Education of future human factors professionals

Esa Rantanen, Deborah Boehm-Davis, Daniel Hannon, Linda Ng Boyle, John D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The labor market as a whole and specifically those areas where human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) professionals are employed are in constant flux. Academic institutions, on the other hand, tend to be more stable with changes in programs happening much more slowly. There is some evidence that the education of new HF/E professionals falls short of meeting the knowledge and skills that human factors professionals face when they enter the workplace. This panel is convened to discuss and debate two questions: (1) What would the "ideal" education look like for the future HF/E professional, and (2) what would be the best way to deliver this ideal education. Moreover, we hope that this panel will bring together educators and employers of future HF/E professionals and foster a lively and productive exchange of ideas on how to best supply the future workforce with the evolving industry needs. It should be noted, however, that these are very difficult questions and that the panel is by no means unanimous about answers to them. Whether the ideal solution might involve undergraduate programs dedicated to human factors, survey courses offered to many different majors, or revision of existing graduate programs in response to knowledge and skills expectations in the industry is open to debate. It is just such a debate we hope to engage in within this panel, and with the members of our audience at the 2016 HFES Annual Meeting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 2016
EventHuman Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 International Annual Meeting, HFES 2016 - Washington, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2016Sep 23 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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