ALBEMARLE — Stanly Community College officially announced on July 19 that its students can now pursue a career in the automation and robotics field with a recently-developed two-year Mechatronics Engineering Technology program.
According to an SCC press release, the new associate degree program will focus on “the integration of mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering systems, including robotics and advanced automation systems.” The college’s mechatronics classes are designed to equip students with the ability to create, program, and repair systems involving high-tech, computer-controlled machinery.
Gary Hatley, program director for the new Mechatronics program (as well as the Electronics Engineering Technology program), said in a statement that employers are actively looking for mechatronics workers to fill this growing sector resulting from more automation.
“SCC offers this state-of-the-art instruction that is so valuable to employers not only in Stanly County but across the country,” Hatley said. “Not only are we training students for careers of today and tomorrow, but these jobs also come with high, entry-level salaries.”
Per an aggregate of job sites, students with mechatronics degrees often earn a salary between $52,000 and $82,000, depending on location.
After completing the two-year program, students can transfer to a four-year engineering technology degree at the majority of North Carolina’s universities. Students are able to earn a mechatronics certificate within one year but are encouraged to complete the two-year associate degree because it allows for further in-depth training and hands-on learning.
“Students who complete the degree should find plenty of high-paying employment opportunities,” Hatley added. “It is a great option for students who are also undecided about a four-year degree. This provides graduates with choices of entering the workforce after completing the two-year degree, continuing to complete their four-year Engineering Technology degree, or perhaps the best of both worlds – entering the workforce with their two-year degree while completing the remaining two years of the bachelor’s degree online or on evenings/weekends. Some employers will even help pay for tuition and books.”
SCC’s Career and College Promise (CCP) pathway for the Electronics Engineering Technology program consists of six courses. Soon, a new CCP pathway for Mechatronics Engineering Technology is expected to offer students additional courses.
Students can also earn free college credits in high school, which will result in a lighter load once they graduate from high school and go on to college. They can also take extra courses and advance toward a double major in another area, such as Electronics Engineering Technology, Computer Engineering Technology, or Networking.
“Completing the two-year degree opens the door to several pathways, whether entering work at that time or transferring to a four-year Engineering Technology degree,” Hatley said. “This provides flexibility and a safety net at the two-year level that is not possible when beginning studies exclusively at a four-year institution.”
For more information about the new program, contact Gary Hatley at 704-991-0135 or [email protected].