Your Education

people milling about unsure

If you haven't visited one lately, you may have an outdated view of Wisconsin's Technical Colleges. Once you visit a technical college, chances are you'll be impressed by what you see. The classes are challenging and reflect the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the workforce. The small class sizes encourage interaction between classmates and instructor. Instructors really get to know the students, and because instructors are experts in their fields with industry connections, students can be confident they are learning from the best. Also on campus, the classroom technology is the very latest, and is based on the workplace needs of employers. The staff and faculty are extremely dedicated to student success. Make an appointment to visit a campus today, and see the many ways a technical college might just surprise you. 

MYTH: Technical college is for people who can't get into "real" college.

FACT: Technical College is a great option for just about everyone, including high school students who graduate at the top of their class. Many people who would also be accepted into a four-year college choose technical college because they may:

  • Want to begin working sooner
  • Want to graduate with less debt
  • Know what career they want and don’t want to delay taking those courses
  • Want a hands-on, relevant program
  • Have a passion for a career only offered at technical colleges
  • Want a direct path to their future career
  • Understand that technical colleges offer opportunities to transfer into many 4-year colleges
  • Prefer to stay closer to home
  • Need flexible learning options to fit into a very busy life

MYTH: Technical college credits don't transfer into four-year colleges or universities.

FACT: There are hundreds of transfer agreements in place between Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges and the University of Wisconsin System. In addition, five of the technical colleges (Nicolet, Madison College, Milwaukee, Chippewa Valley and Western offer a liberal arts transfer program into the University of Wisconsin System. Most private four-year colleges also accept the majority of technical college credits. The best way to ensure a seamless transfer into another educational institution is to contact the admissions department at your technical college.

NEW for 2014-15 school year: A core of 30-credits (10 specific courses) is being established to transfer between all University of Wisconsin Universities and Colleges and Wisconsin Technical Colleges.  

MYTH: Technical college education is second-rate.

FACT: You will be hard-pressed to find instructors who care more and work harder for their students than those at Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges. They are extremely dedicated to their students’ success, often mentoring them along the way. Most classes are much smaller than those at four-year colleges and universities, so instructors really get to know students. The instructors have experience working in their fields, and they also have industry connections that help keep their knowledge and skills relevant to the needs of employers.

MYTH: Technical college education leads only to "dirty" and/or "dead end" jobs.

FACT: Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges actually offer over 400 programs. Sure some of them may be more industrial in nature (after all, there are plenty of jobs in welding, auto mechanics and other important hands-on careers), but there are a wide variety of “white collar” career options too. What once were considered traditionally "dirty jobs" have become computerized and/or automated, so even those jobs require much more knowledge and are less physically labor. Many of our healthcare professionals have attended technical colleges. Many business professionals in accounting or marketing have attended technical colleges. Many of our graduates also enjoy careers in engineering or sustainability, leaving their mark on our communities.

After graduation, students can continue on with their education, or they can enter the workforce. As workplaces change, our programs change to offer the greatest potential for career growth. Even in a down economy, 92% of our graduates have jobs within six months of graduation, proving the relevance of the education students receive. Biotechnology Laboratory Technician is one example of a career with high growth potential using the latest technology, so a related education is essential to success.