June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
New Engineering Educators
11.307.1 - 11.307.8
Career Options in Engineering Education
Engineers interested in careers in engineering education have options in the types of faculty positions and institutions to consider. Each position type has its own characteristics that should be evaluated by the individual when determining where they would most likely have a satisfying career. While some are drawn to tenure-track positions at traditional research universities, others choose lecturer positions or tenure-track positions at teaching institutions. Still others choose engineering technology or adjunct positions which allow them to teach either full or part-time and simultaneously practice as professional engineers. This paper discusses some aspects of the various types of positions available for individuals interested in a career in engineering education.
Many people considering careers in engineering education pursue faculty positions at traditional research universities. These engineering schools and departments are typically large and the program offerings wide ranging such that a number of positions are advertised and filled each year. To succeed in these positions, faculty must contribute significantly through research to the development of their discipline. Performance expectations are high and often include measurable amounts of grant funding and journal articles while also achieving some level of proficiency in teaching and service. For many, this is their goal and efforts are expended to achieve tenure at such institutions. For others, a career in engineering education is sought where the expectations for scholarship, teaching and service are more in line with the interests of the individual.
At the 2002 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, two papers1-2 discussed the advantages and disadvantages of lecturer positions, relative to tenure-track positions in engineering at research universities. While a lecturer position is one option available for those more interested in teaching than research, other faculty positions also emphasize teaching excellence over grant money and research accomplishments. Each position has its own characteristics that may be viewed as either advantages or disadvantages by different people. Tenure track positions in engineering technology3-7 and at predominantly undergraduate teaching institutions8-10 provide other options for those not interested in traditional tenure-track positions at research universities. Visiting positions,11-12 adjunct13-15 and laboratory instructor positions also provide alternatives to tenure-track positions at various institutions.
Most graduate students looking for academic positions have come through a traditional engineering science program and have attended a research university as part of their education. In addition to tenure-track positions at traditional research universities, tenure-track positions in engineering technology programs are quite common in a number of states and engineering fields and offer an alternative to tenure-track faculty positions at traditional research universities. In addition, institutions often utilize faculty of different ranks to educate students in their programs.1,2 Institutions utilize tenured or tenure-track faculty, research faculty, lecturers and
Rose, A. (2006, June), Career Options In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1048
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015