Mechatronic Student Eager to Pursue Desired Trade Career

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HARLINGEN – A student at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen is taking the skills he’s learned for his major to pursue a second degree.

Jose Garcia is focused to make the most of his education to pursue a trade career.

The 20-year-old is on his second semester in the mechatronics program at TSTC. He’s not stopping there. He plans to complete another major before graduation.

“I’m doing wind technology because in order to finish that degree it's only going to be on semester since most of the classes with mechatronics are the same,” said Garcia.

Garcia admits it may take more time, but it gives him a backup option in his career.

“I don’t think it's difficult to complete this degree or whatever you're trying to do. College is not hard, you just have to get it done,” he said.

According to his professor, Eldwin Leija, skills learned in mechatronics are applicable to a job in wind energy.

“We have the students go through programming, so they do some building, troubleshooting of course,” said Leija.

He says 33 percent of the program is theory-based; the remaining 67 percent is all hands-on.

Leija says that’s a statistic employers look at as an advantage.

“We always have more jobs than we have students to fill these jobs with. So the demand for the students, for the technicians, for the mechatronics technician, for the industrial systems technician is there,” he explained.

Garcia says he wouldn’t be in college without the guidance of GEAR UP and financial support.

“Because TSTC provided me with so much help, also GEAR UP, basically I got an education for free,” said Garcia.

With an education and two majors, Garcia is set for a lifelong career.