MiraCosta College has a new degree and certificate program in engineering technology aimed at providing students with the education and training needed to secure well-paying, middle-skilled jobs as engineering technicians in as little as a year.
The goal of the Engineering Technology program at MiraCosta is to prepare a pipeline of graduates for a growing demand of engineering technicians in the region’s advanced manufacturing sector. San Diego County is home to several companies on the cutting edge of developing critical components in the aerospace, maritime, biomedical, beverage, and sports industries.
The new program began enrolling its first students this fall. “This is a great opportunity for students to get an in-demand degree for a high-demand profession,” said Professor Paul Clarke, who helped design the program. “It also provides a ladder of sorts, in that students can earn their degree, get a good job, work for a few years, then come back and earn a bachelor’s degree to further their career opportunities.” Clarke noted that courses are transferable to baccalaureate programs.
Median hourly earnings in San Diego County range from $26.91 per hour for industrial engineering technician jobs requiring an associate of science degree to $34.69 per hour for aerospace engineering and operations technician jobs requiring an associate of science degree, according to a recent survey by the labor market firm Emsi. More than 7,300 people were employed in engineering technician-related work in the region in 2016, and projections call for a four percent growth in employment through 2021. Top employers posting available engineering technician jobs in the region include Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., General Atomics, Northrup Gumman, the Danaher Corp., and Illumina Inc.
MiraCosta College’s Engineering Technology program will help fill a void—and at a much more affordable price—created when the federal Department of Education forced for-profit ITT Tech to shut down in September 2016.
The Engineering Technology program is among the most rigorous at MiraCosta College’s School of Career & Technical Education, Clarke said, largely due to the breadth of science, math and technical coursework. Core courses include computer applications, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), manufacturing processes, calculus and analytic geometry, and engineering design graphics.
Students can earn a certificate of completion within one year and an associate degree within two.
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