WYOMISSING, Pa. — It’s not unusual for graduates to experience a career change in their lifetimes, but it’s not so common to hear about a career “refocusing.” Britton Reider’s return to Penn State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering technology at the Berks campus helped to push his career to the next level. Reider and his fellow graduates will celebrate their achievements during the fall 2021 commencement ceremony, set for Dec. 15 at the Santander Arena in Reading.
Reider graduated from Penn State Scranton in 2006 with an associate degree in architectural engineering technology. Eventually, he realized that his role at a local consulting engineering firm, designing mechanical, plumbing and fire protection systems, required more than his original architectural engineering technology background. In 2015, on the advice of a supervisor who was also a Penn State Berks alumnus, Reider decided that he wanted to pursue a professional engineer’s license to further his career. The first step toward that goal was to return as an adult student to complete his bachelor’s degree.
Reider’s first child was born the year he went back to school, and with that came the challenge of multitasking. With fatherhood and a full-time job, it was necessary that he find a college that could accommodate his schedule while also meeting his requirements. Penn State Berks fit the bill perfectly.
“But then it was the actual degree program itself — I needed an ABET-accredited (engineering) degree, and not many places around here offer that in-person and let me work at the same time.”
—Britton Reider , electro-mechanical engineering technology major
“I didn’t want to take classes online, and Penn State Berks was local,” said Reider, a Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, native. “But then it was the actual degree program itself — I needed an ABET-accredited (engineering) degree, and not many places around here offer that in-person and let me work at the same time.”
“I really like what Penn State Berks does for adult learners,” Reider added. “Dr. Terry Speicher and Dr. Marietta Scanlon were good at helping me with transferring credits from my previous classes (at Scranton), advising me through my scheduling, and making sure I was on track to graduate on time. I got everything done in the timeline that I had expected.”
Now that he’s graduating, Reider plans to sit for the fundamentals of engineering exam, then spend five years working as an engineer-in-training before he’s qualified to sit for the professional engineer exam and receive his license. His Penn State Berks degree is the first step on his path to future success.