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Preparing graduate talent for the mining industry: a new metric system based on an old tradition

Mining Engineering , 2013, Vol. 65, No. 6, pp. 62-70

Frimpong, Samuel; Whiting, Jerry M.; Suglo, Raymond S.


 The preparation of graduate talent for the mining industry is a challenging process, given the multifaceted and complex array of decisions mining engineers make in discharging their responsibilities. As leaders, mining engineers must manage operations, lead project teams, mentor junior engineers, chart the technological directions of companies and deal with several organizations for maintaining the technical and economic feasibility of operations within strategic and tactical framework. Traditionally, the completion of the bachelor of science degree curriculum, with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA), has been used as a graduation measure by Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). Companies have long realized the limitations of the CGPA for recruiting graduates because mining engineering is an applied engineering discipline. Company recruiters have sought to correct the limitations by factoring experience and behaviors into the selection process when recruiting knowledgeable and well-rounded graduates. In this paper, the authors introduce a new metric, which combines the current CGPA (knowledge) with experience and attribute (KEA) metrics to gauge the job readiness of graduating engineers. The KEA metric, also called the job-readiness factor (JRF), is the sum of K (50%), E (30%) and A (20%). The KEA process has been applied to a graduating class in Missouri S&T to demonstrate the value of the new metric system. The results show a fairly positive correlation between CGPA and the KEA metric, with a coefficient of determination of about 70%. Overall, the KEA metric system provides a better picture of the capacity and job readiness of graduates entering the workforce.