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Technical college graduates in South Dakota land good jobs, good salaries

SD Department of Technical Education

PIERRE, SD – Graduates of South Dakota Technical Colleges are landing jobs and good paying ones. The Board of Technical Education got a report on placements and salaries at their meeting last week.

Scott DesLauriers

Deputy Executive Director Scott DesLauriers says they tracked those who graduated in 2019 and 2020.  “The last column reflects total placement. These are students employed in continuing education and in the military.  This has an impressive 99.2 percent placement rate.  Almost 100 percent of the students who graduate are employed, in continuing education or are in the military.”

DesLauriers says they figured an average starting pay for those graduates. “The system has an average starting salary of just over $20 per hour.  If we multiply that by 2,087 –  the average work hours in a calendar year –  that is just under a $42,000 annual salary. Six months after graduation that’s pretty good.  That’s above the median across all occupations in the state of South Dakota.”

The executive direction says they also found most graduates stay in their field of study. “Another interesting metric is  students who are employed in their  training related field and         remaining in South Dakota after graduation,” says DesLauriers.  “Here we have an 87 percent rate.  That’s an impressive rate. We know students are staying in South Dakota and in their field.”

The board oversees and coordinates classes at technical colleges including Lake Area in Watertown, Mitchell Tech in Mitchell, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls and Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City.

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