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Engineering students experiences of becoming an engineer
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Centre for Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2010 (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The focus is on how students construct, deconstruct and reconstruct the meaning of being an engineering student and of becoming an engineer in relation to the concept of employability. Four cohorts of students in a Masters program in Engineering were monitored annually with a “follow up” one year after graduation. Results show that there were differences in the way students talked about their curricular design, career plans, job search, becoming an employee and employable, and job satisfaction. Throughout the interviews certain turning points were identified, where the students had to make various decisions. Many students argued that generic skills and cultural values are best learned in extra-curricular activities and in work contexts, and that doing a thesis project in a firm was the best learning experience . During this thesis process students became conscious of their valuable employability skills, which in the job search process were a good thesis project; a diploma from the program, self-efficacy, problem-solving skills and a broad knowledge base.  On the job, the most valuable acquired key skills were considered to be mathematics and subject specific knowledge; problem solving skills; time management skills; learning skills; and, an ability to manage stress and heavy workloads.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keyword [en]
Employability; engineering; higher education; longitudinal study; transition
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20431OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-20431DiVA: diva2:234361
Projects
'Y-projektet'
Available from: 2009-09-08 Created: 2009-09-08 Last updated: 2010-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Self-efficacy, Motivation and Approaches to Studying: A longitudinal study of Y and how engineering students perceive their studies and transition to work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-efficacy, Motivation and Approaches to Studying: A longitudinal study of Y and how engineering students perceive their studies and transition to work
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Självtillit, motivation och studieansatser : En longitudinell studie om hur civilingenjörsstudenter upplever sina studier och övergång till arbetsliv
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explore the experiences of four cohorts of students from their first semester until one year after graduation, with the focus on how they perceive their opportunities to influence their study conditions transition to work. The study has a longitudinal design. Data collected from students in a MSc programme in engineering started in the first semester and continued yearly until one year after graduation and consisted of questionnaires and interviews. Results indicate that students’ perceptions of their opportunities to influence their study conditions is related to their self-efficacy and motivation; strategies they use and approaches to studying they adopt. Students adopt an adaptive approach, based on the perception that the programme is supposed to be demanding and that students should accept and adapt to the conditions of the programme; a critical approach, based on the perception that difficult conditions are negative because they make it hard to reflect on what is studied; or a cooperative approach, based on the perception that cooperation with peers is important. Quantitative results show that cohorts who studied project-based courses cooperate significantly more with peer students than cohorts who study in conventional courses. Students with most project based courses experienced workload and social support in different ways than other students.

The final study on students’ transition to work show that students who study in many project-based courses are more prepared to work than students who study conventional courses. The overall findings indicate that it is important to integrate psychological, social and individual ways of interpreting the student experiences of their studies and transition to work.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att utforska fyra studentkohorters erfarenheter frånderas första termin till ett år efter deras examen, med fokus på hur de uppleversina möjligheter att påverka sina studieförhållanden samt erfarenheter av att blianställningsbara. Avhandlingen baserar sig på en longitudinell studie.Datainsamlingen från studenter på Civilingenjörsprogrammet för Teknisk fysikoch elektroteknik påbörjades första terminen och pågick årligen till ett år efter attde tagit examen och bestod av frågeformulär och intervjuer. Resultaten visar attstudenternas upplevelser av sina möjligheter att påverka sina studieförhållanden ärrelaterade till deras självtillit (self-efficacy) och motivation; de strategier som deanvänder och de studieansatser som de antar. Studenter antar en adaptivstudieansats, baserad på uppfattningen att programmet ska vara krävande och attstudenter ska acceptera och anpassa sig till programmets förhållanden; en kritiskstudieansats, baseras på uppfattningen att svåra studieförhållanden är negativaeftersom de gör det svårt för studenten att reflektera över det som studeras; elleren kooperativ studieansats, baserad på uppfattningen att samarbete medstudiekamrater är viktigt. Kvantitativa resultat visar att årskullar som läserprojektbaserade kurser samarbetar mer med studiekamrater än årskullar som läserkonventionella kurser. Vidare upplevde studenter med flest projektbaserade kurserarbetsbelastningen och det sociala stödet på andra vis än övriga studenter. Densista studien om studenters övergång till arbetsliv visade att årskullar som läserprojektbaserade kurser känner sig mer redo att börja arbeta än årskullar som läserkonventionella kurser. De övergripande resultaten visar att det är viktigt attintegrera psykologiska, sociala och individuella sätt att tolka studenterserfarenheter av sina studier och övergång till arbetslivet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 59 + papers 1-4 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 485Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 143
Keyword
Longitudinal study, approach to studying, motivation, self-efficacy, higher education, student influence, Longitudinell studie, studiesätt, motivation, self-efficacy, högre utbildning, studentpåverkan
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20433 (URN)978-91-7393-590-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-25, Eklundska salen (I:101), Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-09 Created: 2009-09-08 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Edvardsson Stiwne, ElinorJungert, Tomas

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