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As Aidex’s technical sales rep for Illinois, I put a lot of miles on my car. I think I’ve visited almost every high school and community college in the state. You know the question I hear most?
“Industry is requesting that my students get hands-on experience in robotics; can you help me with that?”
This is followed by, “Will they be able to get certified?”
I’m not surprised either; robotics and advanced manufacturing are among the hottest career fields going. By 2020, the National
Robotics Education Foundation predicts there will be more than half a million new robotics-related jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor has classified both robotics engineers and robotics technicians as “bright outlook” careers.
Naturally, schools want to be aligned with workforce demands. So do students, especially those who want to start careers straight out of high school or when they get that community college degree. As a result, preparing students for careers in advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0, and robotics is more important than ever. Sure, you can teach students robotics, but what does that really mean? Schools want to make sure that their curriculum is applicable to industry needs and they want to prove their students can get the job done for industry. Schools want their students to walk away with a nationally recognized industry based certification.
You want a national certification in robotics? FANUC America delivers!
FANUC America, the world leader in robotics, CNC systems, and factory automation definitely was listening to high schools, CTE programs, technical colleges, and industry partners when they announced the introduction of four new national training certifications for robotics and advanced automation manufacturing last October. The certifications are the first ever for robot operations, programming and integrated vision.
I was excited when I got the news. National certifications are as good as gold for students. (Plus now I have the right answer for Illinois schools.) Here’s what a national certification in robotics can do for a student:
• Their training/degree is far more valuable with a national certification attached.
• They are job ready and more attractive to employers because what they’ve learned is aligned with the advanced automation technologies in the real world.
• Because certification training is standardized, training is more uniform and carefully measured; student skill sets are likewise more uniform and measurable.
• Because these certifications are based on using FANUC robotics technology, students can enroll in more advanced FANUC training programs post graduation, something that makes them event more attractive to employers.
A national certification built on real-world experience
These robotics certifications are the result of an 18-month collaboration between more than 150 subject matter experts from FANUC America, industry, automation system integrators, and leading advisors and instructors from high schools, community colleges, and universities. Working with Nocti Business Solutions, FANUC America then developed these four industry recognized national certification programs:
• Two levels of FANUC Certified Robot Operator (FCR-O1 & FRC-O2)
• Two levels of FANUC Certified Technician (FCR-T1 & FCR-T2)
Students who earn the new certifications are qualified to fill a variety of high-demand and high-paying careers in robotics and advanced manufacturing.
FANUC CERT training is offered at high schools, high school CTE programs, technical and community colleges, and universities. Currently, there are over 640 education providers offering the CERT program, which represents the largest network of schools providing hands-on applied technology in manufacturing automation.
I asked Jon Potter, FANUC-Robotics district manager for CERT, what schools think about the new robotics certifications. He said the response has been “fantastic.” While no students have earned certification yet – the program started last January – exams are coming up, which will result in the inaugural class of students with national certifications as robot operators and technicians.
That’s great news for everyone with an interest in filling the pipeline of well-prepared job candidates – and for my customers in Illinois!
Aidex is the authorized reseller of FANUC America robotics technology for education in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. If you have questions about this new national certification, please connect with Aidex at Info@Aidex.com.