Strengths and weaknesses of different research methods
This semester my group was tasked with the conduction of a research about how the University of Bath's great employability rates affected their University choice. We used qualitative research methods, every member of the group interviewed a first year Social Science student. We then later summarised the data, and looked for common points.
All the interviews were semi-constructed, we asked questions which let the interviewee make his/her own points about the subject, thus the answers were not narrowed to the generic ones one could receive when conducting a survey. The interviews were recorded and transcribed for easier summarisation and can be accessed online ( see bibliography ). We found that the interviewees had mainly altruistic motives, they wanted to influence disadvantaged people's lives, and one interviewee stated that his main motive was “to make a world a better place” ( see the interview with Adeel ).
About the influence of employability rates, the results were mixed, less than half of the participants stated that such rates were a highly influential, for the others the course and academical structure was the bigger influence. When the interviewees were asked more specifically about the impact of their course choice on their employability, most stated that the reputation of the University’s Social Sciences Department will give them an edge on the job market. The great placement options and excellent quality of teaching will have a positive influence on their employability. It is unsurprising that none of the interviewees mentioned that their University choice would give them any disadvantages.
On the topic of employability itself, the subjects agreed on that it is the skills that one acquires that will later being successful on one's field of employment. Extra languages, good communication skills and the ability to function as a member of a team were the most common...
Bibliography: All interviews of Qualitative Group 7:
Orb, A., Eisenhauer, L., Wynaden, D., 2000. Ethics in Qualitative Research. Journal of nursing scholarship, 33(1), pp 93-96.
Accessed from: http://www.columbia.edu/~mvp19/RMC/M5/QualEthics.pdf [ 9.12.2013]
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