About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4302-4309
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.1026

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

DOUBLE DEGREES: HITS AND PITS FOR THE CAREERS

M. Cronhjort, L. Naeslund, S. Nyberg

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (SWEDEN)
Most of the programmes at KTH Royal Institute of Technology are engineering programmes with traditional contents, but some are norm-breaking innovations, created to respond to changes or demands perceived in society or working life. One example is the double degree programme Master of Science in Engineering and in Education, given in cooperation with Stockholm University. In this programme students get two degrees, one in engineering and one in education as teachers for the upper secondary school. This is a rather unusual concept in Sweden and Europe, but similar programmes exist in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Tampere, Finland.

Graduates from Master of Science in Engineering and in Education have several career options. Their engineering degrees are characterised by much mathematics and pedagogics, but also contain a specialisation in physics, chemistry or technology/computer science. Besides working as engineers, graduates can work as teachers in the upper secondary school. It is a challenge for students in these double degree programmes to develop two professional identities (Kabo et al, 2015). Similar identity problems also exist for scientists who later add a second career as teacher (Grier and Johnston, 2012) but they focus on one career at a time, which might make it easier.

In this study we focus how alumni from Master of Science in Engineering and in Education describe their working tasks and careers, and how they perceive their success on the job market.

Data are gathered by questionnaires and interviews. The programme exit survey, given to all graduates within 12 months from their graduation, provides a picture of the introduction to working life (106 respondents). The development of the careers was addressed in a web questionnaire, sent out in the spring 2016 to alumni who graduated 2-9 years ago (49 respondents). To get more details, we invited 17 of the respondents to follow up interviews.

Preliminary results indicate that a little more than half of the graduates work in business, about 30% work as teachers, and about 10% are employed at universities. 2-9 years later, only a slightly higher percentage seems to have been working as teachers. About 10% of the alumni seem to have been working as engineers as well as teachers, and about 20% with education in another context than school.

More than 50% of the respondents think that they have been favoured on the job market by having studied this particular double degree programme. About 40% express that they have been neither or both disadvantaged and favoured, and about 10% think that they have been disadvantaged. Some express that they were more favoured on the job market for teachers than on the job market for engineers.

The interviews provide details about the introduction at the job market. Those who work as teachers seem to have a busy first year. They perceive that their subject knowledge is appreciated and many have additional responsibilities as e.g. scheduler, head of department, or for the learning management system. When applying for jobs in engineering, many find it challenging to explain their qualifications to an employer. Especially outside of Stockholm, few employers seem to have knowledge of the programme and the focus of the competence. Many respondents seem to find the first year as an engineer to be a soft start, but some data indicate that they may advance rapidly to more difficult challenges and responsibilities.
@InProceedings{CRONHJORT2017DOU,
author = {Cronhjort, M. and Naeslund, L. and Nyberg, S.},
title = {DOUBLE DEGREES: HITS AND PITS FOR THE CAREERS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.1026},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.1026},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4302-4309}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Cronhjort AU - L. Naeslund AU - S. Nyberg
TI - DOUBLE DEGREES: HITS AND PITS FOR THE CAREERS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.1026
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 4302
EP - 4309
ER -
M. Cronhjort, L. Naeslund, S. Nyberg (2017) DOUBLE DEGREES: HITS AND PITS FOR THE CAREERS, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 4302-4309.
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