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: 22nd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AaeE 2011): Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, Australia.

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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: © 2011 David Dowling and Elizabeth Godfrey. Copyright resides with the authors' and/or their employing or funding institutions. Other than brief abstracts, no part of this publication may be produced in any form without the consent of the authors. Paper 408.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2012 04:58
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2014 23:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: engineering technician education; student perspectives; engineering technician
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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