NCTA grads top charts in career earnings

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NCTA grads top charts in career earnings

NCTA’s veterinary technician program prepares graduates for careers in animal care through their hands-on skills such as assisting NCTA professor and veterinarian Dr. Ricky Sue Barnes in surgery. (Mary Crawford / NCTA News)
NCTA’s veterinary technician program prepares graduates for careers in animal care through their hands-on skills such as assisting NCTA professor and veterinarian Dr. Ricky Sue Barnes in surgery. (Mary Crawford / NCTA News)

Sept. 1, 2020

CURTIS, Neb. – A two-year ag college in Nebraska has been ranked top in the nation for its graduates’ career success and earnings, according to a personal finance website.

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture at Curtis was ranked No. 1 for career earnings by its Aggie alumni 10 years post-graduation, reported WalletHub.com.

“This ranking validates the commitment made by our NCTA faculty in assisting all Aggie students in their workforce development and career preparedness,” said Larry Gossen, NCTA dean. “We have a strong focus on our students’ ability to have successful outcomes in their education, regardless of their chosen career field.”

Public two-year institutions such as NCTA and community colleges which provide associate degree programs can offer students an education and degree for less cost, said the Aug. 17 report “2020s Best & Worst Community Colleges.”

NCTA, the only two-year campus within the University of Nebraska system has a charge for statewide programming compared to six regional community colleges. NCTA earned the career-comparison ranking for the second year.

“Aggie graduates are going into many high-demand career fields in agriculture such as welding, crops consulting, animal sciences, agribusiness and much more,” Gossen said. “Each of us at NCTA, whether faculty, staff or administrators, knows the value of affordable, quality education for our Aggie students.”

WalletHub and financial writer Adam McCann compared 18 metrics of nearly 700 educational institutions across the United States. Initial selections were 698 schools which are members of the American Association of Community Colleges, which includes NCTA and six other Nebraska colleges.

The review featured three main categories:  career outcomes, education outcomes, and cost and financing.

In the three categories, NCTA scored 64.07 points overall and topped six community colleges in Nebraska. Those six scored between 57.56 and 50.65 points out of 100.

“The double placings nationally for career outcomes plus in Nebraska for two-year colleges is great news to share as prospective students and their families are evaluating colleges,” said Jennifer McConville, NCTA associate dean.

“Cost of education and availability of financial aid is critical to every parent of a college student,” she said. “At NCTA, we can prove the success of a hands-on learning, affordable tuition and also getting a head start on college with dual credit classes for high school juniors and seniors.”

A bonus for 2020-21 is the “Nebraska Promise” announced by University President Ted Carter for all NU institutions.

“Now with the Nebraska Promise program, which will allow many of our students to attend NCTA tuition free, we will become an even better value in the future,” Gossen noted.

Three criteria for NCTA’s No. 1 rating in career outcomes are:  1) student loan default rate, 2) median salary after college attendance, and 3) share of former students earning above the average earnings of a high school graduate.

Data from 2018-2019 was drawn from the following resources: National Center for Education Statistics, Campaign for Free College Tuition, U.S. Department of Education, and Council for Community & Economic Research.

See the full report of rankings and the study’s methodology at: https://bit.ly/3bhrH1I.

Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

- By Mary Crawford, NCTA News

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