HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's a profession that pays quite well straight out of college. But with an industry shortage on the horizon, Houston Community College is addressing the need for engineers today.
"A large percentage of the engineers and the engineering technologists working in the greater Houston area are over the age of 55," HCC Dean of Engineering John Vasselli said.
As those engineers approach retirement age, the demand will only increase.
"In 10 years, there'll be 100,000 engineers and engineering technologist jobs in the greater Houston area," Vasselli said.
Depending on the school, a four-year engineering degree, including living on campus, may cost up to $100,000 by the time one graduates. But the engineering program at HCC could cut those expenses in half, if not more.
Eduardo Moya has already taken advantage of HCC's program and its savings. His goal is to work with NASA as an engineer.
"My plans for a future is to put stuff in space. In high school, I did some NASA programs. In college, been doing NASA programs. So I feel like that's where my life is going," Moya said.
Sohee Park, who moved from South Korea, is also enrolled in HCC's engineering program.
"We are working on lithium ion batteries and I'm very fascinated," Park said.
As part of her summer internship, she's been researching components of materials with different chemicals. She's also been an engineering mentor for middle school students.
"I'm really passionate about inspiring younger girls because I love physics, I love engineering," Park shared.
Once HCC students receive their associate's degrees, they're able to transition those credits to an HCC-partnered school, including Texas A&M, University of Houston and the University of Texas.
"I've seen our students graduate from one of our partner programs on a Saturday and go to work Monday for $60,000 or $70,000 starting salary," Vasselli added.
You can learn more on HCC's engineering program through this website.
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HCC helps you save big under engineering program