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Exploring the skill sets of career changers from engineering to non-engineering careers

Kartik Sreedharaan, Kumaresan (2022) Exploring the skill sets of career changers from engineering to non-engineering careers. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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One of the major issues plaguing the engineering landscape in Malaysia is the loss of the talent pool due to engineers voluntarily exiting the profession altogether to pursue a career in other non-engineering fields. While previous studies focused mainly on the factors that contributed to their decision to change careers, there is limited knowledge that examined the applicability of engineering skills in non-engineering fields. Taking an inductive approach, the objective of this study was two-fold: identify the skills that career changers leverage from engineering to a non-engineering career, and examine the application of the leveraged engineering skills in a non-engineering career. This study embarked on a qualitative inquiry approach using the Gioia Methodology. Semi-structured interviews were deployed as the primary data collection method and complemented by observation activities. The fieldwork involved interviewing twenty respondents selected using the purposive sampling method. Based on the data structured process of analysis, the study identified five key skills that are relevant and useful, namely data analysis skills, problem-solving skills, process analysis skills, communication skills, and technical skills. A framework was developed to demonstrate the skills and their respective elements that engineers leverage from the engineering to the non-engineering profession. The framework can be integrated with the existing MEES framework to give a holistic view of the different skills required to excel in engineering and outside engineering. In addition, the study developed a matrix of a likelihood that depicts the type of skills in a career change process. The matrix could be an initial guide to engineers (or related stakeholders) in understanding the engineering skills and their applicability in other fields. The skills and their respective elements identified in the current study can be viewed as an advancement of knowledge in employability.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Supervisor : Othman, Zaleha and Mohd. Shamsudin, Faridahwati
Item ID: 10924
Uncontrolled Keywords: Career change, engineers, skillsets, qualitative research, Gioia method
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce. > HF5549-5549.5 Personnel Management. Employment
Divisions: Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 07:04
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2024 07:04
Department: Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business
Name: Othman, Zaleha and Mohd. Shamsudin, Faridahwati
URI: https://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/10924

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