“Harvard University’s graduates are earning less than those from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology after a decade-long commodity bull market created shortages of workers as well as minerals.
“Those leaving the college of 2,300 students this year got paid a median salary of $56,700, according to PayScale Inc., which tracks employee compensation data from surveys. At Harvard, where tuition fees are almost four times higher, they got $54,100. Those scheduled to leave the campus in Rapid City, S.D., in May are already getting offers, at a time when about one in 10 recent U.S. college graduates is out of work.
“ ‘It doesn’t seem to be too hard to get a job in mining,” said Jaymie Trask, a 22-year-old chemical engineering major who was offered a post paying more than $60,000 a year at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. “If you work hard in school for four or five years, you’re pretty much set.'”