Despite the shortage of highly educated professionals, many technical graduates opt for a job outside the tech sector. What drives students'career choices in the transition from school to work? Dr. Ruth van Veelen explains how stereotypes about tech work, people, and culture affect students’ professional identity formation and subsequent career choices.
The Dutch economy depends heavily on the technical sector, but there is an ongoing shortage of highly educated professionals. And while more and more students choose a study in the field of science, technology, engineering or math STEM, a large part of technical graduates opt for a job outside the technical sector. Especially the percentage of women in tech specifically in the Netherlands is still very low. One way to address this issue is to increase diversity in the tech world. The TU/e has taken a radical measure in this respect, opening up vacancies for permanent academic staff exclusively to women.
Organizational psychologist Ruth van Veelen studies how a person’s professional identity affects their career choice. The stronger a person identifies with their (future) profession, the more likely that they will continue on a career path towards that profession. Van Veelen is one of the initiators of the Bridge the gap project, which aims to gain more insight into STEM students’ professional identity and career choices. She develops tools to bridge the gap between education and work, addressing factors like the (in)compatibility between gender and professional identity. She will demonstrate a newly developed tool to become aware of the diversity in professional identity profiles and to help you identify what type of technical professional you are.
Dr. Ruth van Veelen (department of Social, Health and Organisational Psychology, Utrecht University) examines social identity development and diversity at work, particularly in academia and the technical sector.
This lecture is a collaboration between Studium Generale and Wervingsdagen. On Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 March, Wervingsdagen organizes their yearly Career Expo (TU/e Campus; Auditorium & Atlas): a two day event during which 180+ companies – potential employers for students – present themselves. There are also extra activities like speed dates with companies, resume checks, a LinkedIn photographer and more.