Beyond the classroom: STEM, employability and the student voice

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities Vol. 42

March, 2020, 125 pages
Published by
Eva Heinrich & Roseanna Bourke

This paper explores the thinking of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in relation to their study choices and future careers. The paper reports on a pilot study with first-year engineering students, who completed an online self-assessment tool. Most of the first-year undergraduate students chose engineering as their major because it was an area of interest, they had enjoyed academic success in STEM subjects, or because they thought of engineering work as practical, challenge-based work. No significant differences were observed in the students’ responses when correlated with age, gender or work history. The paper reports first-year students’ responses to their career-related confidence and their perceptions of career, career development learning and career intentions.

Keywords: Higher education, engineering, career development, undergraduate research