Company education support leads to upskilling, degree pathway for Mercury employees
After graduating with the first class from the Microelectronics Boot Camp in October 2016, Tyler Howard joined Mercury Systems in Hudson where he launched his career in advanced manufacturing. He’s now preparing to move into a new role at Mercury as a test technician with the support of his supervisor, and credits from the Electronic Engineering Technology program at Nashua Community College.
Tyler was first inspired to pursue test technician work after realizing the need within his company, “There was a strong need for testers, and a buddy of mine at work – he’s coming to Nashua Community College as well, suggested EET (Electronic Engineering Technology).”
Alex Moore floated the idea of returning to college, “I started at NCC two years ago, I was already at Mercury working in assembly.” With the full support of Mercury, Alex now has 7 classes left before he earns his associate degree. To balance school with work, he takes two classes per semester, and said the flexible schedule at NCC helps, “Most of the classes are available at night.”
Tyler brought the idea of returning to college to his supervisor, Mike Hamilton, who singled out six core classes from the EET program to take first. Tyler’s classes began in fall 2018.
“I’ve taken two so far, digital circuits I and II,” he said, adding that as his second time in college, he’s keeping a steady pace. Tyler’s planning on taking two more classes this fall, and eventually all general education and core classes to earn his associate degree in EET. He was able to transfer credits from a previous pre-calculus course, knocking the total class count down to 20 from 21.
The company environment encourages continuing education for its employees with tuition reimbursement. “We have Tyler and Alex, and another employee in mechanical design,” said Mike Hamilton, Operations Manager of Advanced Microelectronics Solutions at Mercury. “We support anybody who wants to learn something new; bonding and soldering, learning mechanical design,” he said, adding the practice makes good business sense, “We fully support any employee who wishes to continue their education.”
“Mercury has been supportive; they’re great,” said Tyler, “I’m happy with my decision to go to Mercury – I definitely appreciate them.” With two classes done, Tyler’s preparing to begin training part-time as a test technician, and part-time in his previous role, “I’ll do that for a month, month and a half, and by mid-September, I’ll get into the new full-time position.”
As for the future, Tyler said the popular “2 + 2” transfer pathway from NCC to UNH-Manchester for EET students is one option, but he hasn’t made up his mind yet, “I’m going to see where my life takes me.”
Tyler said he still appreciates his first class, the Microelectronics Boot camp at NCC, “It’s crazy how much it’s changed my life. I was driving by NCC, and the Microelectronics information on the sign caught my eye, and here I am three years later. I’ve come a long way.”
Learn more about workforce development opportunities at Nashua Community College by contacting Jon Mason at [email protected], or 603.578.8900 ext. 1763. For details on academic programs at NCC, including EET, visit nashuacc.edu/academics/associate-degrees.
Learn more about Mercury Systems careers at https://www.mrcy.com/careers/.