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Work in Progress: Survey Development of Factors Related to Engineering Graduates' Career Pathways

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 15: Perspectives on Engineering Careers and Workplaces

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Jacqueline Rohde Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jacqueline A. Rohde is a second-year graduate student at Purdue University as the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research interests in engineering education include the development student identity and attitudes, with a specific focus on the pre-professional identities of engineering undergraduates who join non-industry occupations upon graduation.

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Allison Godwin Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Allison Godwin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses what factors influence diverse students to choose engineering and stay in engineering through their careers and how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development. Dr. Godwin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education. Her research earned her a National Science Foundation CAREER Award focused on characterizing latent diversity, which includes diverse attitudes, mindsets, and approaches to learning, to understand engineering students’ identity development. She has won several awards for her research including the 2016 American Society of Engineering Education Educational Research and Methods Division Best Paper Award and the 2018 Benjamin J. Dasher Best Paper Award for the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. She has also been recognized for the synergy of research and teaching as an invited participant of the 2016 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium and the Purdue University 2018 recipient of School of Engineering Education Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the 2018 College of Engineering Exceptional Early Career Teaching Award.

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This work in progress paper describes the motivation for and development of a survey instrument to collect information about engineering graduates’ career pathways. In this work, we begin to reframe interpretations of what it means to be an engineer and understand why alumni make particular career choices. The survey will be distributed to graduates of biomedical, chemical, and mechanical engineering departments at a single institution. Items will include self-reported job titles; perceptions of job relatedness to engineering; current job satisfaction; and identity, belonging, and self-efficacy items. These data allow for increased sensitivity to the multiple pathways that graduates may take, as well as how alumni may connect with engineering even when employed in non-engineering positions. We discuss the descriptive and predictive power of the survey in understanding the career landscape for engineering graduates and key factors that may influence their decisions.

Rohde, J., & Godwin, A. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Survey Development of Factors Related to Engineering Graduates' Career Pathways Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33652

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