June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.484.1 - 13.484.18
Employability for Engineering and Technology Graduates: Educating for Results
Are college graduates in the United States adequately prepared for the jobs that are available to them within their chosen field? Many companies that recruit and hire recent engineering technology graduates report that there are significant gaps between the skills that are needed for the professional world and the abilities of the graduates. The need for an engineering technology- related postsecondary degree has multiplied greatly in the past few years; however, the recent graduates may not be completely ready for the positions available to them. The issue at hand is to determine such gaps and adapt the current curricula in a fashion that closes the gaps.
Currently, there are many ways to assess collegiate level learning; however, there are vague, emerging, and/or incomplete ways to determine the extent to which students possess the “value- added” skills which refer to the thinking skills and knowledge that should occur. Some educators believe that the emphasis in college-level education should be placed primarily on the student’s specific field of study, such as engineering technology discipline-specific concepts. Employers and others from the professional world would like to see more student preparation in areas such as business etiquette, communication, and professionalism. Accreditation bodies, such as ABET, strive for both.
This undergraduate student research paper will address questions pertaining to necessary job skills, and areas in which graduates lack necessary skills. This data will be gathered from industry professionals who frequently hire college graduates, as these individuals know precisely what skills are needed in the job market, and can from their experience make recommendations for improvement. Specific gaps in the engineering technology college curriculum will be identified, and recommendations for students, faculty, administrators, employers, and policymakers will be described. Implications for policy, practice, improvement, and research will be discussed.
Although undergraduate graduation rates have increased by 17.4 percent, 40 percent of the companies hiring could not find qualified job candidates1. Recent graduates lacked competency in one or more of the following areas: computer and technology, written and oral communication, basic math and problem solving, and being a recognized leader or member of clubs or organizations on or off campus.
The research discussed here will review the employability of graduates from today’s collegiate campuses. Specific attention will focus on select engineering technology programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), in an attempt to identify what gaps, if any, exist in the curriculum. Qualitative information will be gathered via interviews of corporations that have been identified as successful firms that hire entry level, supervisory positions.
Hundley, S., & Talbert-Hatch, T., & Killey, J., & Wager, E. (2008, June), Employability For Engineering And Technology Graduates Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4418
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