Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, September 4, 2019

SD Mines Graduates Enjoy 97% Placement Rate

RAPID CITY, SD (Sept. 4, 2019) — New placement numbers for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology show 97 percent of 2017-18 graduates landed employment specifically in their career fields or are pursuing graduate degrees. Some universities consider any employment in job placement statistics, but Mines only includes major-related employment.  

The average starting salary of a SD Mines graduate is $63,354. Computer science graduates had the highest starting salary average at $74,313. Mining engineering graduates were close behind with an average starting salary of $70,688. 

During the 2017-18 time period, Mines offered 16 undergraduate majors, with seven majors reporting 100 percent placement rates. SD Mines now has 20 undergraduate majors after recently adding biomedical engineering; business management in technology; atmospheric & environmental sciences; pre-professional health sciences; and science, technology & society.

Fifteen percent of SD Mines graduates during the 2017-18 period chose to continue their studies in graduate school. 

SD Mines graduates are landing jobs at such companies as Microsoft, Garmin, Caterpillar, Cargill, Lockheed Martin, Nucor, POET, Raven Industries, Black Hills Corp and Daktronics, according to Matthew J. Hanley, director of the Career and Professional Development Center at Mines. 

The high placement rate and starting salary speaks to SD Mines’ excellent return on investment. The earnings of graduates in science and engineering fields outpace other professions and the cost of attending Mines is lower than many schools across the country.

Real-world experience is one advantage many Mines graduates bring to their first job. At SD Mines, 77% of students graduate with internship or research experience with organizations such as NASA, Nucor, Tesla, Garmin, Caterpillar, POET, SD Department of Transportation, Bobcat, Dow Chemical, L-3 Harris, Sanford Underground Research Facility, VRC Metal Systems, Kimberly-Clark, Rapid City Police Department, SpaceX and others. South Dakota companies led the way in employing Mines interns last year, with students working for more than ­­87 employers from 27 communities across the state. 

Overall, 30% of Mines graduates are staying in South Dakota to continue advanced studies or contribute to the economic development of the state. In the last five years, 332 graduates have accepted jobs with 166 employers in 26 South Dakota communities. 

In a recent list released by Forbes of America’s Top Colleges in 2019, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ranked in the top 10 percent of the 4,300 universities in the United States.


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,529 students with an average class size of 24. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $63,350. Find us online at sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, 605-394-2554, Lynn.TaylorRick@sdsmt.edu

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