Cet article traite de l'éducation, de l'emploi et de l'utilisation de certains professionnels en contexte nord-américain.
This paper is concerned with the education, employment and utilization of selected professionals in Canada. Comparisons are also made with other studies on both sides of the North Atlantic.
During the rapid expansion of higher education in the 1950s and 1960s (par-ticularly in engineering and science), research focussed on total enrollment, occupa-tional choice and the supply of manpower to various occupations. Much less attention was paid to the content and structure of university-level courses. And there was little worry about placement and utilization. But now the question "Are too many people being educated for the wrong kind of jobs?" is increasingly heard. Research carried out by the authors indicates that education, employment and utilization should always be examined as a triad, not in isolation for each other.
The career patterns of engineering and science graduates showed definite similarities, but notable differences also occurred, e.g. relatively more engineers moved eventually into managerial positions while many science graduates preferred university teaching posts. Recent trends - including cutbacks in university enrollments and faculty positions, rising unemployment rates for both engineers and scientists, job-bumping, and underemployment - indicate problems in the pursuit of high-level careers and that the rise in educational levels are not being matched by a corresponding increase in skill requirements.
The data gathered on utilization show further that degree requirements tend to be unrealistically high. Also, the more specialized professionals are highly vulnerable if recession comes. But better curriculum designs can improve the processes of job-getting and job-holding. Coping with the rise in underemployment and unemployment of highly trained professionals in the future will require specific measures, including better manpower forecasts, a more rigorous but diversified educational stream, and a greater measure of informed choice about careers.
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