More Alike Than Different: Early Work Experiences of Co-op and Non Co-op Engineers.Reportar como inadecuado

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The early work experiences of graduates of Michigan State University's engineering program who did and did not participate in the university's cooperative education program were compared. A two-part survey that covered work experiences during college, skill development in undergraduate programs, career evaluation and outlook, demographic information, initial and present job, and intermittent job changes and/or promotions was mailed to a total of 2,106 engineers who had received their degrees between 1979 and 1990. Of the 609 surveys returned, 600 included work diaries complete enough to be analyzed. The distribution of respondents across engineering disciplines accurately reflected the enrollment and graduation patterns reported by the engineering college. Approximately 21% of the respondents had not obtained engineering-related work experience during their undergraduate years. Of those who had obtained work experience, 35% had been cooperative education program participants, 31% gained experience through summer employment, and 13% participated in internships. Participation in cooperative education was associated with a salary advantage over all the time periods studied; however, the salary gap between program participants and nonparticipants appeared to be closing. Cooperative education experience appeared to have little effect on career progress (promotions) in comparison with other work experiences. (MN)

Descriptors: College Graduates, Comparative Analysis, Cooperative Education, Education Work Relationship, Employment Patterns, Engineering Education, Engineers, Entry Workers, Graduate Surveys, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Promotion (Occupational), Salary Wage Differentials, Work Experience

Autor: Gardner, Philip D.; Motschenbacher, Garth


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