Groundbreaking Automation Leadership Degree is a Fast Track to Industry 4.0

Chancellor Katherine Frank and Dr. David Ding, UW-Stout

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Ever wonder what it would look like to truly disrupt the university model, to create a degree program so innovative, so accessible, so flexible, and so industry-driven that it's the first of its kind in the nation?

The University of Wisconsin-Stout has done just that with the new Automation Leadership degree.

Built on industry-recognized credentials with a polytechnic focus on hands-on skills and career readiness, the Automation Leadership program is meeting an acute need in the manufacturing industry in a way no other degree can. After completing the program, students will be equipped with the essential technical and leadership skills to take any company through a digital transformation.

UW-Stout Chancellor Katherine Frank and Dr. David Ding, Director of Stout's School of Engineering join us on this invigorating episode where we dive deep into just how innovative this program is.

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. The Automation Leadership degree meets a crucial need of industry - the combination of technical and business skills: Manufacturers seeking to invest more in automation need someone who can take their company through a digital transformation. This person would need technical skills (understanding of robotics, PLCs, CNC, control systems, sensors and other industrial technologies) along with business skills like project management, lean manufacturing, operations management, and systems integration. The Automation Leadership degree does just that.
  2. The future of higher education consists of more on-ramps and off-ramps, greater flexibility, and more credit for prior learning: Students today are weighing the cost of traditional higher education with other options on the market, like 2-year colleges, credentials and highly-targeted online courses. UW-Stout has demonstrated what it looks like to adapt to these trends. In this episode, discover how the university is making it easy for high school students, community college students and even incumbent workers earn credits for prior learning, take courses remotely, and earn a bachelors degree with very little university tuition paid. Spoiler alert: up to 88 credits of the degree can be earned through associated SACA certifications!
  3. Built on skill standards defined by industry, the Smart Automation Certification Alliance credentials make up a foundational part of this new degree: UW-Stout didn't reinvent the wheel in this new program. By aligning courses to already-existing certification standards, the degree is guaranteed to meet the needs of industrial employers. Additionally, any SACA member institution across the country (and internationally) has the opportunity to create articulation agreements with UW-Stout. So a student's SACA certifications can count as credits toward an Automation Leadership degree, which they can earn remotely without ever leaving their community.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

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