(ROSENBERG, Texas) – If you can imagine yourself standing in the center of a shopping mall — say, for example, the Galleria in Houston, with its corridors full of hundreds of stores and eateries — then you are already on your way to visualizing how many career opportunities Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Power and Controls program has to offer students.
“Electrical Power and Controls is a worldwide tour of just about anything electrical — all the way from small electronics to industrial automation, controls, motors, anything and everything in that area, which is a whole universe within itself,” said Jonathan Bonkoske, lead instructor of the program at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus.
“Then there is power distribution at the small level in residential, commercial, industrial and the big, big power transmission,” he continued. “Then there’s transformers and a lot of industrial-type components, plus electrical design.”
The message that prospective students should take away from all of those areas of focus?
“It is extremely broad,” Bonkoske said of the scope of his program. “I bring up the analogy of a shopping mall — there’s quite a few hallways with the different stores and everything else. Each store is a potential career. Within each store are multiple different jobs. That’s what Electrical Power and Controls is all about. It’s providing opportunities.”
Graduates of the program can work in everything from manufacturing, design and maintenance to field service, oil and petroleum, and much more.
The range of opportunities starts with intensive study and training at TSTC.
“Students can expect a very accelerated or exponential start,” Bonkoske said. “Electrical Power and Controls is very close to pre-engineering courses, without all of the university-level engineering requirements. It’s quite challenging because of the broad curriculum we have. It is challenging but yet, on the other end, it helps students find out what they like to do — and, most importantly, what they don’t like to do.”
Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians can make an average salary of $69,310 in Texas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The projected growth for such positions in the state is 8%, according to onetonline.org.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Power and Controls in a hybrid format, combining virtual learning with in-person, hands-on lab work. In addition to the Fort Bend County campus, TSTC’s campuses in Abilene, North Texas and Waco offer the program.
Electrical Power and Controls is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee initiative. Through this initiative, TSTC students who do not find a job in their career field within six months of graduation will receive a refund of their tuition.
“It’s extremely bold,” Bonkoske said. “I consider Fort Bend County to be the ‘Starship Enterprise’ of the industrial education area because all of the coastal communities of the industrial sector — all the way from Beaumont to Corpus Christi and further down to the Valley — we are right in their backyard.”
The opportunities and applications for an Electrical Power and Controls degree from TSTC are endless.
“Employers come in and out all the time, and they have easy access to us,” Bonkoske said. “We have to maintain high quality, and that is A-number-one. It’s staying on top of technology.”
TSTC instructors like Bonkoske also ensure their students have industry-relevant, hands-on experience with equipment and skills that they will be using out in the field.
“We educate and train our students on actual equipment they will see and feel and get hands-on with,” he said. “What I hear from students who have been to other schools, they tell me firsthand, ‘Gee, I’ve wasted two years of my life. I wish I would’ve come here.’”
Learn more about TSTC at tstc.edu.