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BME Career Exploration: Examining Students’ Career Perspectives

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Supporting Biomedical Engineering Students in Holistic Development

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36753

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36753

Download Count

45

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Paper Authors

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Cassandra Sue Ellen Jamison University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0253-1636

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Cassandra (Cassie) Jamison is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan. She is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (BME) with an Emphasis in Engineering Education. Her research interests involve experiential engineering out-of-class experiences and the professional, personal, and academic outcomes of students engaged in these experiences. She is also involved in student outcomes research in the BME Department and with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Office, College of Engineering at Michigan. Cassie received a B.A. in Engineering Sciences at Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) and a M.S. in BME from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

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Annie AnMeng Wang University of Michigan

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Aileen Huang-Saad Northeastern University

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In February 2021 Dr. Huang-Saad joined the Bioengineering faculty at Northeastern University and became the Director
of Life Sciences and Engineering Programs at The Roux Institute (Portland, Maine). Dr. Huang-Saad has a fourteen-
year history of bringing about organizational change in higher education, leveraging evidence-based practices
at University of Michigan. She created the U-M BME graduate design program, co-founded the U-M College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship, launched the U-M National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Node,
and developed the U-M BME Instructional Incubator. She is a canonical instructor for both the NSF and National
Institute of Health (NIH) I-Corps Programs. Dr. Huang- Saad has received numerous awards for her teaching and
student advising, including the 1938E College of Engineering Award, the Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award, the
U-M ASEE Outstanding Professor Award, the International Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award, and the College of
Engineering Outstanding Student Advisor Award. Aileen has worked in the private sector gaining experience in biotech, defense, and medical device testing at large companies and start-ups. Aileen’s current research areas include entrepreneurship engineering education, impact and engaged learning. Aileen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4698-2973

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Shanna Daly is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research characterizes front-end design practices across the student to practitioner continuum and studies the impact of developed front-end design tools on design success.

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Lisa R. Lattuca University of Michigan

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Lisa Lattuca, Professor of Higher Education and member of the Core Faculty in the Engineering Education Research Program at the University of Michigan. She studies curriculum, teaching, and learning in college and university settings, particularly how faculty attitudes, beliefs, and cultures influence curricular and instructional practices and how these in turn affect student learning.

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Abstract

Historically, BME undergraduate programs have been designed to expose students to the broad spectrum of knowledge required to adequately address problems in engineering and medicine. While their resultant knowledge base has allowed for flexibility in the careers that undergraduate biomedical engineers can enter, many BME students also believe that the broad curriculum may lead them to be perceived by employers as underprepared to enter industry positions upon graduation. Recent studies have validated this concern as BME students report fewer co-op and industry internship placements pre-graduation, enter the job market with fewer available jobs seeking BME graduates, and receive lower average annual salaries than other engineering disciplines. However, despite the challenges, students continue to pursue and persist through BME undergraduate degrees. If the perception is that their options are limited in industry, it is important to identify and understand the careers that students view as interesting and choose to pursue. To explore what students perceived as possible for a career upon graduation, this longitudinal study examined changes in BME students’ career aspirations over time. Fourteen (14) undergraduate BME students were interviewed three times over the course of their third year at a large R1, public university. A qualitative, open-coding approach was used to look for patterns of change at the individual and group levels. Findings indicated that most participants’ initial view of possible careers in the field was narrow. Over the course of the study, changes in participants’ understanding of career possibilities were observed based on if they had already decided what career they wished to pursue or not. For those who had not decided on a career yet, concrete exposures to possible BME careers were important to students’ development of more optimistic BME career outlooks. Suggestions for future research to more broadly understand BME students’ career exploration is also presented.

Jamison, C. S. E., & Wang, A. A., & Huang-Saad, A., & Daly, S. R., & Lattuca, L. R. (2021, July), BME Career Exploration: Examining Students’ Career Perspectives Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36753

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