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Choices for Ph.D.s in Engineering: Analyses of Career Paths in Academia and Industry

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Post Graduate Experiential Programs and Insights

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

22.324.1 - 22.324.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17605

Download Count

29

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Paper Authors

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Monica Farmer Cox Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jiabin Zhu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jiabin Zhu is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She obtained a B.S. in Physics from East China Normal University, a M.S. in Optics from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and a second M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. Her primary research interests relate to comparative study methods and frameworks in engineering education, global engineering, professional development and mentoring of engineering graduate students. She is a student member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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Benjamin Ahn Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Benjamin Ahn is a Ph.D student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.
He received a M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University and a B.E degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of New South Wales, Australia. His research interests are re-examining the professional engineering practice in U.S. universities and industries and, the role of the Graduate Teaching Assistants in engineering classes.

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Jeremi S. London Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jeremi London was the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student working on the NSF EEP Research Project during the 2007 - 2008 academic year. Jeremi interned at the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch Companies, beginning in their Research Pilot Brewery during the summer of 2004, returning as an Analyst to their Corporate Quality Assurance Department in 2005, and working as a Product Supply & Transportation Coordinator for the Central Region in their Logistics Department in summer 2006. Jeremi graduated from Purdue University in May 2008 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and immediately joined General Electric Healthcare in Wisconsin as a Quality Assurance Specialty in the Invasive Cardiology group. Recently, Jeremi returned to Purdue University to pursue graduate studies. Upon completion, she hopes to gain a M.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education.

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Shree Frazier

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala University of South Florida

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Ana T. Torres-Ayala is a doctoral candidate in Higher Education at the University of South Florida. She holds a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and a M.Eng. degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute. She has experience in the telecommunications industry where she worked for Lucent Technologies. Before beginning her doctoral studies, Ana was also an Information Technology instructor. Her research interests include: preparing future engineering faculty, improving teaching and learning, distance education and underrepresented student success.

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Rocio C Chavela Guerra Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Abstract

Choices for Ph.D.s in Engineering: Analyses of Career Paths in Academia and IndustryEngineering doctoral education encounters a variety of challenges as determined by policymakers, industrial professionals, or as self-reported by engineering doctoral students. Thesechallenges relate to the students’ lack of training for jobs outside of academia, their inefficiencyto adjust to change or to lead a change, and the narrow disciplinary training of graduate students.Considering the challenges facing engineering doctoral education, multiple initiatives have beenlaunched to help the preparation of engineering doctoral students for a changing society. Theseefforts include the emphasis of the translation of engineering education research to practice(ASEE, 2009), the restructuring and design of a systematic engineering doctoral curriculum(Everett, Imbrie, & Morgan, 2000), the integration of project-, problem- or experiential-basedlearning into doctoral students’ educational activities (Smith, Johnson, Johnson, & Sheppard,2005) and the piloting of global engineering program or co-op programs for the development ofengineers’ global competencies (Downey, Lucena, Moskal, et al.). Recognizing the efforts ofthese initiatives, however, empirical studies are needed to understand the outcomes of Ph.D.students’ learning to gain a practical view about the educational outcomes and career trajectoriesof engineering doctoral graduates.This study focuses on the career paths of engineering Ph.D.s from the perspectives of industryand academia. In this report, we identified approximately 50 engineering Ph.D. graduates fromU.S. programs who (1) worked in industry first and now work on academia; (2) worked inacademia first and now work in industry; (3) worked only in industry; or (4) worked only inacademia. Using resumes from these professionals as artifacts, researchers present qualitativeand quantitative analyses about career trajectories of engineering Ph.D.s in industry andacademia and identify insights and opportunities for a future study about the challenges and thebarriers in the transition points of engineering Ph.D.s after graduation.References:American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) report (2009). Creating a Culture forScholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education: Ensuring U.S. engineering hasthe right people with the right talent for a global society.Downey, G., J. Lucena, Moskal, B.M. et al. (2006). The Globally Competent Engineer: WorkingEffectively with People Who Define Problems Differently. Journal of Engineering Education95(2): 107–22.Everett, L., Imbrie, P.K., and Morgan, J. (2000). Integrated Curricula: Purpose and Design.Journal of Engineering Education, 89(2), 167–175Smith, K.A., Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.W., and Sheppard, S.D. (2005), Pedagogies ofEngagement: Classroom-Based Practices, Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 1-15.

Cox, M. F., & Zhu, J., & Ahn, B., & London, J. S., & Frazier, S., & Torres-Ayala, A. T., & Chavela Guerra, R. C. (2011, June), Choices for Ph.D.s in Engineering: Analyses of Career Paths in Academia and Industry Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17605

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: © 2011 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