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Offline High_Hopes

Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« on: May 28, 2013, 12:18 »
Hello everyone I currently have a 1 year technical certificate in power plant technology as well as in industrial engineering. I have 3 credits remaining and will receive my Associate degree in both power plant technology as well as in industrial engineering.  My question.. Are Associate Degrees from community colleges not seen as much? To me it seems like nothing compared to a bachelors degree. My dream would be to one day be an operator/engineer at a nuke plant. I am 22 years old and am just questioning the routes I've taken. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 12:25 »
you will be competing for that position with people that have Navy nuclear experience (where 6 yrs is minimal), people that have BS in Engineering, and occasionally people with experience (many years) in other industries (fossil, transmission, etc).

Perhaps you should try non-nuke as a start to gain experience in a less competetive environment - fossil (Gas, Coal, co-gen, etc) chemical (various - manufacturing, processing) or other manufacturing.

Good luck
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Offline High_Hopes

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 12:43 »
Thank you for the post.. I'm glad you at least posted. I will try non nuke plants.. Would joining the navy help me? I have a 5month old child.. Moving would be an option but would I be able to take my wife and child?

Offline Laundry Man

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 12:54 »
The Navy would be pretty hard on your family but others have prevailed.  Six years of your life gone for long periods of time is something to consider if you were to go nuke.
LM

Chimera

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 01:05 »
An Associates Degree may not seem like much at this point in time but, with some experience under your belt, it will start being more significant.  If you have the wherewithal to do, finish the Bachelors degree versus going into the Navy.  If circumstances seem to warrant enlisting in the Navy, finish you Bachelors while you're in.  Every little bit helps and nothing is inconsequential.

birch148

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 06:19 »
I have an Associates Degree and and currently in an NLO class with 8 people, 2 of us Nuclear Power Associates degrees, 2 Navy and 4 Bach. degrees (various engineering).  My suggestion would be to apply, apply, apply.  Many house positions these days are diverse and do not just take Navy nukes anymore.  Those programs are out there for a reason and many companies like them and the people they produce. I am in a position that only took me 2 years to get to, in respect to the 6 years in the navy and 4 years at an expensive university.  I think you have a better chance than you think!  Good luck.   

Offline ddickey

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 07:18 »
You'll need the NUCP certificate. At least this is what I'm hearing.

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 08:35 »
I have an Associates Degree and and currently in an NLO class with 8 people, 2 of us Nuclear Power Associates degrees, 2 Navy and 4 Bach. degrees (various engineering).  My suggestion would be to apply, apply, apply.  Many house positions these days are diverse and do not just take Navy nukes anymore.  Those programs are out there for a reason and many companies like them and the people they produce. I am in a position that only took me 2 years to get to, in respect to the 6 years in the navy and 4 years at an expensive university.  I think you have a better chance than you think!  Good luck.  


Yes, keep applying for work.  

The associates is plenty of education to show the plants you are:
1. trainable.  
2. willing to finish something you start.

That's all they need to see...if they need people.  Right now you are fighting a situation in nuclear power where supply exceeds demand (due to a bazillion schools pumping out people with associates degrees), so it's tougher to get in, no matter what your quals are.  Maybe it's easier to get hired on the non-nuke side?  I would apply everywhere that met my minimum requirements (location, pay, etc).  That being said, don't just wallpaper the world with a generic resume - take time to craft each resume and cover letter to match the job and company you are applying with.

Further down the road, you will probably want the bachelors degree if you want to climb the ladder.  If you can't find a job, you could start on that now.  BUT, as Birch said, the associates is sufficient to get you in on the ground level.

Good luck.  :)





Full disclosure:  I graduated with an associates at another point when the industry was reaching 'flood stage'.  The school I attended closed their nuclear programs a year later, because they were having no success placing graduates.  I couldn't get hired for over six months, but just kept plugging away with the applications.  Eventually, I got my foot in the door and...nuclear power was VERY, VERY good to me!  :)

« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 09:18 by UncaBuffalo »
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Content1

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 07:06 »
Hello everyone I currently have a 1 year technical certificate in power plant technology as well as in industrial engineering. I have 3 credits remaining and will receive my Associate degree in both power plant technology as well as in industrial engineering.  My question.. Are Associate Degrees from community colleges not seen as much? To me it seems like nothing compared to a bachelors degree. My dream would be to one day be an operator/engineer at a nuke plant. I am 22 years old and am just questioning the routes I've taken. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
If the coursework is related to the job you're seeking, then education is never wasted. They have hired apprentice nuclear plant equipment operators off the street. Your education on a resume will help when you seek that job. Don't waste your time going in the Navy. You'll receive about a years useful training and the rest of your time is getting experience; however, not necessarily experience that you are really seeking.
I ask you a counter question. How will your writing skills? Most everything is done on computer nowadays, and good writing skills will help you land whatever job you are going for. Your next task is to be open to move anywhere in the country; do a nationwide search for beginning operator positions, if that's what you are going for. If you find your writing skills are not up to par, then raise them through either college or many Internet courses. Coming across as educated cannot hurt you in your job search. The inability to write cohesive sentences will hurt you now and in the future. There are too many young people today who graduate high school and are barely literate. Good luck in your search and keep us informed. We will help any way we can.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2013, 08:26 »
If the coursework is related to the job you're seeking, then education is never wasted. They have hired apprentice nuclear plant equipment operators off the street. Your education on a resume will help when you seek that job. Don't waste your time going in the Navy. You'll receive about a years useful training and the rest of your time is getting experience; however, not necessarily experience that you are really seeking.
I ask you a counter question. How will your writing skills? Most everything is done on computer nowadays, and good writing skills will help you land whatever job you are going for. Your next task is to be open to move anywhere in the country; do a nationwide search for beginning operator positions, if that's what you are going for. If you find your writing skills are not up to par, then raise them through either college or many Internet courses. Coming across as educated cannot hurt you in your job search. The inability to write cohesive sentences will hurt you now and in the future. There are too many young people today who graduate high school and are barely literate. Good luck in your search and keep us informed. We will help any way we can.


And how will yours?
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Content1

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 10:06 »
And how will yours?

See my point?  When an employer gets your written work, they focus only on the mistakes. They act by simply passing up the resumes'.  I worked at firm and watched a pile of resumes' get processed.  They literally went through the pile threw those out with simple misspellings.  The competition is that fierce.  If you ever had resumes' not responded to, that reason is a real possibility.

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 12:40 »
The point is not that you make mistakes... everyone does. The point is not caring enough to catch the mistakes and correct them which demonstrates a lack of attention to detail. That will kill your chances faster than most things in the nuclear power world. If you can't be bothered to do something right that is a direct benefit to yourself, how can you be trusted to care enough to do the right thing for someone else?
"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician."

                                  -Marty Feldman

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to understand that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
                                  -Ronald Reagan

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

                                  - Voltaire

Offline High_Hopes

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 02:29 »
Thank you everyone for your comments. I was just wondering if I had wasted time seeing as a lot of people have bachelors. I will try at non nuke plants first and see where that leads me. Thank you for everyone who took a couple minutes to reply.

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 02:52 »
Thank you everyone for your comments. I was just wondering if I had wasted time seeing as a lot of people have bachelors. I will try at non nuke plants first and see where that leads me. Thank you for everyone who took a couple minutes to reply.

I attended a safety conference a few years ago with an ex-navy nuke that was working a co-gen in CT. She loved it and couldn't imagine going to commercial nuclear, at the co-gen work actually got done when it needed to, instead of after all the paperwork was signed off.
My plant has also lost a few operators and I&C techs to non-nuke - a couple went to ISO distribution, one went hydro, another went wind.

It's all in what you make of something once you get there...

A long time ago... I was gonna be an architect   :-\
Remember who you love. Remember what is sacred. Remember what is true.
Remember that you will die, and that this day is a gift. Remember how you wish to live, may the blessing of the Lord be with you

Offline ddickey

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 05:56 »
See my point?  When an employer gets your written work, they focus only on the mistakes. They act by simply passing up the resumes'.  I worked at firm and watched a pile of resumes' get processed.  They literally went through the pile threw those out with simple misspellings.  The competition is that fierce.  If you ever had resumes' not responded to, that reason is a real possibility.
Resumes not resumes'. Couldn't resist. Now someone give me a job!

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2013, 08:26 »
Resumes not resumes'. Couldn't resist. Now someone give me a job!

Résumés?  ;)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 09:24 by UncaBuffalo »
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Offline cheme09

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2013, 09:48 »
Thank you everyone for your comments. I was just wondering if I had wasted time seeing as a lot of people have bachelors. I will try at non nuke plants first and see where that leads me. Thank you for everyone who took a couple minutes to reply.

Why not try nukes and non-nukes concurrently?

She loved it and couldn't imagine going to commercial nuclear, at the co-gen work actually got done when it needed to, instead of after all the paperwork was signed off.
My plant has also lost a few operators and I&C techs to non-nuke - a couple went to ISO distribution, one went hydro, another went wind.

Lost a couple engineers at my plant also for the same reason.

Offline Bradtv

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2013, 04:18 »
I would like to think it is not useless as I received an Associate of Industrial Science (Power Plant Operations) last summer and am now in non-licensed operator training.  Through the school I also was able to secure a 12 week summer internship at a nuclear plant.

You will be competing with all sorts of candidates with many different backgrounds: Navy, 4 year degrees, power plant experience.  Anything you can do to present better on a resume will help get you to the first steps of POSS testing and interviews.  It took me three interviews to get an offer and I had to move quite far away.  I would have had to wait another year or more if I limited myself to certain plants.

You mentioned engineering.  As far as traditional engineers go, while you would have to pursue a traditional engineering degree... it could translate to more opportunities.

If you're able to handle the last three credits over the summer, you can apply to new postings.  Be honest that you are not quite, but almost finished with the degree.  Don't pass on other opportunities to get your foot in the door.
« Last Edit: Jun 01, 2013, 03:00 by Bradtv »
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Offline S T I G

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #18 on: Dec 31, 2013, 08:13 »

Yes, keep applying for work.  

The associates is plenty of education to show the plants you are:
1. trainable.  
2. willing to finish something you start.

That's all they need to see...if they need people.  Right now you are fighting a situation in nuclear power where supply exceeds demand (due to a bazillion schools pumping out people with associates degrees), so it's tougher to get in, no matter what your quals are.  Maybe it's easier to get hired on the non-nuke side?  I would apply everywhere that met my minimum requirements (location, pay, etc).  That being said, don't just wallpaper the world with a generic resume - take time to craft each resume and cover letter to match the job and company you are applying with.

Further down the road, you will probably want the bachelors degree if you want to climb the ladder.  If you can't find a job, you could start on that now.  BUT, as Birch said, the associates is sufficient to get you in on the ground level.

Good luck.  :)





Full disclosure:  I graduated with an associates at another point when the industry was reaching 'flood stage'.  The school I attended closed their nuclear programs a year later, because they were having no success placing graduates.  I couldn't get hired for over six months, but just kept plugging away with the applications.  Eventually, I got my foot in the door and...nuclear power was VERY, VERY good to me!  :)


    I was always hand fed and reinforced with the idea that, "There is currently a high demand for highly skilled Radiological Control Technicians in today's nuclear industry" during my enrollment at school. I swallowed that junk hook, line, and sinker haha ....then I handed them a fat check.  :'(  On another note, have there honestly been that many accredited schools that have come out with specific AAS degrees in Rad Pro, Health Physics, Nuclear Technology. The term "bazillion" is a gross exaggeration isn't it?
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2013, 08:24 by HideBehindAFatMan »

Offline Laundry Man

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #19 on: Dec 31, 2013, 08:58 »


A long time ago... I was gonna be an architect   :-\

I always wanted to be, a lumberjack!
LM

BuddyThePug

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #20 on: Dec 31, 2013, 09:19 »
I always wanted to be, a lumberjack!
LM


Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #21 on: Dec 31, 2013, 12:18 »
On another note, have there honestly been that many accredited schools that have come out with specific AAS degrees in Rad Pro, Health Physics, Nuclear Technology. The term "bazillion" is a gross exaggeration isn't it?

You could be right...maybe it was only umpteen...I lose track when it's more than I can count on my fingers...   ;)
The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard

Wlrun3

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #22 on: Dec 31, 2013, 12:24 »
   After tmi there were three of significance, in florida and texas - AS degrees, and idaho, a certificate...irm school, a certificate, followed. Hanford, oak ridge, savannah  had programs that mainly accommodated their sites.
   Your question about the value of the Associate of Science degree in the nuclear industry has a much much larger context.
  
   The literacy revolution in the Western world in 1500 began this issue. By 1800 with the advent of coal and steam the Industrial Revolution accelerated the issue. By the year 2000 the information revolution had changed everything.
  
   I think what will happen to the industry will determine the value of the degree.

Offline UncaBuffalo

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Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #23 on: Dec 31, 2013, 01:11 »
On another note, have there honestly been that many accredited schools that have come out with specific AAS degrees in Rad Pro, Health Physics, Nuclear Technology. The term "bazillion" is a gross exaggeration isn't it?

This is the most complete list I ever saw:

http://www.nukeworker.com/forum/index.php/topic,34778.msg162220.html#msg162220

Schools in the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program

Arizona
Estrella Mountain Community College
www.estrellamountain.edu

California
Miracosta College
www.miracosta.edu

Connecticut
Three Rivers Community College
www.trcc.commnet.edu

Florida
Indian River State College
www.ircc.edu
Miami Dade College
www.mdc.edu

Georgia
Augusta Technical College
www.augustatech.edu
Wallace Community College
www.wallace.edu

Idaho
ESTEC/Idaho State University
www.isu.edu

Kentucky
West Kentucky Community & Technical College
www.westkentucky.kctcs.edu

Maryland
College of Southern Maryland
www.csmd.edu

Michigan
Lake Michigan Community College
www.lakemichigancollege.edu
Monroe County Community College
www.monroeccc.edu

Minnesota
Dakota County Technical College
www.dctc.edu
St. Cloud Technical College
www.sctc.edu

Missouri
Linn State
www.linnstate.edu

Nebraska
Metropolitan Community College
www.mccneb.edu
Southeast Community College
www.southeast.edu

New Jersey
Salem Community College
www.salemcc.edu

New Mexico
New Mexico Jr. College
www.nmjc.edu

New York
Excelsior College
www.excelsior.edu
Onondaga Community College
www.sunyocc.edu
Westchester Community College
www.sunywcc.edu

North Carolina
Gaston College
http://www.gaston.edu/

North Dakota
Bismarck State College
www.bismarckstate.edu

Ohio
Lakeland Community College
www.Lakelandcc.edu

Pennsylvania
Delaware County Community College
www.dccc.edu
Luzerne County Community College
www.luzerne.edu

South Carolina
Aiken Technical College
www.atc.edu
Florence Darlington Technical College
http://www.fdtc.edu/
Midlands Technical College
www.mid.tec.sc.us
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
www.octech.edu
Spartanburg Technical College
www.sccsc.edu

Texas
Brazosport College
www.brazosport.edu
Texas State Technical College
www.tstc.edu
Wharton County Junior College
www.wcjc.edu

Tennessee
Chattanooga State Community College
www.chattanoogastate.edu

Washington
Columbia Basin College
www.columbiabasin.edu

Wisconsin
Lakeshore Technical College
www.gotoltc.edu
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2013, 01:44 by UncaBuffalo »
The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days. -Ray Wylie Hubbard

Offline S T I G

Re: Power Plant Associate Degree Worthless??
« Reply #24 on: Dec 31, 2013, 02:16 »
Wow, thanks for the link. Yeah...that definitely is a longer list than I imagined. This is the first time I've seen this post let alone heard about the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program. I haven't been here for long but it seems that most people are talking about Thomas Edison State College's BSAST in Radiation Protection more than anything else. Aren't there more schools offering bachelor degrees in Health Physics than BA's in Rad Pro? If you already have an A.A.S. in Rad Pro, isn't considering getting that BA in Health Physics rather than Rad Pro a good idea if it means going to a more noteworthy/accredited institution. And, maybe I haven't read enough posts yet, but if it is so important to go to a school in the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program than why are people raving about Thomas Edison State while they aren't even a part of it. Futhermore, a large number of schools with the ABET accreditation (also mentioned on NEI's website) aren't a part of the Uniform Curriculum Program, such as Thomas Edison. All I am saying is that for new people who are trying to give themselves the best chance by trying to pinpoint the right school/program...it can be a bit daunting and confusing. Surely there are a one or two fully-accredited schools offering B.A.'s in either Rad Pro or Health Physics that are generally considered "the best."
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2013, 02:23 by The Stig »

 


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