Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dianhan Zheng

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The purpose of this research is to investigate the antecedents and outcomes of engineering college students’ perceived employability, which refers to an individual’s perception of their ability to acquire satisfactory employment based on their professional qualifications. We hypothesized that psychological resilience, which describes an individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity, is positively related to perceived employability. Additionally, job seekers with learning goal orientation (LGO), who are motivated to improve their competence by acquiring and mastering new skills, were also hypothesized to have higher perceived employability. We further proposed that perceived employability is positively related to job search intensity and networking intensity, and perceived employability should mediate the relationships between the dispositional antecedents (resilience and LGO) and behavioral outcomes of job seeking. To test the hypotheses we surveyed 78 senior engineering students from KSU who were actively seeking employment in a professional engineering setting. We used PROCESS macro in SPSS to analyze the data. Participants' age, employment status, GPA, time spent on job search per week, and the length of time spent seeking professional employment were used as covariates. The results indicate that resilience (B = .28, p < .001) and LGO (B = .23, p = .039) were positively related to perceived employability. After controlling for resilience, perceived employability was positively related to networking intensity ( B = .29, p = .045) but not job search intensity (B = -.03, p = .829). After controlling for LGO, perceived employability was also positively related to networking intensity (B = .41, p = .004) and similarly not job search intensity (B = .10, p = .410). Perceived employability significantly mediated the resilience - networking intensity relationship. Professional development interventions aiming at cultivating resilience and LGO may benefit engineering students’ perceived employability and job search outcomes.

Disciplines

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Exploring Antecedents and Outcomes of Engineering Students’ Perceived Employability

The purpose of this research is to investigate the antecedents and outcomes of engineering college students’ perceived employability, which refers to an individual’s perception of their ability to acquire satisfactory employment based on their professional qualifications. We hypothesized that psychological resilience, which describes an individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity, is positively related to perceived employability. Additionally, job seekers with learning goal orientation (LGO), who are motivated to improve their competence by acquiring and mastering new skills, were also hypothesized to have higher perceived employability. We further proposed that perceived employability is positively related to job search intensity and networking intensity, and perceived employability should mediate the relationships between the dispositional antecedents (resilience and LGO) and behavioral outcomes of job seeking. To test the hypotheses we surveyed 78 senior engineering students from KSU who were actively seeking employment in a professional engineering setting. We used PROCESS macro in SPSS to analyze the data. Participants' age, employment status, GPA, time spent on job search per week, and the length of time spent seeking professional employment were used as covariates. The results indicate that resilience (B = .28, p < .001) and LGO (B = .23, p = .039) were positively related to perceived employability. After controlling for resilience, perceived employability was positively related to networking intensity ( B = .29, p = .045) but not job search intensity (B = -.03, p = .829). After controlling for LGO, perceived employability was also positively related to networking intensity (B = .41, p = .004) and similarly not job search intensity (B = .10, p = .410). Perceived employability significantly mediated the resilience - networking intensity relationship. Professional development interventions aiming at cultivating resilience and LGO may benefit engineering students’ perceived employability and job search outcomes.

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