Overview of Advanced Manufacturing Degree Programs
Individuals who are interested in studying advanced manufacturing have the opportunity to enroll in bachelor's degree programs in this field. These programs will expose students to a number of relevant topics in manufacturing and engineering that will help them secure employment in advanced manufacturing, like materials, product development, supply chain, quality control, and design. Below, we will look at these programs in greater detail by exploring the admission requirements, what kinds of courses are typically offered, factors to consider when choosing a school, and what types of careers are available to graduates of these programs.
Admission Requirements for Advanced Manufacturing Degree Programs
Students typically need not have taken any specific prerequisite coursework to be eligible for admission into bachelor's programs in advanced manufacturing. They will have to meet the university's general admission standards, though, which commonly require students to have completed a certain number of English, science, social science, and mathematics courses. In addition, students will have to submit their high school transcripts, an application form, and standardized test scores to be considered for admission. Some schools also consider recommendations from teachers or guidance counselors.
Advanced Manufacturing Degree Programs Coursework
Although there are differences between schools, advanced manufacturing programs will require a substantial background in math that may need to be supplemented and contain strong engineering and manufacturing components.
These programs typically will begin with an introductory course that exposes students to various types of manufacturing processes, as well as the types of materials that are commonly used in these processes. Topics that may be discussed include product fabrication, thermoforming, product assembly, and casting. In addition, students may look at how the overall design process interacts with the manufacturing process, as well as the manufacturing system as a whole.
Product and System Design
Programs in advanced manufacturing often include several courses that focus on the design aspect of products and manufacturing systems. Students will learn about the role that robotics can play in a manufacturing system and may participate in a hands-on lab in order to learn how to set up and operate robotics systems. In addition, students will learn about the process by which new products are developed and created.
Because robotics plays a huge role in modern manufacturing, these programs often will include one or several courses with that focus. Students will learn about all the different ways that robots can be used in manufacturing, as well as how different types of robots are classified from educational to industrial. In addition to learning about the theoretical understanding of robotics, students will also be exposed to how to construct and operate robots.
In this course, students will be exposed to introductory management concepts from the perspective of an engineer. Topics that could be covered include finances, human resources and the management of employees, ethics, time management, and how to begin a company or business. Students will also look at what role a manager plays in the engineering and manufacturing industry.
Quality Assurance and Control
These programs often include a course that focuses on quality assurance and control. In this class, students will learn about best practices for making sure that all products meet a predetermined set of standards. Topics that could be discussed include sampling, data collection, and how to use various statistical software programs to set up and maintain quality control programs.
How to Choose an Advanced Manufacturing Degree Program
When choosing among various advanced manufacturing degree programs, there are a number of factors students will likely want to consider. They may want to look closely at the types of courses that each program offers, or areas of concentration, as some schools may offer elective courses that are more closely aligned with a student's career goals, like technical drawing or robotics systems. Another factor worth considering is how great of an emphasis a program puts on lab experiences and internship opportunities if students are interested in gaining first-hand experience in manufacturing. The geographic location of the programs is also likely a large factor when making a decision.
Career Options with a Degree in Advanced Manufacturing
There are many different careers that an individual with an advanced manufacturing degree may want to consider, one of which is a mechanical engineer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals made a median annual salary of $88,430 in 2019 and the field is expected to grow by 4% between 2018 and 2028. A few other options are listed below.