Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard B. Freeman and Hal Salzman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226468334

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226468471.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Bridging the Gaps between Engineering Education and Practice

Bridging the Gaps between Engineering Education and Practice

(p.129) 4 Bridging the Gaps between Engineering Education and Practice
U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy

Samantha R. Brunhaver

Russell F. Korte

Stephen R. Barley

Sheri D. Sheppard

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the disjunctures between engineering education and practice to identify ways to better connect the two. Qualitative interviews with engineering students and new engineers are used to compare the knowledge and skills that engineers learn in school and those that they learn on the job. Our findings demonstrate that, while engineering practice requires the integration of several kinds of knowledge and skills, engineering education focuses mainly on the technical side. Engineers learn most professional and organizational knowledge and skills only after entering the workforce. Even when they are exposed to professional skills such as teamwork and communication in school, they may not see true representations of what these skills look like on the job or consider the work as “real engineering”. The results suggest deficiencies in the current model of engineering education that constrain its ability to produce effective graduates. Implications for engineering education, professional practice, and educational research are discussed.

Keywords:   engineering education, professional practice, school-to-work transition, engineering students, new engineers, workplace, longitudinal, knowledge and skills, preparedness, qualitative interviews

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.