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June 25, 2024

QCC launches robotics manufacturing certificate program

Photo | Grant Welker Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester

Come fall, students at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester will have the opportunity to earn the institution’s new Automation Robotics Manufacturing Technology certificate, a program aimed at preparing students for entry-level positions in the growing field of mechatronics. 

Funding for the certificate program is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, a Virginia-based federal agency, according to a Monday press release from QCC.

QCC consulted with companies involved with mechatronics to ascertain the skills needed for entry-level mechatronics technician positions in industries, including electronics, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage.  

Program participants will focus their studies on introductory programming and testing and troubleshooting of automated systems through hands-on projects in the college’s lab. 

Mechatronics technician jobs are in high demand with entry-level positions often offering a starting pay of $20 an hour, which is $5 above the Massachusetts minimum wage, James Heffernan, QCC professor and coordinator of the electronics engineering technology programs, said in the release. 

QCC also offers students interested in robotics with associate degree programs in mechatronics and computer science, an electronics engineering technology certificate program, and two newly developed courses including introduction to robotics and intermediate robotics.

Fewer than 9% of current robot technicians identify as female, according to the release citing data from the online recruitment platform Zippia.

To help encourage female students to join the field, QCC will host its Women in Robotics and Automation Meet and Greet information session at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the college’s 670 West Boylston St. campus. Registration for the event is available here.

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