Title

Undergraduate Publishing Education: Perceptions and Workforce Reality in Taiwan

Date of Degree

8-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Francis Musa Boakari

Advisor

Absael Antelo

Advisor

David Vequist

Abstract

In this study, the researcher investigated publishing faculty's and professionals' perceptions of knowledge contents about publishing in the current curriculum of undergraduate publishing programs in Taiwan and needed professional skills for future publishing professionals. In addition, the underlying reality of human resources development in today's publishing industry of Taiwan was examined by the researcher.

Studies indicate that what schools generally teach is not what the job market requires; that graduates lack the competence to adequately respond to the needs of society and employers. This seems contradictory to the belief that human capital can be increased through educational investment that can help improve on the conditions of life for both individuals and nations. How does this situation basically play out in the real worlds of school and work? In this study, the researcher investigated publishing faculty's and professionals' perceptions of knowledge contents about publishing in the current curriculum of undergraduate publishing programs in Taiwan and needed professional skills for future publishing professionals. In addition, the underlying reality of human resources development in today's publishing industry of Taiwan was examined by the researcher. A sequential explanatory mixed methods research was employed for this study. The quantitative data were collected first through a survey instrument which this researcher constructed. Data from 364 returned surveys were used. These were followed-up by in-depth qualitative interviews with 6 participants. As it had been expected, the qualitative data did help explain the quantitative results and provided a better understanding of the central phenomenon of the research problem. Regarding the perceptions of the knowledge contents about publishing and professional skills, significant quantitative differences and correlations were found between publishing faculty and professionals in the field. The qualitative findings helped clarify the quantitative results in several instances. It was further indicated that relationships between school and industry as well as environmental factors, formed the reality of the development of the publishing professional. It was also possible to conclude that there was a disjunction between the formal university experience (training) and the real needs of prospective employers in the publishing job market. Though this did not seem to present great problems for graduates, it raised the question of the relevance of higher education for some professions in today's fast changing and technology-based work demands. Suggestions are offered about how different stakeholders can contribute to make the professional training in the area more relevant.

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