Professional prerequisites for entry-level technical positions
Lauren M. Alexander, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, United States
University of Maryland, Baltimore County . Awarded
Educators, industry representatives and government officials are engaged in an ongoing discussion about how to best prepare U.S. science and engineering students for the global workforce. While there is consensus within the existing literature that professional prerequisites are important, there is less agreement about which professional prerequisites are most critical or the role that international education programs may play in helping students to develop professional prerequisites.
The research method was a web survey distributed to U.S. technical company representatives. The results produced a prioritized list of professional prerequisites, with ABET criteria and skills and attributes related to global competence ranking the most highly. With regard to the value of previous international experience, the majority of respondents’ hiring decisions were not influenced by whether or not a candidate had interned, studied, volunteered or traveled abroad. Finally, the impact of globalization on the working environment was emphasized with the majority of respondents indicating that it is somewhat likely or very likely that entry-level technical positions will work on multinational teams and will work with colleagues whose first language is not English. It is hoped that the results of this research study will provide a foundation for additional assessment of the value of international programs and provide focus to the efforts of engineering educators, international educators and career services professionals to prepare technical students to compete and work as global scientists and engineers.
Alexander, L.M. Professional prerequisites for entry-level technical positions. Master's thesis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
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