Immigrants' integration and career development in the professional engineering workplace in the context of social and cultural capital

TitleImmigrants' integration and career development in the professional engineering workplace in the context of social and cultural capital
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFriesen, MR
JournalEngineering Studies
Volume3
Pagination79-100
Date Published2011/08/01
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1937-8629
AbstractCanada increasingly relies on immigrant engineers to address engineering labour market shortages. However, immigrants identify formal recognition of foreign credentials, barriers to professional licensing and obtaining professional work experience as key challenges to their successful integration. Engineering employers similarly identify credentials recognition, related work experience and communication skills as the three key determinants of an immigrant's access to and success in the engineering workplace. The term ?qualifications recognition? refers to processes that address these challenges. This study followed 39 immigrant engineers during and after their participation in a university-based qualifications recognition program. Longitudinal data were collected from 2004 through 2009 from immigrant engineers and their workplace internship employers through focus group interviews, survey questionnaires and internship reports. The data were analyzed to explore the integration and career development of immigrant engineers in the engineering workplace, framing professional integration through a theory of human, social and cultural capital, and habitus. The findings suggest that the successful professional integration of immigrant engineers can be interpreted as the acquisition of multiple forms of capital and habitus.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19378629.2011.571260
DOI10.1080/19378629.2011.571260

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