Although the American auto industry has been struggling recently, many experts believe that the auto industry will soon be hiring highly skilled workers to build energy-efficient vehicles. If you are passionate about automobiles, check out your local community college’s auto program. With careers in repair, engineering, design, and various other options, an auto-based education can help students race toward a potentially lucrative future!
Auto Programs and Opportunities
With diverse opportunities in the automotive industry, students can investigate new and traditional career options. For example, Shoreline Community College (SCC), located in Shoreline, Washington, is one of the many community colleges offering students exciting course opportunities. Students can enroll in Automotive Service, Automotive Programs, Automotive Career Training, Technical Education Networks, and General Service venues.
Best of all, each focus area is endorsed by a leading automotive company. For example, students enrolled in the Automotive Service Education Program can earn their degree with the support of General Motors. To provide students with both knowledge and experience, students enrolled in this pathway spend alternating quarters in the classroom and the workforce by participating in internships at a sponsoring General Motors dealership. Similarly, Chrysler also provides students with a cooperating internship opportunity, as students enrolled in the Chrysler College Automotive Program can also work at a Chrysler dealership while alternately attending classes. Both Honda and Toyota also provide students with cooperating work and educational options.
In addition, for students looking to graduate early, SCC offers three-quarter programs, such as the General Service Technician option. With this approach, students can finish their certification in as little as a year and a half—or even less! Upon completing the program, graduates will be qualified to apply for jobs at auto dealerships and independent repair shops. Considering that many Americans strive to keep their current vehicles longer, the repair industry may be a safe and recession-proof career pathway.
Further adding to the opportunities at SCC, Tidewater Community College (TCC), located in Virginia, also provides students with auto opportunities with the help of their newly designed and state-of-the-art facility. Totaling 30,690 square feet, the TCC Regional Automotive Center costs around $10.1 million. Although expensive, most assert that TCC’s Center is worth the cost; the Auto Center holds 15 garage bays, tractor-trailer repair space, 9 classrooms, conference facilities, and even a showroom to display student projects!
With this larger service venue, TCC can effectively provide instruction and experience to its 404 automotive students. Also, students will be learning state-of-the-art lessons and techniques and be able to enjoy their education in an aesthetic atmosphere; TCC’s new building won the 2009 Design Excellence for Architecture Award of the American Institute of Architect’s Hampton Chapter!
The video offers an overview of what's involved with automotive technology.
Earn an Income AND an Education
For students who want to take automotive classes but are struggling to find financial resources, Arapahoe Community College (ACC) may have a great solution. Located in Littleton, Colorado, students enrolled in ACC’s automotive program can earn an income that exceeds their tuition costs!
With just 60 students in the program, ACC’s auto center director is strict and strives for only the best. The director requires a mandatory drug test, criminal background check, and a clean driving record for students to enter and remain in the program. Any students who are tardy, excessively absent, or not succeeding in physics, computer, and communication classes will be removed from the program.
With strict rules, the program’s organizer asserts that students who meet all the qualifications can earn a substantial reward; as the students attend classes, they can earn $10 per hour while working as an apprentice at a local auto shop! As a result, students who complete ACC’s auto program ultimately earn more than the actual tuition cost, around $9,000.
This video looks at what's involved with automotive engineering courses.
Adding to these perks, ACC’s auto program strives to break the status quo and stereotypes of the automotive career field. The director seeks to specifically recruit more female students, as only 10 of his 60 students are women. Additionally, the director is “pushing more students to obtain an associate's degree rather than training certificates. He predicts the industry will hire more female technicians and workers with college degrees to keep up with technological advances.” Named one of the top 21 auto tech programs in the United States, ACC hopes to earn the number one title in the upcoming annual review.
The future for automotive professionals is rather bright, especially with the help of your local community college.
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