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Associate of Arts (AA)

ECC engineering students in classroom

Engineers are designers and builders of mechanical, electronic, and biological devices. They create new products with specific performance requirements and develop maintenance schedules. Engineers are people who like to be challenged and solve problems. Engineering specialties vary widely and cover a broad range of interests and aptitudes. With more than 25 recognized disciplines in Engineering and sub groups within each of those, the types of careers for engineers can be endless. Here are a few examples:

  • Software Engineers – Develop, maintain, and operate computer software programs for major corporations, government institutions, and research universities.
  • Computer Engineers – Design computer processing architecture and organization of computer hardware, and evaluate efficiency of computing system speed and storage.
  • Electrical Engineers – Study theories and applications for electrical power distribution, digital circuit design, signal control systems, and manage telecommunication, radar, and electric grids.
  • Aerospace Engineers – Construct and test vehicles for air and space travel through applying knowledge of lift, drag, and fluid flow and other aerodynamic characteristics to new aircraft and spacecraft designs.
  • Robotics Engineer – Conduct research to design, maintain, and control robotic applications to serve needs in agriculture, mining, and many other industrial areas.

ECC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs are among the highest paying and most popular career choices for today’s workplace!


The availability of Engineering jobs depends on the specialty (aerospace, agriculture, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, mechanical, metallurgical, mining, nuclear, petroleum, etc.). Employment opportunities in Civil Engineering, for example, are expected to increase about 20% (faster than average for all occupations) through 2022. More civil engineers will be needed to design and construct higher capacity transportation, water supply, pollution control systems, and large buildings and building complexes. This work is spurred by an expanding economy and population growth. Generally, employment opportunities vary according to the geographic area and the economy.

Most engineering positions require a bachelor’s degree. The job outlook through 2022 for all engineers ranges from 6% to 30%, depending on the industry and geographical region in which the engineer is employed. Median pay, job outlook and other career information can be accessed online in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.


Students are advised enroll in the Associate of Arts (AA) transfer degree program if they plan to start at ECC and transfer their credits to complete a bachelor’s degree at a college or university outside of Iowa. They are advised enroll in the Associate of Science (AS) degree program if they plan to transfer their credits to complete a bachelor’s degree at a college or university in the state of Iowa.

Students who plan to transfer their credits are encouraged to visit with an admissions representative or academic advisor of the college or university to which they plan to transfer to ensure that the transfer of their ECC credits is seamless and complete. Because the requirements for an AA or AS degree change periodically, students should check with their academic advisor or the ECC Admissions Office to confirm that they have the most current information. Students are responsible for knowing the requirements for the degree they hope to obtain and for planning their schedule accordingly.

Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State, UNI and Iowa

ECC participates in the Admissions Partnership Program with Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa to enable ECC students to transfer credits seamlessly to any of the state universities. Participants are dual-enrolled at ECC and the university with access to academic advising and student services at both institutions. The universities guarantee admission into the desired degree program, provided all requirements are met. Ask the ECC Admissions Office for more information!


  • ECC currently has the 17th highest student success rate (graduation rate + transfer rate) of any community college in the nation.
  • The College offers generous scholarships and financial aid packages, which is why our graduates have one of the lowest average student debt loads of any college in Iowa, public or private, two-year or four year!
  • What students appreciate about ECC is our smaller class sizes, which results in more one-on-one attention from the instructor and greater classroom success.