Engineering Technology Degree: A Powerhouse in Preparing Students for High-Tech Careers

The statewide, award-winning A.S. degree in engineering technology (ET) has been a key player in educating the next generation of high-skilled workers, and in supporting Florida’s growing need for a high-tech manufacturing workforce. The ET degree is a cohesive, comprehensive program that offers a variety of technical specializations to support a wide range of industries. Its common technical core aligns with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification, and is one of the components in the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) endorsed Stackable Certification System.

Given its industry centric focus, the ET degree is considered a powerhouse in equipping students with
educational tools that ensure their success in high-tech career fields. Burton Bellamy, who recently earned an A.S. degree in engineering technology from Hillsborough Community College says he really enjoyed the program. He says the program made him a “strong contender while looking for an engineering-related job.” Bellamy currently works at Doosan Hydro Technology a global company based in Tampa, Fl specializing in water purification systems and related infrastructure services. Bellamy sees a direct correlation between what he learned in school and what he does at work on a daily basis. “The degree has helped me in so many areas” Bellamy said. For example, the materials class helped him decide “what type of materials to use for certain parts,” the measurements and instrumentations class helped in the precision of parts, while his training on the PLC machines he says helped him design and operate programs that “ultimately contributes to making a better final product.”

Bellamy is not alone in reaping benefits from the engineering technology program. Emilio Sanchez, another graduate who earned his A.S. degree in engineering technology in May 2012 says the program has greatly helped him improve his chances for a better life. Sanchez who is currently serving in the coast guard says the ET degree has given him the building blocks, or the tools to help him find a job. He says his favorite part of the program was also the PLC station where he learned how to write and design codes to operate machines. Sanchez views engineering as a puzzle where there is always something that needs to be taken apart, or put together. “Problem solving is never tedious, it’s always fun” says Sanchez. “The job opportunities that are available upon graduation are exciting as it opens all sorts of doors.” With an A.S. degree in engineering technology in hand, Emilio has recently started his new assignment for the United States Coast Guard in New Jersey where he will work as a technician on many of their fleet vessels.

The Engineering Technology degree program was developed by the Florida Advanced Technological Education (FLATE) Center with close partnership with the Florida Department of Education Division of Workforce Education, and community colleges and industries across the state. All ET Associate in Science (A.S.) degree holders can transfer seamlessly to a number of Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degrees offered in Florida’s universities, state and community colleges, and articulate to the B.S.A.S. in operations management at University of South Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland, FL. The degree is also a gateway to post baccalaureate degrees, and is currently offered in 13 community and state colleges across Florida.

You can watch a short video about Emilio and read about other ET students across the state at http://madeinflorida.org/student-profiles/. For more information on the ET degree, or information on establishing articulation agreement contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, P.I. and executive director of FLATE at barger@fl-ate.org, or visit http://www.madeinflorida.org/.

Watch Emilio's Journey to Success