of our graduates finding employment during these tough economic times,” said Dan Clancy, WTCS president. The report dispels the notion that all college graduates are struggling to find jobs. “Technical colleges work with their advisory committees to ensure the skills and knowledge students learn in the classroom translate to immediate success in today’s workforce.”


The report also shows salaries remaining strong, with the median salary for new associate degree graduates holding steady at $36,000. The median salary for all graduates is $31,200. The study also found 97 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they received from their local technical college.  


Moraine Park graduates who reported median annual salaries above $40,000 in 2008-09 include those who work in the civil engineering technician – structural, electrical power distribution, engineering technologist, health information technology, nursing (associate degree) and radiography fields. Several reported salaries above $30,000, in fields such as engine research and development technician, welding, mechanical design technology, leadership development, IT – network specialist, graphic communications – electronic prepress, accounting, respiratory therapist and criminal justice – corrections.


“Despite the higher unemployment rates our area has seen due to the recession, 83% of Moraine Park graduates have found employment,” said Michele Sabel, employment services specialist for the College.


The Graduate Follow-Up Report was sent to 23,659 graduates and had a 71 percent response rate. It examines employment status, earnings and other factors approximately six months after graduation. The report is available at


Moraine Park Technical College is one of 16 colleges that make up Wisconsin’s technical colleges. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, Moraine Park offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses are also offered. For more information about Moraine Park, visit