Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Engineering Technology
Reverend and Former Senior Engineering Technician
Keith Thompson stumbled into the field of engineering technology by accident after a friend urged him to enroll in an engineering program with him. When his friend dropped out, Thompson kept going and earned his Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Engineering Technologies from Central Carolina Technical College in 1998. While working as a senior engineering technician, he decided to take his career in a different direction. In 2003, his educational aspirations turned religious and he has since earned a bachelor’s degree in religion at Charleston Southern University and two master’s degrees in missiology and educational leadership at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently pursuing a career in ministry, Thompson serves as a Reverend.
Why did you choose to major in engineering technology?
Truthfully, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated from high school. A friend of mine said he was planning to enter this program and that I should as well. I looked into it and thought it looked interesting. He dropped out after about a semester and I went on to finish.
What did you like/dislike about majoring in engineering technology?
I liked the hands-on aspect the most. I had a retired colonel as my advisor. He was also one of my main teachers. He really pushed knowing how to read the manuals. All of our tests were open manual (not open book). If you could read the manual, you did well and if not, not so much. He always said in the real world if you can read the manual, you will be okay. If you memorize it and forget, then youíre up the creek.
The biggest dislike from my particular program was lack of job placement. Luckily, I live in a “good ole boy” state. It is more about who you know than what you know. I was able to find employment but many of my fellow students had a hard time.
How has your major impacted your career or influenced your career path?
I did not get a job in that particular field of engineering after school. I moved from environmental to civil. It was an interesting transition. But I knew how to read manuals, so I excelled and was able to do well.
What knowledge/skills did you obtain from majoring in engineering technology that you still put to use in your current position?
Mostly, it started me on a different path of learning. I have never been that great of a student. Yet by learning how to read and focus on little minute, I was able to excel. I have since left engineering and focused on ministry. I have gone back to school and graduated with two master’s degrees.
What advice would you give to students thinking about majoring in engineering technology?
Go for it. Education will never hurt. My engineering technology degree was a two-year program. You never know what might spark your interest while you are in school or after graduation. This degree might just open up the world for you.