Yavapai College’s new Advanced Manufacturing program is making its debut this fall semester, which combines four technical programs into one main associate’s degree. Dean of Career and Technical Education John Morgan said that the college identified a need in the job market that warranted a more general approach to developing manufacturing skills.
“By acquiring a generalist education, the amount of jobs available to you automatically go up,” says Morgan. “These skill sets allow you to do just enough in those areas to be dangerous, so you can plug in and be a Jack or Jane of all trades.”
Multiple area advisory boards from each of the four programs listed below joined together to create the two year program, which offers a more “modern and relevant” degree for the current and changing manufacturing scene.
The Advanced Manufacturing program takes elements from four other technical programs at YC: Welding, Industrial Machine Maintenance, Electrical Instrumentation, and CNC Machining. “These combined skillsets create the ability to fix not just one part of a manufacturing plant—but multiple–making you far more valuable and employable,” says Morgan.
The programs of study associated with the School of Career and Technical Education at Yavapai College lead to careers in fields that, increasingly, are seeing shortages of skilled labor.
According to a June 4, 2018 Bloomberg article, there are millions of jobs available to people with the right training who don’t have a bachelor’s degree. The article states, "Full-time jobs paying at least $35,000 a year and not requiring a bachelor’s degree have increased from 27 million in 1991 to 30 million today . . . Of those 30 million 'middle-skill' jobs, half pay more than $55,000 a year, according to the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University."
Morgan agrees with the above statement, stating that because of the increase in retirement, “we have to reeducate an entire generation, but it’s messy because the majority of youngsters are being counselled towards bachelor’s degrees or higher. It is a part, but it is not the only way to get skills for gainful employment.”
While the degree itself takes two years to complete, within it are certificates called stackables, which are a continuing trend in education over the last few years.
The main advantage of stackable certificates is that students can acquire them and get a job while still completing the main degree. The incentive to continue schooling is strengthened because students can promote up as each certificate is earned.
Advanced manufacturing can include, but is not limited to fields such as robotics, engineering, electromechanical equipment, and design.
Visit yc.edu for more information.