Imagine my surprise today while perusing the internet’s for some CNC machine related goodness and coming across a mention of Rock Valley College over at The Modern Machine Shop. Let’s just say that I’m familiar with Rock Valley College and have met many an upstart who schooled there. From everything I know about the school and the quality of it’s graduates it definitely speaks to a well-rounded and thorough program.
CNC Machining and Education:
The Modern Machine Shop has a great video describing some of the aspects of what it is like to study manufacturing. This video serves as an introduction for anyone considering a career as a CNC machinist or any other related specialty in machine manufacturing and the education that accompanies achieving that goal.
You can view their video and brief here: What it is like to study manufacturing.
A couple of points I liked from the video (I’m paraphrasing here):
Misconception: “…the misconception that there are still some ‘easy’ jobs out there. The reality that there is a wealth of knowledge one has to immerse themselves in before they are a skilled enough employee to be of real value to a company..”
While there may be some easy jobs out there, somewhere, CNC machining is not one of them. Sure, if you’re a general operator (sometimes referred to as a ‘button pusher’) your work may not get too complicated. The reality is that many a machinist is a living compendium of knowledge and skills: Electronics, mathematics, programming, trouble-shooting know-how, mechanical and machine aptitude, materials knowledge, etc. The reality is also that you’re probably not working on a brand spanking new CNC machine (if you are you have my heartfelt jealousy at present). More likely you’re running a used CNC machine that has seen it’s fair share of use and abuse. With that comes trouble-shooting CNC repairs, CNC parts replacement, alarm diagnosis, and beyond.
Education is going to cover many aspects of what you’ll need to know, but as the man said, it’s pertinent for the beginning student to understand that this field does require immersion into a wealth of knowledge. If creating with a CNC machine get’s your juices flowing than prepare to fill your brain with a variety of information and knowledge.
Subjects: “…studied physics, electronics, strength of materials…”.
As the young man describes in the video, he has been introduced to and required to study a variety of topics and information. He’s also working hands on with the machines, processes, and is involved in actual projects. Like I mentioned above, there are many more skills one needs to acquire as well.
Employment Opportunity: “…job placement right away…companies interest greater than the number of students at present…”.
Drifting? Milling about in your garage with that CNC hobby? Put that interest to work! Granted, job placement and industry interest is going to vary depending on your location, but all the signs are pointing to the positive regarding manufacturing, and specifically CNC machine manufacturing, at present and in the future.
What do you think about the content of these video’s? Are they simply nice product placements for Rock Valley College, Haas CNC machines, and Fadal, or are they doing the good work of promoting manufacturing education? What are your thoughts on the quality of students you’ve interacted with whom have attended programs like the one in the video? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments!