Spark your Imagination: The Engineering Technology Program

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Engineering technology careers offer the great pay, interesting workdays and opportunities for advancement every job wants.

The best candidates for these positions are the imaginative problem-solving types: the students and graduates that take an idea, create it using thumbnail sketches and design software, and then transform the idea into a completed tool, piece and final product. The Engineering Technology program at Northeast Iowa Community College teaches students to take something from “art to part.”

This mix of creativity and problem solving is an exciting feature for many students. After attending Luther College on a music scholarship with a dream to play soccer, Melissa Olivares sustained an injury that sidelined her athletic career indefinitely. As her freshman year concluded, she also started having second thoughts about a career in music.

“Leaving after my first year in college turned out to be the best thing to happen for me,” Olivares expressed, who returned to Dubuque and enrolled in the Engineering Technology program at NICC. “I want to do hands-on work in a career, and engineering offers so many different career options. I love engineering, and Northeast Iowa Community College shaped me into a more mature person. The one-on-one relatability you have as a student at this College is amazing. Everyone wants you to succeed.”

Students in the College’s program study and train for their careers using robotics technology, solid modeling and CAD software, 3D printers, hydraulics and pneumatics, electronics and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Many of the courses are cross-disciplinary, meaning that Engineering Tech students train for their careers alongside students in the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machinist and Industrial Maintenance Technician programs.

An eager job market throughout the region needs qualified technicians. As the manufacturing industry moves into robotics, flexible automation and additive manufacturing, trained graduates that possess knowledge of these technologies are needed to grow companies and expand their customer base.


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