Meeting Industry Needs
According to Michigan Works! and the Career Education Consumer Report (CECR), certified welders are in high demand, particularly in the Upper Peninsula. In order to meet those demands, the department of technology and occupational sciences designed a welding certification program from courses already offered in its industrial maintenance program. The certificate can be obtained within two semesters and classes are scheduled to begin this fall (pending the board of trustees’ approval).
Whether students choose to enter the workforce after one year of study or continue their education in industrial maintenance, graduates of this program will have excellent options.
Economists and professional job-forecasters have noted a current shortage of qualified welders. Additionally, the future shortage is even more compelling. The proposed certificate program will provide students with the American Welding Society (AWS) certification necessary to enter the workforce, meeting the needs of area students and the industry.
“This program will keep NMU competitive with other schools offering this type of program,” states Daryl Kobie, department head and professor. “The goal of the program is to provide additional educational opportunities to NMU students and prepare them for welding certification exams and employment in the welding career field in the U.P. and beyond.”
Kobie and faculty also anticipate that the welding certificate program will feed the industrial maintenance program with the laddering opportunities that will be in place. The welding certificate program will fully ladder into the industrial maintenance program, meaning that graduates of the welding program will have the option to apply all of their credits (without loss) directly into the industrial maintenance program.
“Laddering is an ideal option for students interested in continuing their education in a particular field,” says Kobie, and it’s an option that the department of technology and occupational sciences is well-known for.
This program certainly may appeal to the many area high school students who have studied and practiced welding through collaborative school efforts. This is an excellent opportunity to gain a certification that is in high demand while making the adjustment from high school to college life. Often times, this is the short period that students need to find their place in the academic world before pursuing additional education or a promising industry career in just one year.
Read more about welding certificate program curriculum.
Read more about the industrial maintenance program.