Education for a Technical Career

03/31/2010  |  VALERIE MONACO
career and technical education
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Education professionals are challenged to help students with diverse interests and skills become successful in school and plan for their future. Although some students have a clear cut vision to attend a four-year college, there are many who don’t see that as their best choice. You have a great opportunity to provide students and their parents with valuable information about career colleges and, more specifically, the many opportunities available for today’s trained technicians.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s outlook indicates the long-term shift from goods-producing to service-providing employment and estimates that the service industry is expected to generate approximately 14.5 million new wage and salary jobs by 2018. Also noted is that most employers regard the successful completion of a vocational program as the best preparation for trainee positions. 

Careers

Today’s job market is challenging. At the end of 2009, the U.S. unemployment rate surpassed 10 percent, the highest since 1983. It’s not surprising that your student may wonder about jobs and what the future holds.

According to the Career College Association, career training is offered in more than 200 occupational fields including automotive technology, commercial art, criminal and law enforcement administration, culinary and hospitality management, emergency medical technology, information technology, nursing, and visual and performing arts.

A technical education offers a plethora of opportunities for individuals seeking to embrace their passion while learning the skills to command a rewarding service career in as little as 12 to 18 months. If your students have a passion for technical trades, or talent in math or science, they should consider a career as an automotive, marine or motorcycle technician.

Demand

The economy and challenges in the automotive industry have created misperceptions about whether a career as a technician remains a viable choice. While there may be shifts in where they obtain jobs — dealerships, independent shops, the aftermarket — demand for skilled technicians is related to the number of vehicles in service, a retiring workforce and rapidly changing technology.

According to National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA), in the U.S. there are more than 250 million cars and light trucks on the road. This does not include motorcycles, diesel vehicles and commercial fleets. In addition, the median age for cars in 2008 was 9.4 years and light trucks, 7.5 years. New and old — all vehicles need maintenance and repair.   

Myth Dispelled: Technician vs. the Greasy Mechanic

Gone are the days when just knowing how to handle a wrench is enough to repair and maintain modern vehicles, which are complex computerized machines. Knowing how to use all the tools of the trade, including electronics, computers and software programs, requires in-depth training. Today’s technician is a far departure from the decades old perception of a greasy mechanic. They are highly skilled professional men and women of all ages, who are able to apply varied skills to solve challenging technical problems.

Technician jobs will never be outsourced abroad and the opportunities aren’t limited to repair work. Qualified technicians can pursue careers in research and development, parts and accessories, manufacturing and assembly, as well as insurance adjusters, designers, help desk agents, manufacturer representatives, pit crew members and shop owners, to name a few.

Why Universal Technical Institute, Inc.?

UTI is the leading provider of technical education training for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians. The company offers undergraduate degree, diploma and certificate programs at 10 campuses across the United States, including Florida and North Carolina.

A key differentiator for UTI is its strong relationships with more than 20 major manufacturers and industry leaders, an unmatched advantage for our students. We work closely with manufacturers to ensure our training meets their needs and enables us to provide an even greater, more relevant student experience and enhanced employment opportunities for graduates. For example, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, a division of UTI, is supported, equipped and endorsed by all six major motorcycle manufacturers — American Honda, American Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA and Yamaha Motor Corp. USA.

UTI is also the exclusive provider of advanced training for many major manufacturers. Qualified UTI graduates who are accepted into and complete these programs have increased value in the job market and higher earning potential.

We believe in the power of education and are committed to helping our students obtain the tools they need to succeed. The Orlando, Fla. campus division facilities includes Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) and Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI). NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech), is a division of Universal Technical Institute, Inc. (NYSE: UTI), is located in Mooresville, NC. NASCAR Tech is the only school of its kind that combines UTI core automotive training and a NASCAR-approved technologies curriculum into one program. Each facility features classrooms and hands-on labs that are interactive, stimulating and provide students with the tools — metal and mental — to effectively learn and solve challenging technical problems.

We recognize that all students have their own work style, but many fear they might not be successful pursuing a technical education. Some learn best in a hands-on environment while others prefer a combination of theory and practical application. At UTI, students identify their own unique learning styles and discover how to best master new skills in a dynamic, interactive environment that keeps them fully engaged.

Add to the mix our seasoned, industry-trained instructors, who bring a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom. All UTI instructors are certified by the National Institute for Automotive Services Excellence (ASE) in the areas they teach and many are Master Certified. They know what it takes to succeed and are committed to helping students graduate with all the skills necessary to pursue their career passion.

Through our one-subject-at-a-time building block class structure, students start with the basics and work on one specific skill for three weeks. They use the skills learned in the first class to build upon in the second, and so forth. In addition, students have the opportunity to receive extra help through peer and instructor tutoring. Coursework balances classroom training and hands-on learning.

With a focus on fundamentals, diagnostics, demonstrations and lab work using diagnostic, repair and maintenance equipment, UTI students learn fuel and electrical systems, engine trouble-shooting, noise diagnosis and performance, as well as green technology. Each training program is reinforced with applied academics, including algebra, geometry, physics, computer, writing, reading, research and problem-solving, which are critical to the mastery of technical skills. Through training, proficiency in these areas provides students with a solid educational foundation for building a successful career as professional technicians.

To further prepare students for their future, UTI reinforces technical training with the professionalism skills that are necessary on the job and valued by employers and customers. Students are trained in crucial, non-technical skills such as customer service, communication and problem-solving and introduced to the “business” aspects of the profession that emphasizes the importance of a solid work ethic.

UTI dedicates significant resources to maintain an effective graduate placement program to position graduates directly into industry jobs. Graduates have earned a reputation throughout the industry for the high degree of technical expertise and professionalism they bring to the job. Major employers know that by hiring UTI graduates, they won’t have to invest the time and money typically required to train entry-level employees. We are proud of our high placement rate across all our campuses and graduates’ successes once they are placed.

Education is not one-size fits all. Helping students assess their individual career goals and explore all training options, will allow them to make informed decisions about their future. UTI provides students the chance to pursue that passion and live the dream. It is our goal to provide a life-changing educational experience and access to valuable career opportunities for every student, and offer our major manufacturer customers the highest quality, professional technicians. It has been said that if you follow your passion and do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.

For more information about UTI, visit www.uti.edu.

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