Traditional versus accelerated degree program graduates: A survey of western New York employer hiring preferences
Rood, Robert E.
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This study examined employer preferences for traditional versus accelerated degree graduates in the employment decision making process. A web-based survey was used to gather N=250 responses, with about 200 usable responses. The study had three dependent variables: 1) a general preference index for traditional versus accelerated degree programs, 2) a screening preference index, and 3) a hiring preference index. ANOVA was used on each dependent variable to test for mean index differences based on 1) industry type, 2) employer size, 3) respondent educational attainment, and 3) respondent degree of familiarity with accelerated degree programs. Overall, the findings suggest no practically significant differences in respondent preference for traditional versus accelerated degree program graduates. Employer size had no statistically significant effect on any of the three dependent variables. Employer type was significant for the general preference and hiring preference indices with a moderate effect size. Respondent educational attainment indicated increased general preference for traditional versus accelerated degree programs in general, but the impact on screening and hiring decisions was not significant. The respondents’ degree of familiarity with accelerated degree programs was statistically significant on all three dependent variables, with those having direct knowledge of accelerated degree programs indicating a stronger preference for these programs than those with little or marginal awareness. Therefore, even with statistically significant differences in index means, the findings suggest relative indifference amongst respondents in preference for traditional versus accelerated degree programs and program graduates.