With more than 2,100 students during its '07-'08 school year, Ferris State University's College of Engineering Technology has more full- and part-time students working toward engineering technology bachelor's degrees than any other college in the country. The American Society for Engineering Education recently released the findings in Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges.
Engineering technology students learn how to build the systems – electronics, robotics, architectural and others – designed by engineers, and how to make those systems work. That knowledge, says Associate Dean Ron McKean, puts graduates on the forefront of reinventing Michigan's manufacturing industry.
"Michigan has a long legacy in manufacturing and producing goods, and we're looking at graduates like ours to be able to transfer Michigan's economy from automotive to alternative energy and medical devices," McKean says. "That comes down to Michigan doing what we've always done well – building things other people want to buy. And that's a value added to the state."
FSU's Grand Rapids campus, which had some 130 engineering technology students last year, offers bachelor's degrees in manufacturing engineering technology, quality engineering technology, product design engineering technology and construction management engineering technology. The Big Rapids campus offers 18 bachelor degrees and 16 associate degrees in programs ranging from welding to architecture.
"Typically, nearly all of our graduates in nearly all of our degree areas find employment within their field," McKean says. "That's been one of the really fantastic things about the types of degrees we offer – we place graduates throughout the state and nation.
"We try to market what engineering technology is to females," he adds, "because the job options are so good; there are few females [in the industry] and it pays very well. Once you have the knowledge it makes you very special in the field."
Source: Ron McKean, Ferris State University College of Engineering Technology
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.