University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Employment and Training Institute

Brief Summary

Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Milwaukee Public School Students Graduating from Milwaukee Area Technical College, 1993-1998

a collaborative project of the Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee Area Technical College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2000.

This study examines the experience of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students graduating from the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) from 1993-1998 and details earnings of graduates by degree and diploma area. It is intended to provide MPS staff with follow-up data useful for counseling students on the experience of recent graduates and the impact of post-secondary education on future earnings.

During the six-year period examined, almost one out of every three Milwaukee Area Technical College graduates was a graduate of an MPS high school. This analysis examined the type of degrees and diplomas awarded for all MATC graduates and for MPS students graduating from MATC and reviewed the subsequent earnings of graduates. Because most MATC and MPS students live and work in the Milwaukee area after graduation, the employment analysis provides a current and exhaustive analysis of earnings impact over time employing state-of-the-art research methodology using state wage data to track earnings for the total population employed in Wisconsin. Graduates who move out of state or are self-employed are not included in this analysis.

Since most MATC graduates are employed full-time after graduation, the analysis examines the full-time wages of all MATC graduates and of 2,712 MPS students who graduated from MATC and are employed full-time. The analysis is by year of MATC graduation, gender and area of study. Fourth Quarter 1999 earnings are annualized and presented by graduating class and area of study to show the immediate and ongoing impact of post-secondary education one, two, three, four and five years after graduation. The annualized 1999 wages are presented for MATC graduates by year of graduation from MATC and by gender for the top 30 degree and diploma areas.

  • The wages of graduates generally increase over time with 1993 male graduates showing some of the highest wages in 1999.

  • The highest wages for male 1993 graduates were in Tool and Die Making (earning $59,900 in average annualized wages in 1999), Fire Science ($59,388), apprentices ($53,232) and Microcomputer Specialists ($51,616). See Table 1 for the "Top 30 Degree/Diploma Programs for 1993-98 MATC Male Graduates Employed Full-Time in 4th Quarter 1999" and Table 2 for data on MPS graduates in these programs.

  • For 1993 women graduates, the highest paying wages of the top 30 degree and diploma areas were for Apprentices (earning $43,788 in average annualized wages in 1999), Microcomputer Specialists ($43,052), Supervisory Management ($42,564) and Programmer/Analyst ($41,676). See Table 3 for the "Top 30 Degree/Diploma Programs for 1993-98 MATC Female Graduates Employed Full-Time in 4th Quarter 1999" and Table 4 for data on MPS graduates in these programs.

MPS Female Graduates Employed Full-Time After Graduation from MATC

The number of female MPS high school graduates receiving an MATC degree/diploma is shown by program area and gender in Table 3 below.

  • For the six years of MPS/MATC graduates examined, 1,571 females were employed full-time in Fourth Quarter 1999 with 81 percent concentrated in the top 30 degree/diploma areas.

  • Registered Nursing is the most popular degree area with 173 graduates employed full-time followed by 107 graduates in Accounting A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science), 94 in Licensed Practical Nursing, 75 in the Administrative Assistant A.A.S., and 63 in Business Mid-Management A.A.S.

  • The Health Profession fields clearly dominated women's choices with Occupational Therapy, Dental Hygiene, Physical Therapist, Health Unit Coordinator, Medical Laboratory Technology, Respiratory Care, Medical Assistant and Medical Secretary also in the top 30 degree/diploma areas for women.

  • Those female MPS/MATC graduates making the highest salaries were in Computer Information Systems, Supervisory Management, Registered Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and Respiratory Care, with average salaries in the upper $30,000s and lower $40,000s range.

Wages of MPS Women Graduating from MATC

  • The female MPS students graduating from MATC made up a third of MATC graduates and fell into a similar distribution of degree/diploma areas as total graduates.

MPS Male Graduates Employed Full-Time After Graduation from MATC

The number of male MPS high school graduates receiving an MATC degree/diploma is shown by program area and gender in Table 4 below.

  • For the six years of MPS/MATC graduates examined, 1,141 MPS males were employed full-time during Fourth Quarter 1999 with 74 percent concentrated in the top 30 degree/diploma areas.

  • Apprentices were the most popular major choice with 203 graduates followed by Police (61 graduates) and Fire Science (57 graduates).

  • Although earnings varied by graduating year, some of the highest paying fields for MPS/MATC graduates included Fire Science, Supervisory Management, Apprentices, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians, and Microcomputer Specialists, all having average earnings in the $46,000 plus range.

Wages of MPS Men Graduating from MATC

  • Male graduates from MPS totaled 26 percent of the MATC male graduates (1,141 of 4,306 graduates). The MPS males fell into roughly the same distribution area of study and average full-time wages as the MATC graduates overall.

Study Background

For the longitudinal follow-up studies Milwaukee Public Schools, the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and Milwaukee Area Technical College cooperated in first-time research effort to track the education experience of MPS graduates attending UWM and MATC during the last ten years and to analyze their subsequent employment in 1999. A majority of students graduating from MPS and going on to post-secondary education attend either UWM or MATC. Data on students' areas of study, credits attempted and earned, and graduation date were matched with state wage records for Fourth Quarter 1999. The earnings of students who are employed in another state, who do not receive wages or who are self-employed are not included in the wage match analysis.

For further information, contact John Pawasarat of the Employment and Training Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 161 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 6000, Milwaukee, WI 53203.


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