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 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, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. 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,” added Clancy.

“The high placement rates for technical college graduates speaks to the value of our colleges for our communities,” said Stan Davis, Wisconsin Technical College System Board president. “Students in the technical colleges are becoming more resistant to changing economic conditions, which strengthens our state’s overall economy,” Davis added.

The Graduate Follow-up Report by Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges 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.  Joshua Graham, an accounting student at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, noted “I already did the four-year university thing, I have a degree in economics. Looking into technical colleges, I found they had smaller class sizes, but what I really liked was the real-world experience that the teachers brought [into the classroom].”

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

The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin, which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one- and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community. More than half of all adults in Wisconsin have accessed the technical colleges for education and training. Find more about educational programs at

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