Your Education at Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges

Image of a Map of Wisconsin Technical CollegesA Pathway to Success

If you haven't been on a technical college campus recently, chances are your view of Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges is out of date. We strongly encourage you to visit! Stop in or make an appointment for a tour - we think you'll be impressed by what you see. 

Today’s technical college classes are challenging. They offer hands-on learning and provide the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be successful in the workforce. Small class sizes encourage interaction between classmates and instructors. Students here can ask questions and actively participate in the class. Instructors really get to know the students — and because instructors are experts in their fields, with industry connections, students know they are learning from the best. 

Classrooms are equipped with the latest technology — and approved by area employers. The staff and faculty are extremely dedicated to student success. 

Want to know more? 

And let us dispel a few myths...

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 for many reasons. 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.

Since the 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 500 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 programs too. What once were considered traditionally "dirty jobs" have become computerized and/or automated, so even those jobs require much more knowledge and 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 percent 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— which means a related education is essential to success.