Mechatronic machines are all over the place. From your car’s memory-adjust seats to your computer’s hard drive to your coffee maker, they are intertwined with our daily activities. So, while the term may be unfamiliar, why not take a few moments and learn a little about this fascinating field? It could change your life. The fact is that, mechatronic technology is one of the great engineering breakthroughs of the past few decades. So, if you plan to study engineering at ECPI University, consider a concentration in mechatronics. [Read more...]
The debate over whether college is worth the investment or not seems to be an increasing subject matter among young adults. Since the housing market crashed and the Great Recession took hold of America, people have witnessed climbing debt and have begun to ponder whether or not the cost of college is truly worth the investment.
Some reports show that student loan debt for our country has made its way over the $1 trillion mark as frustrated recent graduates struggle to find their place in the professional world, receiving continuous rejection letters or taking jobs for which they feel they are significantly under-qualified. In reality, these struggles are just the same as they’ve always been, and although student loan debt may be on the rise, so, too, is the discrepancy between what you could be worth as a college graduate versus your ultimate worth without that degree. [Read more...]
Software Will Help Prepare Students to Take Advantage of Manufacturing Resurgence
At a ceremony today that included the Governor of Virginia, the Siemens Corporation announced more than $1 billion in software grants to seven colleges and universities, including ECPI. ECPI University students will now have access to the same Siemens product lifecycle management (PLM) software used throughout the global manufacturing industry to design, develop and manufacture some of the world’s most sophisticated products in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer products, medical devices, machinery, shipbuilding, apparel and high-tech electronics.
The series of in-kind grants was established as a result of an industry need for skilled workers and is designed to support the state’s largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, and other companies with local ties such as Rolls-Royce. The grants are part of ongoing workforce development collaboration among community colleges, universities and organizations like the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Virginia Manufacturers Association and Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SHVEC) – an organization that provides workforce training to the rural population. [Read more...]
2014 Graduate with MS Serves as an Example to All
Thomas Cevora has always been a man of action. An Army veteran, he went to work on tug boats after leaving the service. From there, he moved to rail cars. Fourteen years ago, a clock started ticking and he knew at some point that a physically active life would no longer be his to enjoy. Thomas has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That fateful day he long feared arrived three years ago. “When I resigned from the railroad, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Thomas. “Everybody said I should go on disability but that just wasn’t for me. I have to be doing something.”
Using Vocational Rehabilitation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Thomas decided to go back to school. Despite being hospitalized on a couple of occasions, he persevered. Now, he’s preparing to graduate this Saturday, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a concentration in Web Development. “I discovered a great deal about myself these past three years,” says Thomas. “First, I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Sure, I need a cane and, sometimes, a wheelchair, but I have developed mental strength. Second, I have an even stronger wife! She would never let me give up. We came close to losing everything. We barely held onto our house, but we always held on to each other.”
While Thomas is excited to move on, he admits he’s a bit nervous. In addition to graduating, he and his wife are planning to move to a cooler climate up north because heat aggravates his MS. “ECPI University has been like a second home to me. The faculty has been so great, especially Ms. Lanae Harris. She has been an inspiration. Whenever I needed a boost, she was always there with a ‘you can do it!’ And the best thing is: I did do it. I’ve applied for a graduate program with Microsoft. I’ve got my own web design business up and running which is a great source of pride. Each time I finish a website, I know that anyone in the world can type in that web address and see what I built.”
Many people are intimidated by the current state of the job market. In tough economic times, it’s hard to find jobs that pay well enough to live a comfortable life. Many jobs require an expensive four-year degree before you can even get your foot in the door. However, this is not always the case. Many jobs can be attained with only a two-year degree, and often pay more than several jobs requiring an expensive bachelor’s degree.
(All statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)
The need for dental assistants is ever-present, with a projected job growth rate of 25%. These valuable healthcare providers play a crucial role in the day to day operations of a dental office including performing x-rays, caring for patients, assisting dentists during procedures, and performing dental cleanings. Practicing as a dental assistant requires only a two-year associate’s degree, and license from the state you wish to practice in. The median income for dental assistants in 2012 was over $34,500 a year, averaging out at around $16.50 per hour.
Just like dental assistants, the need for registered nurses is high and growing all the time. Registered nurses are employed through the healthcare industry in clinics, hospitals, out-patient care, and doctor’s offices. Working as a registered nurse also provides a variety of duties as well as locations. Registered nurses can be responsible for performing tests, assisting physicians, and providing basic healthcare to patients. Entry into this field requires only a two-year degree, with many employers offering assistance to provide further education after employment. In 2012, people working as registered nurses earned an average income of $65,000.