Engineering students' experiences of transition from study to work
2010 (English)In: Journal of Education and Work, ISSN 1363-9080, E-ISSN 1469-9435, Vol. 23, no 5, 417-437 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The focus in this paper is on how students experience their transition from their education to being employed as engineers in relation to the concept of employability. Four cohorts of students in a master’s programme 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 extracurricular 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 programme, 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
London: Routledge , 2010. Vol. 23, no 5, 417-437 p.
Employability; engineering; higher education; longitudinal study; transition
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-62600DOI: 10.1080/13639080.2010.515967OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-62600DiVA: diva2:373654