During Career and Technical Education Month in February, the New Jersey Council on County Vocational Technical Schools is highlighting successful graduates of the county’s 21 vocational technical schools.
Matthew Fest is a 2011 graduate of the Architecture and Engineering program at Mercer County Technical School. After graduation, he received his associates degree in architecture from Mercer County Community College and his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently working as a BIM (Building Information Modeling) Manager at the Manhattan office of Bard Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, PC.
“The education I received from MCTS’s Architecture and Engineering program prepared me for a successful career by providing me a firm foundation to build upon. MCTS uploaded me with the necessary tools to ignite my career.
“The career specific skills I learned my junior year included: the fundamentals of hand drafting, translating technical drawings into computer aided drafting software, and learning the basics of architectural construction. Most high school students are not aware of all the opportunities CTE (Career and Technical Education) schools are able to provide.
“For example, I was fortunate to work/intern with a local architect during my senior year at MCTS, which allowed me advance my skills. Most CTE schools are able to offer these exclusive internships to students who display a drive to succeed in the classroom. Learning a specific, career trade skill early in one’s career is incredibly valuable in today’s global market.
“Every form of post-secondary education I have pursued has built on the foundation that my CTE school provided. I currently work at a highly reputable engineering firm in New York City. As far as I’m concerned, thanks to my initial decision to attend Mercer County’s Architectural and Engineering program my junior and senior year in high school, the sky’s the limit.”