Only 27% of college graduates work in a field related to their college major. Yet 30% of college students change majors at least once.
Denmark Technical College in Bamberg County is on a mission to change that and more. We aim to connect students to their fundamental purpose by aligning their aptitudes with their education and ultimately careers. When students have purpose and know what they’ll excel at, we can address students not pursuing the right majors and show them apprenticeship, internship, and career opportunities available right here in town.
Local opportunities are critical. The U.S. Census shows the population in South Carolina communities steadily shrinking over the past three decades. In Bamberg County alone, the population declined by 16.7% from 2010 to 2020. Often, it’s when a community lacks local education opportunities that population decline begins. And once the population declines, the economy follows, and industries then relocate and take needed jobs with them.
Without colleges, high school graduates leave. Without jobs, others can’t afford to stay. They leave for larger cities, like Greenville, Charleston, or Columbia, or leave the state. The loss of talent hurts rural economies and further increases population and industry loss.
DTC is changing the dynamic for students and local employers by aligning education and industry. DTC starts by using science to empower students to make the best-fit career choices. These aren’t their parents’ choices or, like me, the choice of an English major because they were good in English class.