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MCC's Engineering Technology Degree Leads Students to Promising Careers

[Tuesday, March 25, 2014]

Explore an in-demand career in the engineering field with McHenry County College's (MCC) Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Engineering Technology, which trains students for key areas related to advanced manufacturing. The degree features two different specialty options, including industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.

"The most exciting part for our students is that this creates a degree path for the current students in engineering and manufacturing technology," said Heather Zaccagnini, co-chair of Applied Technology at MCC. "The AAS in Engineering Technology gives students options to seek an associate’s degree and then enter into the work place. We are also considering adding a civil engineering option in the future," Zaccagnini said about the degree program that launched within this past year.

For students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree, this Engineering Technology degree provides a transfer to Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University or the Milwaukee School of Engineering. "We are currently working to create pathways to the four year schools so students who are seeking a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology fields can easily see the way."

"Students who want to work in engineering, but don't have the money or time to attend a four-year university right away can complete the AAS Engineering Technology Program at MCC and still work in the field.  McHenry county manufacturers have been involved in the design and implementation of this degree program and are ready to hire engineering technicians who want to use the skills they learn in the program by working in the field of engineering," Zaccagnini said.  Zaccagnini said that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, local manufacturing companies had, on average, 58 engineering technology job openings in 2012, with a median salary of $50,600 in Illinois. “We are currently building up the internship program so students have solid options to gain experience.”

In addition to the AAS degree, the college offers an Advanced Manufacturing Certificate, an Architectural and Engineering Design Technology Certificate and a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machining Certificate, all through the Fast Track program. 

"All of the coursework in these certificates can be used toward the degree," Zaccagnini said. "Students can get their certificate and use these credits on a successful career track without having to start over."

All of the courses in the Engineering Technology degree are part of MCC's Fast Track program and are arranged in a sequence that provides optimal learning opportunities.

For more information on Fast Track programs, call (815) 479-7831 or visit the website at

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