Four new degree programs are before the New Mexico Higher Education Department and when approved will be offered at Doña Ana Community College (DACC). The Associate of Applied Science degrees are in Building Construction Technology, Cybersecurity, Game Development and Medical Assisting.
“This will be a great opportunity for students looking for jobs in healthcare, creative media, construction and information technology,” said DACC President Renay Scott. “These degrees have been called for by the business community and by our students to help Doña Ana County and the state meet employment needs. These degrees offer additional exciting career options for our students.”
Students seeking the Building Construction Technology degree will receive necessary training to enter the workforce in various areas of construction, including basic solar, plumbing and energy auditing. The required technical training provides expertise in the industry, as well as the needed soft skills, which are highly valued in the workplace. Program enrollment is expected to grow annually for the next 10 years.
The Cybersecurity degree was created in response to the specialized needs of technology in the work place. Three options allow students to earn a certificate in cybersecurity or to specialize in Cisco networking or system administration. Jobs are available locally, regionally and nationally with thousands of new job openings in information technology (IT) fields like cybersecurity. The average IT job pays fifty percent higher than the average private sector job.
The Game Development degree is designed to allow students to get necessary training as a game developer, continue on to a variety of 4-year programs, or enter the fields of virtual reality (VR), app development or augmented reality. VR is currently being explored in the fields of architecture, engineering, military, medicine and entertainment. The skills students become proficient in are easily transferable to the film industry including the Film Las Cruces soundstage to enhance film production.
As part of the Allied Health offerings, the Medical Assisting program will train health care professionals to provide medical office administrative services and perform a variety of clinical duties under the supervision of a physician. The degree will provide instruction on advanced skills needed and a 180 hour intern experience in a medical office so students can demonstrate skill competencies. Several certificates of completion are built into the major. Wage and job data suggest strong potential for graduates.
Students can talk to DACC advisors to start on these options or the other 41 degree offerings and the more than 50 certificate programs at the community college.