New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Session topics that fit this paper: 1. Graduate student recruitment 2. Professional graduate education relevant to needs of engineering practice 3. Inspiring undergraduate students to pursue graduate degrees / research
Students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering are typically presented with a number of lucrative career options upon graduation. Traditionally, they are in high demand for industrial jobs with attractive starting salaries and are actively recruited by engineering graduate schools offering a “free” education to pursue a research-based M.S. or Ph.D. In actuality, the average number of engineering students who opt for the latter hovers around 30%. Consequently, the pool of highly qualified engineering prospective graduate students is already relatively small.
In more recent years, a surge of a new type of master’s degree program has been flooding the market, which has opened up a whole new set of challenges for program directors recruiting students. These so-called cutting-edge professional engineering Master's programs focus on specific industry needs, preparing students for leadership roles in areas such as energy systems, healthcare operations, structural engineering, and entrepreneurship. These graduate programs are designed for both recent graduates and working professionals. The curriculum of professional masters programs are typically organized to be completed in a one year time period. Such programs attract students with diverse backgrounds that not only represent challenges in teaching but also in recruiting. For example, one major difference is unlike traditional research-based master’s programs, students are expected to pay for such unique, fast-paced experiences. How do you create a value proposition to convince a soon-to-be graduate to either turn down a high paying job or a fully-funded M.S. position?
This paper will identify the unique recruiting challenges encountered in four such professional master’s programs, which have slightly different set-ups. In addition, the paper will describe what each program has done to overcome these challenges. Example topics include but are not limited to, the challenges encountered when recruiting traditional graduate students directly out of their undergraduate institution versus working professionals, recruiting for a strictly in-residence program versus a hybrid program (on-campus and online options), and recruiting for a more narrowly focused disciplinary program versus a highly multi-disciplinary program. Broad reaching informational marketing campaigns versus more in-depth marketing approaches to a selective audience will be discussed. The effectiveness of the practices will be evaluated.
Mohr, D. M., & Gross, J. H., & Pearson, R. A., & Ochs, J. B., & Alexandrescu, A. (2016, June), Graduate Recruiting for Emerging One-Year Professional Master’s Programs Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25417
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: © 2016 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