The South Dakota Board of Education is looking at the placement report for 2013 vo-tech graduates. A quick glance at the charts suggests that Southeast Tech grads are having a harder time finding work in their field and in South Dakota than grads from Lake Area, Mitchell Tech, and Western Dakota:

from South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, March 2014 (click to embiggen!)

from South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, March 2014 (click to embiggen!)

Southeast Tech appears to have a smaller percentage of its graduates working or pursuing further education in their fields and staying in South Dakota than any of its counterpart institutions.

But hold the phone: check out the response rates for the survey:

South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, Survey Response Rates

South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, Survey Response Rates

The placement rates appear to be percentages of graduate totals, not of graduates actually responding to the survey. Either Southeast Tech doesn't work as hard to get every graduate to respond to the placement survey, or Southeast Tech grads are too busy working and living the high life in the Minne-Lincoln metroplex to fuss with checking boxes.

Calculate the percentages based on survey respondents alone, and Southeast leads the vo-techs in graduates getting jobs, getting jobs in their field, and getting jobs in their field in South Dakota. Southeast remains last only in graduates employed in South Dakota. Overall, 82% of 2013 vo-tech graduates went to work, 73% went to work in their field, 70% went to work in South Dakota, and 62% got jobs in their field in South Dakota.

By the way, students, as you contemplate your technical careers, here's the return on investment the graduates ahead of you report getting in their first jobs out:

South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, average reported hourly wage by career cluster

South Dakota Technical Institute Placement Report for 2013 Graduates, average reported hourly wage by career cluster

The average hourly wage reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for all occupations in South Dakota in May 2012 was $17.32. For first-year wages, the vo-tech class of 2013 seems to be doing pretty good on the whole, except for those poor souls working in hospitality and human services. Leave a tip after dinner....