Engineering graduates identify themselves as a person formally educated in engineering, who belongs to a group of people practicing engineering. How does the person holding an engineering technology degree career identify? The lack of differentiating research between engineering and engineering technology graduates results in less knowledge about self-identification by the engineering technology graduate. Many believe that the positions held by engineering technology graduates further define their self-identity, as they are titled either engineers or technologists. Identity research focuses on career trajectory in the graduate student population. This focus places research in academia. Methods used to analyze early influences and their impact on a person’s professional progress and identity are transferable. Therefore, using the approach taken on the graduate student population is germane to the engineering technology graduate population, regardless of their post-graduation path. For this study, the alumni office will send an e-mail to recent engineering technology graduates with a link to a survey. Identity-Trajectory theoretical framework will be used to interpret study results, focusing on questions developed using constructs in networking, intellectual pursuits, and institutional culture. Results of the survey will provide evidence of how engineering technology graduates identify. Data derived from this survey will provide deeper understanding of engineering technology graduates’ use of networks past and present. Responses to survey questions in this area will further our understanding of social networking and other networking techniques as it relates to engineering technology graduates in the work place. Graduates of engineering technology programs are dependent upon communication skills. Survey questions intended to evaluate intellectual measures will illuminate this aspect of the graduates’ work life and how it affects their identity. Institutional culture is addressed by questions focused on the impact of one’s environment and further analyzed for impact on identity. This work provides early information on the identity of engineering technology graduates, ultimately supporting the discovery of future paths for research in this area.
Date of this Version
Lucietto, A. M. (2016, June), Identifying as an Engineering Technology Graduate Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25517
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