Development of systems engineering competency career development model: an analytical approach using Bloom’s Taxonomy
White, Corina L.
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Systems engineering is vital for the acquisition of systems for the Department of the Navy (DON). As systems engineering is a relatively young discipline, no professional engineer occupational series exists under which systems engineers can be classified from a human resources perspective. In addition to the lack of an occupational designation, there is no official competency model to form the basis for employee selection and career development. In order for a competency model to be used for employee selection, it must be validated under the Uniform Guidelines for employee selection. Once validated, the model can be used to create systems engineering position descriptions and related career development plans that would be specifically used for systems engineers within the DON and perhaps for DOD. A baseline competency model is the first step in performing a validation process in accordance with the Uniform Guidelines. In order to begin to address this situation, a system engineering competency model was developed to provide a baseline. This model was designed specifically for the DON, though it should also be useable in any organization that employs system engineers. The core of the model is based on the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that a systems engineer needs to develop competency in across varying career levels. These KSAs are defined using Bloom’s Taxonomy to describe, the cognitive and affective aspects needed for achievement of the respective competencies. The research also identifies whether these KSAs are best attained through specific methods, such as undergraduate education, graduate education, professional training, or through on-the-job experience. Furthermore, the model can inform the development of graduate and undergraduate curricula in systems engineering, since using Bloom’s Taxonomy describes the KSAs in terms that lend themselves to direct use as curriculum related learning objectives. The outcome is called the Competency Model for the Profession of Systems Engineering (COMPOSE) model. The COMPOSE model can be used by the DON and several other organizations as a means to formulate career development plans for the professional development of systems engineers.
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