Career-Focused Associate Degree Programs

Students and professor in classroomThe top ten reasons to earn a career-focused associate degree from RIT/NTID:

  1. An RIT/NTID associate degree puts you on the fast track to a successful career!
  2. Employers want graduates with skills that make them job ready, which is what you’ll be with a career-focused associate degree from RIT/NTID.
  3. You'll finish your education and be ready to start your career when you graduate, just like these alumni who used RIT/NTID associate degrees to jump-start successful careers.
  4. RIT/NTID offers excellent technical training with lots of support.
  5. You'll get education and training in fields that employers are looking for.
  6. You'll take classes with like-minded students who are excited to get off to a strong start in the real world.
  7. NTID's Center on Employment connects with employers in the hottest fields and helps you develop interviewing skills, secure cooperative work experiences and look for your dream job.
  8. At RIT/NTID, you'll get an excellent education in subjects in addition to your major, to help you succeed in your career and in life.
  9. You'll save money and owe less in college loans.
  10. You'll graduate sooner and be on your way to the successful career of your dreams!

RIT/NTID offers career-focused associate degrees in Accounting Technology, Administrative Support Technology, Applied Computer Technology, Design & Imaging Technology program (formerly Arts & Imaging Studies), Business Technology, Computer Aided Drafting Technology, Computer Integrated Machining Technology, Laboratory Science Technology, 3D Graphics Technology and Mobile Application Development.

Fast Track to Success

Alumni who graduate from RIT/NTID career-focused associate degree programs go on to a variety of successful and rewarding careers. We asked alumni from several of these "fast track to success majors" to tell us how their career-focused associate degrees from RIT/NTID helped them reach their personal and professional goals. Here's what they had to say!

Blake Berry

Rockville, Ind.

Associate Degree, Information and Computing Studies

Wright Implement Co. Inc., Rockville, Ind.
Information Technology Specialist

The coursework I completed gave me the skills I needed to work as an IT specialist. Web development, network security, PC hardware, software, and working with operating systems such as Unix are just some of the courses required in my major. I took advantage of interpreters for meetings and workshops and tutoring services and the faculty was very helpful and available to me. Really, this career is a perfect match to my degree in Information Technology.

Rebecca Mitchell Perez

My hometown is Virginia Beach, Va. I currently live in Sahuarita/Tucson, Arizona.

Electronic Publishing and Printing Technology (now known as Visual Communications Studies)

FedExKinkos/Office
I am a Lead Project Coordinator for FedExKinkos/Office. I manage, monitor and facilitate all production processes, including the tracking, pick-up and delivery and quality check process; track and log all production jobs and ensure quality during and after the production process. There are so many aspects to the job, from customer service, providing leadership to the members of my team and doing everything necessary to get the job done right!

I majored in Electronic Publishing and Printing Technology, which focused mostly on layouts, printing and finishing. I learned how to run a prepress machine, smaller printing machines and Docutech, which I have applied to my career at FedExKinkos.

Don Petit-Homme

My hometown is the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, and I now live near Burlington, Vermont.

Business Technology (Accounting)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). I work for the Burlington Financial Center in the Cash Management and Revenue Branch in Williston, Vermont.
I am an Accounting Technician. I receive, review and classify a variety of standardized and recurring accounting documents/transactions and some nonstandard transactions in support of assigned accounts. I also verify, maintain and reconcile account balances using different established procedures. I close accounts and prepare financial documents (e.g., work papers, balance, financial statements, etc). In addition, I provide customer service for vendors, resource advisors, financial analysts and other external and internal customers, and use varied and advanced functions of word processing software to create, format, modify, edit and print a variety of letters, reports, memos and other textual documents.

These are all things I learned to do at RIT/NTID.

Magdalena Chmielinski-Laforge

I was born and raised in Poland for 13 years then moved to California before coming to RIT/NTID. I now live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my husband and baby daughter, Olivia.

Electronic Publishing and Printing Technology – now known as Visual Communications Studies

For five years I worked at the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. Then I got married and moved to Canada.
My job title was Graphic Design Prepress Specialist. I worked on creating and proofing ads.

I used all the programs and skills that I learned at RIT/NTID, which meant that I didn't need any training when I started work. Additionally, my creativity and ideas made the ads effective, and customers loved that. There were deadlines, quick thinking and problem solving, which I also learned at RIT/NTID. I was able to understand how the job process works from beginning to end, and that lead me to understand my position better. I chose graphic design because that's where my creativity is, but I can do set ups and finish in printing if need be.

Travis Dickson

Born, raised and still living in Lexington, Kentucky

Laboratory Science Technology

Coldstream Laboratories, Inc.
I am a Quality Control Chemist. We have contracts with other companies, and we test their products before they are released to the public.

My job is related to my degree through all of the laboratory testing and analysis that I do.

Jonathon Warren

Jacksonville, Fla., and I still live here.

Digital Imaging & Publishing Technology (now Visual Communications Studies)

Florida Times Union
I work in the Imaging Department as an engraver. My work responsibilities are correcting photos for news stories and advertisements, scanning and correcting photos of brides, golden anniversary couples, and obituaries. I design obituary layouts when needed. I also organize plate making and check proofs to be sure they look good before they are run in the press room.

RIT/NTID has some equipment that is similar to what I do now such as scanning and correcting by using Photoshop software.

Lori Poole

Originally from Groton, Connecticut, now living in Brockport, N.Y.

Laboratory Science Technology

RIT/NTID
I’m a lab technician in the LST program. I help lead experiments in food, medicine and environmental chemistry, which are essential in keeping the public safe. Before accepting the position at RIT/NTID, I worked in the toxicology lab at the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Rochester, N.Y.

All of the hands-on work in the LST program prepared me to do the kind of work I was involved with at the Medical Examiner’s Office and also here in the LST lab.

Xiu Hua Trong

I live in Randolph, Mass.

I have degrees from two programs: Business Occupation and Applied Computer Technology.

I work at the DCMA EEO Mission Support Center in Boston, Mass.
I am an Equal Employment Opportunity Technician.

My work is half business and half computer technology, so my degrees are very much related.

Timothy Schmieder

Scottsville, N.Y.

Digital Imaging & Publishing Technology (now Visual Communications Studies)

Genesee Valley Pennysaver
Pressroom worker. I work in the pressroom as a flyer or jogger with the press crew.

Michael Madden

Austin, Texas

Applied Computer Technology

Internal Revenue Service
IT Specialist. I am in charge of the development of the E-Learning environment by broad range of IT topics, from a simple security change briefing to the complex series of courses in Section 508 compliance courses.

Jodi Sirine McCoy

Virginia Beach, Va., and I still live and work here.

Industrial Drafting Technology

I currently work for my mother's business, John E. Sirine and Associates, LTD.
My job title is Auto CADD operator and I am responsible for numerous engineering projects and project management using CADD design and drafting experience. I also create topographic surveys showing contours, elevations and flood zone maps and existing structures and construction plans like as-built surveys for right-of-way improvements and storm water management facilities. I also show the proposed layout of landscaping elements and provide standard details drawings showing on the plan. And I assist with plotting and printing.

CADD is a part of so many fields such as manufacturing, industrial and civil engineering, surveying, architecture and electronics.

Heather Sykes

Tewksbury, Mass., and I still live there and work in nearby Waltham, Mass.

Business Technology

I am a legal file clerk and I also do clerical work.

Paul Sweeney

Silver Spring, Maryland

Applied Arts (now known as Visual Communications Studies)

Naval Research Laboratories
I am a Library Technician: I strip bindings off of scientific books, reports and journals and feed them to a scanner. I then clean up all the pages to ensure high professional quality before I upload them to the network that will convert them to be read online.

I learned phototypesetting and paste-up as well as camera skills that were used on the job. These skills were used on the Macintosh computer that came out in 1985. Later, I did photographic production of both prints and films for overhead presentations, and used skills in negative touch ups, which are now done on the computer. I took Adobe Photoshop courses at RIT/NTID that I use on my job to scan photographs, and I now am using my scanning skills to scan documents with both text and photographs. Technology has changed over the years, but one skill led to another skill that I am using today. If I had not been in the Applied Arts major, I would not have this kind of job in today’s digital age.