Lancaster – Technology is everywhere and it's now a big part of the jobs that are becoming available in our region. That's why Ohio University Lancaster offers a variety of technology-related degrees for students to pursue.
"We are always looking at the area economy and job market and meeting with area economic leaders to make sure the programs we offer meet the needs of the jobs that are available in the area," Lancaster Campus Dean Dr. Jim Smith.
This year, OUL started offering an Engineering Technology degree after analyzing the area job market. The degree offers students the opportunity to go in many different directions in the engineering field.
"We've always had an engineering program here on campus. But, what we've recently done is really kind of new. The program is an associate's degree program but students can come here and get two years of education and transfer to Athens to go on for a four-year engineering degree," said Program Coordinator Zale Maxwell. "That's something that wasn't readily available in the past, but now it is."
Student John Miller of Amanda is part of the program. He plans to get the two-year associate's degree in Engineering Technology and go out to get a job. But, after working in industry for a while, he plans to go to Athens to complete his bachelor's in engineering.
"I would like to open my own fabrication shop someday," said Miller. "It's a great opportunity and I might as well continue and get a bachelor's degree."
"Most of my students actually get jobs before they graduate," said Maxwell. "The jobs are available and there are quite a variety of pathways that people can choose in engineering, they just have to decide what they want to do with it."
Students interested in technology jobs can also consider the Computer Science Technology program at OUL. Students often graduate and get jobs in computer networking, programming, computer security and website design.
"There are 20 courses you have to take and they are about evenly divided between tech courses and then more general courses," said Program Coordinator Christine Wolfe. "Students can get the degree done in two years if they take 15 credit hours each fall and spring semester."
Wolfe said as technology continues to evolve, more and more jobs are available to her students here in the area. She feels her students are trained and prepared for whatever opportunities come their way.
"In computer science, you're always being presented with new problems. We help students develop skills in trouble shooting, analyzing the problem, designing solutions, and talking to people to find out what it is that they need," said Wolfe. "The answers just don't pop up. You have to apply troubleshooting as a scientist or as an engineer would apply logic to isolate the problem."
Students can complete the associate's degree and then move on to a bachelor's degree program either in Lancaster or on the Athens Campus.
"Our students can stay right here at Ohio University Lancaster and they can go right into the Technical and Applied Studies bachelor's degree or our Communication Studies program, which is fabulous," said Wolfe. "We also have a really good relationship with the Information and Telecommunications Systems program on the Athens Campus and many of our students have gone there and done really well. It's seamless."
Both programs were featured as part of the October edition of Fairfield Today at OUL. The television show airs weekly on Time Warner Cable Channel 9 in Lancaster.