Education at Montana Tech and the Workforce in Butte

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In this video, Sarah Raymond, Director of Career Services at Montana Technological University discusses education and the Butte workforce and how Montana Tech works to help their students become great employees. Watch or read the transcription below to learn more.

What is your name and how long have you been in the Butte community?

My name is Sarah Raymond and I am the Director of Career Services here at Montana Tech. I have been in the role for just over 13 years and that’s how long I’ve been in the Butte community as well.

Tell us a little bit about the students at Montana Tech and the education they receive.

The students here at Montana Tech are just really good to work with. They are very driven and motivated. It makes my job here at Career Services very easy. They are very well educated and talented. They strive to get hands-on experience before graduation and that’s one of the trademarks of Montana Tech and a logical university. We spend a lot of time with students to make sure they’re prepared but they make it very easy.

We actually have at Montana Tech two-year, four-year, as well as graduate and Ph.D. programs. And as far as the paths we have a variety of trades and technology degrees at the two-year level, healthcare, engineering, and those are pathways that really lead students to successful careers after graduation.

Do you have any statistics such as employment rate or the number of students who stay in Butte after graduation?

Career Services and Montana Tech are known for the career outcome survey. Our career outcome survey is 93%, which is a great factor. We don’t necessarily track students that are in the Butte community, but I know from just working with students over the years they want to stay here. Our two-year students come from a five-county area in Southwest Montana and so if there were more opportunities here that would provide them a lot more opportunity and incentive to stay.

How does a Montana Tech education prepare students for successful careers after graduation?

I think everyone takes a very hands-on approach to make sure students are prepared for careers after graduation. Certainly, at Career Services we work to get them prepared for those summer jobs and internships as well as work and experience after graduation. The faculty take a very active role in that as well so students are able to get that hands-on experience, whether it’s interactive classrooms or undergrad research, in addition to the internships and summer degree related experiences students can get.

Currently, at Montana Tech, we have a new chancellor who is very engaging with the campus, but also the community. We understand the importance of that partnership, between the educational and experiences and opportunities to connect with our workforce and communities and employers in the area.

We’re very personal here at Montana Technical University and work very closely with students and help them partner with employers. Whether it’s a job that our office can help post or help get the word out to students. We have students who are very active with the office throughout the year, not just when school is in session. One of the things that career services do is that we follow up with every graduate, which is why we have a good career outcomes rate – to be able to make sure students know about opportunities. Another aspect is we do make our services available to alumni which helps with our workforce development a lot of times students or recent graduates may leave the community but then they are really looking to come back so we provide that connection as well.

What would you say to someone considering Butte and MCBDP as the site for their business?

Moving or relocating to Butte is something I did over 13 years ago and I really fell in love with the community. I love the historical aspect of it and the people are just great. 

Students at Montana Tech have excellent problem-solving skills and they understand the importance of getting experience before graduating. So not only are they learning great information in the classroom and using their skill set in labs across campus, they are getting that experience in the workforce and really making an impact in their communities every day.

The students that come here to Montana Tech provide a lot of that hands-on experience and they work locally whether it’s in summer jobs or for internships and I think being able to provide that level of experience and kind of the innovative technologies that are happening in the buildings all over campus just never ceases to amaze me every time I see something that is new or students have been working on. It just really a great opportunity and I love being a part of that.

Interested in more videos? Check out our interview with Economic Development Coordinator Kristen Rosa here.

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