View Full Version : researching the reputation of welding programs

04-14-2009, 11:28 AM
I have two comunity colleges equidistant from my home that offer associates of science degrees in welding. One is the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, the other is Los Angeles Trade tech college. They are both AWS accredited testing facilities.
How do I find out which one carries more "clout". For example a degree from Stanford looks better than a degree from podunk-U. Where do I start? The college in LA would be more convenient in that I have family down there. But the Santa Clarita college would be a nicer place to live...

Any thoughts? I have a long time to work on this by the way...


04-14-2009, 12:18 PM
Since both are Associate programs I would believe they carry about the same clout.

I would live in Santa Clarita:cool:

04-14-2009, 12:24 PM
I would live in Santa Clarita:cool:

Boy, No Kidding...
Are there four degrees in welding? Sorry I guess I can search as well as anyone. If so do you know of one?

EDIT: Yes there are... Now I'm searching them. There are even scholarships....

04-17-2009, 10:13 AM
On the four years, just be aware that which ones hold more prestige depends on the type of work you're getting into. Design engineering? OSU or LeTourneau. Field engineering? Penn College, Ferris State, etc.

04-17-2009, 11:15 AM
On the four years, just be aware that which ones hold more prestige depends on the type of work you're getting into. Design engineering? OSU or LeTourneau. Field engineering? Penn College, Ferris State, etc.

This is exactly the sort of information I am looking for. Is there a source for this or do you just have to be "in the industry" for a while and learn by osmosis?

Thank you very much.

04-17-2009, 11:38 AM
Little from column A, little from column B. To get an idea of what direction the program will lead you in, look at the curriculum. The OSU's and LT's are heavily oriented in metallurgy, physics, calculus, design theory, etc. The others focus on learning the processes/equipment, basic metallurgy, codes and standards, etc. Having gone to Penn College, it definitely tailors you towards the field, rather than being a design guy. I started my undergrad at OSU, and it definitely goes in the opposite direction.

Through osmosis though, I learned that most large EPC companies are looking towards the field approach. Realistically, more opportunities in the construction industry are available for field guys. Departments may have one or two welding metallurgists/design guys who oversee everything (and usually have AGES of experience), but the field-oriented welding engineers may be needed for each project. My employer tried hiring one of the design guys to use in the field, and he quit. Couldn't handle being in the field, and openly said that it wasn't his niche and that he felt more comfortable in an office environment doing weld design. I got lucky going through Penn College, was heavily recruited, and landed a spot as the welding engineer for the construction side. I handle WPSs, NDE requirements, PWHT, code requirements, orbital welding implementation, etc for all of our current projects (4 major, as many as 13 minor at a time), but have an old-timer who is an ASME vice president to bounce back anything that's over my head.

It's not to say that as a field guy you won't deal with any design/metallurgy, and vice versa, because you absolutely will. But which area you go into may heavily dictate the first 10 years or so of your career after getting that degree. I loved taking the field approach, and will be pursuing my masters as I feel it gives me the "prestige" and credibility of the design schools, with the well-rounded approach and hands-on know-how of the applications-oriented schools.

04-17-2009, 11:51 AM
Just a side note, but even though I'm in the Fossil Power industry, I had a chance to sit down with the lead guy from our nuclear welding division for three days this week, and we discussed this topic pretty heavily. They are taking the same approach on that side of the house, and he's actually interested in bringing in 3-4 welding field engineers to groom them for a year or two before mobilizing on our nuke work.

04-17-2009, 12:07 PM
If you can, I would contact the graduate placement office at each school to see if you can find out who and how many companies recruit there. If you visit the school you could even look for a jobs posting bulletin board to spy on interview opportunities... I did this once at a CC I took some computer classes from. I did not actually graduate from that CC, but I still used the placement office to secure an interview and land a job as a software engineer!

The school in LA might have more people looking to hire graduates since LA is a bigger city, but then if you are planning to move away for work, it might not matter which school you go to.