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Utilizing Industry Training As Research, Enrichment And Reward In Technology Programs

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering and ET Relationships & Professional Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1374.1 - 13.1374.12



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Paper Authors

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Daphene Koch College of Technology - Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


For many young adults, the choice of technical schools, universities, the military, or entering the workforce is a major turning point in their lives. Many studies have reported that individuals have different perceptions of themselves, the environment, or the decision-making process (Lent & Brown, 1996). Other theories have focused on the naturally occurring perceptions of occupations (Shivy, Rounds, & Jones, 1999). The general perception of construction is one of hard work, unsafe, and dirty conditions, therefore, it would seem logical that construction management (CM) is not a popular career choice. Research in career development has reported that students choosing a career are unlikely to select one that was not perceived as a valued job (Kimweli & Richards, 1999). Numerous factors influence students who enter CM programs, however, insufficient information exists to explain the characteristics of these students. The construction industry is challenged to identify better ways to attract and retain those persons entering the construction management workforce (Johnson & Parker, 1987; Piper & Liska, 1999). Further, graduates in CM programs are in demand due to an aging workforce that are retiring and leaving management positions (Bilbo, Fetters, Burt, & Avant, 2000; Gasperow, 1992).

The purpose of this study was to examine the career influences in terms of experiences and relationships of students in construction management programs. This information may be used to enhance CM programs and align curriculum with students’ preferences. The results could also be used to improve the recruitment and marketing of CM programs.


This was an exploratory and descriptive study designed to examine students in construction management programs in one Midwestern state. According to McMillian and Schumacher (1997), descriptive research is a valuable way to collect data about a phenomenon, especially during an initial investigation. The purpose of this study was to generate accurate information on the career influences in terms of experiences and relationships of these students. A rating scheme was used to identify the students’ career influences in terms of people and situations. The students indicated a degree of influence on a five-point Likert-type scale. The list of eighteen influences were developed and solicited from the pilot study performed during the research. These influences were chosen from the most frequent responses of CM students in the pilot study. Twelve of the influences chosen were types of people while the remainder of the eighteen identified influences was related to situations associated with construction (e.g., hands- on activities, outside work).

Population and Sample

The population for the study was limited to students who were enrolled in accredited construction management programs in three universities in one Midwestern state, therefore, making it a homogenous sample. A convenience sample of students was selected in courses that were required by CM students in each of the accredited programs. A convenience sample is usually difficult to generalize, however, because of a high participation rate; the results should

Koch, D. (2008, June), Utilizing Industry Training As Research, Enrichment And Reward In Technology Programs Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3393

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