The college’s Manufacturing IT associate degree program aims to provide skilled information technology professionals for manufacturing settings. It was created with industry feedback and helps bridge a skills gap in manufacturing environments.
The 60-credit program teaches students how to support every aspect of advanced manufacturing operations and to help companies function at peak efficiency. It provides hands-on training with computer hardware, operating systems, application software, mobile devices and networks. It also teaches soft skills such as customer service.
“Before Manufacturing IT was created, there was not a single program preparing IT graduates to work on equipment on the manufacturing floor,” James Lemerond, dean of business and technology, said in a press release. “Now, our program will give program graduates skills in both information technology and electromechanical technology.”
Lemerond says the college worked with the industry through a Developing a Curriculum, or DACUM, process to create the program, which is the first of its kind in the state. Companies including American Orthodontics and Bemis Co. worked with LTC to develop the program, which is funded through a General Purpose Revenue grant.
The program provides a good opportunity for incumbent workers in either the IT realm or the manufacturing sector to expand their skills and learn to apply them in a new way, opening more career opportunities.
The first year of classes is much the same as the college’s current IT program and includes IT networking basics, while the second year incorporates electro-mechanical technology learning. The program will emphasize cybersecurity and include and internet of things course, Lemerond says.
“The Internet of things opens up a lot of opportunities, but it also opens up a lot of threats,” he says.