(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Pick an industry — any industry — and with a degree in Industrial Systems from Texas State Technical College, you have the opportunity to thrive, says TSTC lead instructor Ray Smith.
“For this program, you are not bound by a particular skill or trade,” he said. “You name an industry, and you can find a job in that industry.”
TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Systems-Mechanical Specialization and an Industrial Systems Mechanic certificate of completion. Both pathways have night classes available. Since it is a hybrid program, students can expect some virtual learning paired with hands-on, in-person lab sessions.
The Industrial Systems program is also part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee program. Through this initiative, students who do not find a job within their field of study within six months following graduation will have their tuition money refunded.
Smith’s graduates have landed careers in industries so widely varied — oil and gas, health care, manufacturing — that he has stopped trying to update his database, as there is not a single industry that stands out over the others.
Texas employs the highest number of industrial machinery mechanics in the nation at 41,140, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Houston-Sugar Land-The Woodlands is the metropolitan area with the highest employment level in the U.S.
TSTC Industrial Systems alumni are working at companies like Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, Dollar General, Frito-Lay, Schlumberger, Shell, and many more.
The diversity of companies and industries in which these graduates work highlights how well TSTC’s Industrial Systems program has prepared them for virtually any application or pathway.
“You want to become an electrician?” Smith posited. “This is an exit point. If you want to become a plumber, this is an exit point. Diesel? Exit point.”
Industrial machinery mechanics can earn an average annual salary of $54,980 in Texas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds. The future of such positions is bright, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts a 13% growth in the state through 2028.
Prospective students who understand what interests them and keeps them engaged on the job — and enjoy challenges and not doing the same thing day in and day out — may very well enjoy what TSTC’s Industrial Systems program has to offer.
“A self-starter will do extremely well,” Smith said. “You’re going to be on your own at some point, but you’re talking about companies with major equipment. It’s not like you’re doing the same job, the same work or working on the same equipment. You’re doing a variety of things.”
Smith finds that nontraditional students do well in his program — along with students with strong work ethics. He estimates that the Industrial Systems degree pathway involves about 60% of hands-on work and 40% of reading and studying.
Students work hard in the program. But with nearly a 100% job-placement rate after graduating from TSTC — and good, high-paying careers possible in the future, the reward can be great.
“The only preparation is you’ve got to have that willingness to apply yourself,” Smith said. “It’s really all it takes.”
Learn more about TSTC at tstc.edu.