Description

International research in engineering has for years identified skills gap between education and work. Despite curriculum development the transitional problems still present as an important element in further development of the quality of education. Internationally, employability is a problem that is increasingly being focused on. However, there are only a few studies that systematically follow the students' transformation from student life to professional life.

In Denmark we have not systematically documented the transition from engineering education to working life. There have been a number of institutional studies where universities have studied own candidates. There have also been studies of organizations’s requirement for engineering educaiton, although without being related to the analysis of the candidates' skills. So in Denmark there is a need to clarify the transitional issues from education to work.

In PROCEED-2-WORK, we want to focus on the Danish engineering students' expectations of a coming labor and follow them into the labor market to cover their experiences in transition from education to work.

We have a unique opportunity to do this as a continuation of a completed project, funded by the Strategic Research: PROCEED (Programme of Research on Opportunities and Challenges in Engineering Education in Denmark). PROCEED was established in 2009 in order to identify challenges and analyze the potential development of the Danish engineering education. One of the sub-projects had focus on the transformation from high school to university and on the expectations for the engineering profession. Surveys have been sent out to all Danish engineering students enrolled in 2010, 2011 and 2015. The main results from the project shows a big difference between engineering students' perception of the engineer's professional identity. However, the study also shows that the engineering students' perception of the profession is challenged by sustainability and societal challenges engineers will meet later in working life.
PROCEED-2-WORK follows this group of students enrolled 2010 further on the labor market, to analyse their understanding of the engineering profession and expectations of working life.

Mixed methods design will be applied with both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. Surveys to young engineers graduated from education 2015 will be send out during spring 2016. Furthermore, employers will be interviewed and invited for workshops. The focus of the study will be: 1) identification of the expectations of working life and their perceived readiness in both technical professional and generic competences, 2) expectations for the future profession, 3) identification of elements in the education and elsewhere which have contributed to the working life readiness 4) engineering skills development in innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunities for change.

PROCEED-2-WORK is led by the UNESCO Aalborg Centre for PBL in Engineering, Science and Sustainability, Aalborg University, and the project will be carried out in collaboration with CFA, Aarhus University and an established advisory board consisting of ATV, MADE, IDA, Engineering the future, IAK and engineering education institutions.
The project is financed by UNESCO Aalborg Centre and the Faculty for Engineering and Science at Aalborg University. External funding is applied.


Short titlePROCEED-2-WORK
AcronymPROCEED-2-WORK
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date01/04/201531/10/2017