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If you missed this, you’ll be interested to know . . .
repost By James Marshall Crotty, contributor to Forbes. Published September 19, 2012
Recent graduates of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T) earned more on average than those graduating from Harvard, Bloomberg News reports. The median salary of the Rapid City school’s graduates was $56,700. By contrast, the median salary of Harvard graduates — where the tuition is nearly four times as high as at SDSM&T — was $54,100.
By mid-career, Harvard graduates earned on average $116,000 a year, while SDSM&T graduates earned $96,000 a year. Still, at an out-of-state tuition cost of $10,530 a year –versus Harvard’s $40,000 a year – SDSM&T’s grads come out ahead, especially since Harvard grads tend to reside in high-cost locales like New York, San Francisco, and DC.
Bloomberg also reported that 11.8% of those between the ages of 20 and 24 with bachelor’s degrees were unemployed as of July 2012. Moreover, the dismal August jobs report revealed that the U.S. jobless rate for all workers remained at an embarrassing 8.1%. It declined from July’s 8.3% only because nearly 400,000 Americans stopped looking for work. Many of these workforce dropouts are recent college graduates.
Against this dire backdrop, the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration reported in January 2012 that an additional 78,000 workers would be needed by the U.S. mining industry through 2019. No doubt, many of those workers will come out of U.S. mining schools, touting degrees in Earth Sciences, Mineral Geology, or Mine Engineering.
Moreover, the decades-long commodity boom shows no sign of abating. Through China has undergone six quarters of economic contraction, the emerging world’s outsized demand for coal, cobalt, copper, diamond, gold, iron ore, lithium, magnesium, nickel, silver, zinc and other critical commodities is by no means over.
Armed with this information, it should come as welcome news to Crotty followers that the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology not only gets its graduates jobs in the booming commodities sector, but, because high-profile schools have dropped the ball in training sufficient mining students, SDSM&T gets its graduates high-paying jobs to boot. By contrast, the number of Harvard engineering graduates who enter the mining field is “virtually zero, if not zero,” said Michael Rutter, the communications director for Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. They tend to go into industries like finance, biomedical engineering, software and government, Rutter added. In other words, fields that are a bit “softer” than commodity mining.
Nevertheless, the question remains whether many of the 23 million unemployed or underemployed Americans will take the bait and apply for a job in the commodity-mining sector. If history is any teacher, most will not, and often for uniquely personal reasons (distance, cost, health, family, lack of housing, environmental concerns, public showers).
However, if you are an outlier looking for a career in this fast-growing, lucrative field both here and abroad, check out Career Mine. And if you want to make digging your life’s work, check out this list of top American mining schools.
Alternatively, you can just skip the school search and go with a proven winner in the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. It doesn’t have a strong football team – its Hardrockers have had one winning season since 1985 – but its campus includes the Museum of Geology, and its students have access to a nearby 4850-foot deep Black Hills gold mine.
Oh, yeah, and its graduates make mad bank.