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Pursuing a Skilled Trade Career Is a Smart Choice at Any Age and Stage of Life


By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston Campus President

Career colleges and vocational-technical institutions are perfect choices for adults at any age and stage of life. Pursuing a “skilled trade career” is the wise and practical “first choice” for recent high school graduates who have studied vocations courses, for U.S. military veterans, and for those who are looking to make a career change.

There are many advantages of obtaining education and training in a skilled trade such as aviation maintenance, welding, nursing, firefighting, law enforcement and others that do not require a four-year degree.  A blog post by “Work It Daily” based on the philosophy of Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, offered the following top five reasons why an individual should work in a skilled trade-related field:

  1. Trade jobs are more active.
  2. One does not need to invest in an expensive education.
  3. One does not need to take time off from earning money.
  4. There’s no shortage of work.
  5. The working hours can be more flexible.

Please follow this link to access the entire article.


Other reasons that I hear from our students attending MIAT College of Technology in Houston include “I like working with my hands.” “I want to love what I do.” “I am not a person who likes sitting at a desk. I have to work outside!”  “My friend (or relative) is in XYZ field and has been trying to persuade me for ages to get certified.” (more…)

The Student Who Became the Teacher

Gail Rouscher professionalAt MIAT College of Technology our students benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable faculty. Many of the faculty are graduates of the school. Other students have gone on advancing their education, working in the industry and then passing that knowledge and experience on to the next generation. One such MIAT alumnus is Dr. Gail Buccholz Rouscher.

Dr. Rouscher has more than 25 years of aviation experience and has been an instructor at Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation since 2008.

Dr. Rouscher began her aviation career as a member of the U.S. Navy serving as an aircraft engine mechanic, stationed in Rota, Spain and at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan. Following her service in the Navy, Dr. Rouscher attended MIAT for the Airframe and Powerplant program, graduating in 1997. To use her words – “A long time ago.” Her memories of MIAT are of great friends, favorite instructors (Mike Bloomfield, Jim Will, Bill Holifield) and great memories. One thing she doesn’t miss is the bell ringing each hour for breaks. She recalled hosting a get together for her classmates at her home following their final classes in 1997. “We had a great time. I have pictures of us making a human pyramid that day.” And, although she has lost contact, she wishes she could reconnect and reminisce about their experiences at MIAT. (more…)

Focusing on Career and Technical Education Now Reaps Long-Term Benefits for the Future


john-willis-2By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston President

The month of February has been designated as Career and Technical Education Month by the Association for Career & Technical Education. As president of MIAT College of Technology Houston campus and as chairperson of the Houston Independent School District CTE Advisory Council, focusing on career and technical education every day of every week of every month of every year is my highest priority.  I am a staunch advocate for CTE and the lifelong benefits it can provide students.  I would like to share the following excerpt of an article that explains the value of Career and Technical Education:

Career and technical education is a term applied to schools, institutions, and educational programs that specialize in the skilled trades, applied sciences, modern technologies, and career preparation. It was formerly (and is still commonly) called vocational education; however, the term has fallen out of favor with most educators.

Career and technical programs frequently offer both academic and career-oriented courses, and many provide students with the opportunity to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training, and industry-certification opportunities. Career and technical programs—depending on their size, configuration, location, and mission—provide a wide range of learning experiences spanning many different career tracks, fields, and industries, from skilled trades such as automotive technology, construction, plumbing, or electrical contracting to fields as diverse as agriculture, architecture, culinary arts, fashion design, filmmaking, forestry, engineering, healthcare, personal training, robotics, or veterinary medicine.


 Source: The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists, Parents and Community Members

To access the complete article, please visit https://www.edglossary.org/career-and-technical-education/


Mechanical Engineering Technician: Research, Design, Construct, Test & Use of Machines

Train for an exciting career in electro-mechanical technology!

For every mechanical construct that moves, turns, pushes and pulls, there is a specialist behind its intricate and innovative design. The modern world is truly a thriving place for mechanical engineering technicians.

Mechanical engineering technicians apply their core skills to maintaining and operating machines utilized in industrial settings. Within the field, there are many variations on how mechanical engineering technicians use their expertise. Some mechanical engineering technicians maintain equipment such as motors and turbines, while others set up and test parts.

Regardless of expertise, all mechanical engineering technicians share one thing in common: a background of core skills in mathematics, science and English.


Electrical Repair Technician: Managing Machinery & Specialty Equipment

Train for an exciting career in electro-mechanical technology!

The electrical repair industry has a need for specialists that can work with electrical components as electrical repair technicians. These individuals work hands-on in an industrial environment, using tools, computers, and diagnostic equipment to inspect, build and maintain any electronic components of an electrical system. A career as an electrical repair technician is a rewarding experience in the modern world. Here is a detailed breakdown of the main responsibilities held by an electrical repair technician.


5 Benefits of Attending a Trade School

Working on Group Project

Are you looking for a rewarding education from a vocational school? Interested in aviation maintenance, energy technology, welding, or HVACR? With competitive job markets in almost every sector, there has never been a better time to attend a trade school. Trade schools offer students benefits that no other institution of higher learning can. To name just a few, here are some of the benefits of attending a trade school: shorter program lengths, skill-specific programs, devoted career services, personalized education, and rich networking opportunities.


What I Need to Know About Entry-Level Solar Energy Jobs

HVAC Technician

The renewable energy industry is booming. More and more consumers and businesses are seeing the benefits of resources like photovoltaic (PV) arrays and wind power. This has led to a drastic uptick of job growth in the solar energy field. The photovoltaic industry in particular has seen handsome gains in job creation thanks to the manual labor requirements of building an array. While it is great to hear about what jobs are in high demand, it is perhaps more important to know which specific skills are required to do a variety of jobs in the solar energy sector.

So, what are the important things to know about various entry level solar jobs? Why is the renewable energy industry job market growing? What are the skill requirements & job responsibilities of positions like solar panel installer, boiler operator, field service technician, solar power plant operator? Knowing more about solar energy jobs will help you decide whether an Energy Technology Program is the right path for your solar energy job success.


Alternating Current (AC) vs Direct Current (DC) Power: An HVACR Guide

HVAC Technician

Are you interested in becoming an HVACR professional? While attending an HVACR program at a vocational school, you will have the opportunity to study alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). This knowledge will come in handy when working on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigerators.

In the 1880s, the electrical industry was in a state of disarray. In the early years of electricity, direct current could not be easily converted to high voltages and powerplants needed to be established within one mile of the end user. Alternating current, on the other hand, could be provided relatively inexpensively at several thousand volts with little loss of power as it traveled to the end user. As opposed to DC, an AC power plant could be located several miles away from the end user. With Thomas Edison holding patents on DC power at the time, a current war was sparked.


Vocational Training and Career Education Providers Address Employer Demands for Skilled Trades

john-willis-2By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology Houston President

Welders. Pipefitters. Aviation maintenance technicians. Elevator repair technicians. Electricians. Computer and information technology specialists. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) technicians. Plumbers.

These are just some of many skilled trades that are required to support the growing needs of employers in the United States.  These high demand, professional careers can be a viable option for many students graduating from high school and entering the workforce.

Vocational training and career and technical education providers such as MIAT College of Technology can and should be the first choice for men and women who want to begin working and earning an income in a chosen field sooner and with lower costs than those that are commonly associated with a four-year college or university program. (more…)

Celebrating Our 50-Year Heritage, Embracing Our Present, Anticipating Our Future

Jennifer-PaughBy Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President

As the New Year approaches and 2018 is coming to a rapid close, now is a perfect time to reflect on our successes of the past, embrace our present situation, and anticipate an exciting future for MIAT College of Technology. Our MIAT faculty and staff are thankful for where we have been, enjoying where we are, and continuing to create new programs and opportunities for our students and graduates.

MIAT College of Technology will celebrate its 50-year anniversary in 2019.  We have more than 10,000 graduates of all ages, and we have equipped workplace-ready men and women for employers in a wide range of industries all over the world – aviation, manufacturing, power generation, oil and gas heating, cooling, refrigeration, and many others. During our 50th Anniversary year, watch for profiles on our alumni, faculty, staff, and employers who have contributed to our amazing history. We want to highlight those who have helped make MIAT the viable career college it is today.

At a time when many other career colleges are experiencing declines in student population, we are in the fortunate position to be enjoying a trend toward increased enrollment. Enrollment at our Canton campus is up over the same period as last year. (more…)