Engineering technician students: do they understand their future role?

Dowling, David and Godfrey, Elizabeth (2011) Engineering technician students: do they understand their future role? In: AaeE 2011: Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, WA.

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Two studies undertaken during 2010 reported on the characteristics, motivations and career aspirations of engineering students in Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree programs at universities and Vocational Educational and Training (VET) institutions around Australia (Dowling 2010a, 2010b). This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the responses to one open-ended question included in the studies, exploring student understandings of the role of Engineering Technicians. These understandings were cross referenced to the age, work experience, type of qualification being studied and career aspirations of the students. From their responses, it appears that few, if any, of the students are familiar with the role definitions prepared by Engineers Australia. They had a very superficial level of understanding of the role their qualification was preparing them for, with some depth only emerging predominantly from those with work experience. The paper concludes with a discussion on the implications of the findings, and highlights the importance of the need for clarity and consistency in job descriptions and promotional activities across the industry, particularly by educational institutions.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. Paper 414.
Depositing User: Prof David Dowling
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 04:58
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2014 23:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: engineering technician education; student perspectives; engineering technician
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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