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ERIC Number: ED529393
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 209
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-0108-3
Credentials in Context: The Meaning and Use of Associate Degrees in the Employment of IT Technicians
Van Noy, Michelle
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University
Educational credentials are clearly linked to economic success, but the reasons for this link are not clear. Common theoretical approaches provide explanations but lack direct employer perspectives on credentials' meaning and the context in which employers make sense of credentials. In this study, I used an alternative perspective based in Meyer's (1977) theory of education as an institution, labor market sociology, the sociology of work, and organizational theory to examine the role of social context in how employers make sense of the associate degree for IT technician jobs. I conducted comparative case studies of contrasting labor markets: Detroit and Seattle. I interviewed 78 hiring managers in 58 organizations of varying types about their perceptions and ways of using degrees in hiring IT technicians. Hiring managers' perspectives on associate and bachelor's degrees for IT technician jobs reflect their ideas of degree holders' social roles. They expected associate degree holders to be eager to please and to lack ability, skill, and initiative relative to the bachelor's degree holders. In contrast, they expected bachelor's degree holders to feel entitled. These expectations of traits found in different degree holders illustrate the relative status differences between these credentials and degree holders' reaction to these differences. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Washington