PathTech LISTEN Releases Research Briefs

As the need for a skilled technology workforce continues to grow, understanding pathways to and from technician education programs and the technology workforce is vital to sustain workforce development, improve student/worker life chances and stabilize local economies. The goal of the PathTech LISTEN project is to track advanced technology degree students' post-enrollment outcomes and how programs facilitate technician education experiences and transitions into the workforce.

FLATE has partnered with PathTech for more than 10 years of research on educational and employment pathways into advanced technology degree programs and careers. All three PathTech projects have been led by Principal Investigator Dr. Will Tyson from the University of South Florida (USF) Department of Sociology and Co-Principal Investigators, Dr. Lakshmi Jayaram from Inquiry Research Group and Dr. Marilyn Barger from FLATE.  Other FLATE team members involved in PathTech projects include Danielly Orozco-Cole, Dr. Marie Boyette and Teresa Potter.

PathTech TampaBay (2011-2015) examined pathways into high school and community college engineering technology (ET) programs, and to and from the local workforce through interviews with 175 students, teachers and employers from high schools, community colleges and industry. 

PathTech LIFE (2015-2019) was a national survey of students enrolled in community college advanced technology programs, including 3,216 students from 96 colleges in 38 states and 3 U.S. territories. 

PathTech LISTEN (2018-2022) is a mixed method longitudinal investigation using a diverse sample of PathTech LIFE survey participants. To track students' post-enrollment outcomes over time, two in-depth surveys were planned for 2019 and 2020 with a final survey to be designed based on knowledge gained from the interviews. With the global pandemic beginning in March 2020, an additional COVID-19 interview was added to the project. 

The first round of interviews (Wave 1) for PathTech LISTEN were completed in 2019, the COVID-19 interviews (Wave 2) were completed in 2020, and the final round of interviews (Wave 3) are in progress now. Analysis of the data collected in these interviews is ongoing. Preliminary analysis from the PathTech LISTEN research team is being released through a series of one-page Research Briefs. The first set, which includes preliminary findings from both Wave 1 and Wave 2 interviews, are available now through the PathTech website:
  • Perspectives from the Field: Industry Pilot Survey Results
  • Preliminary Results: Technical Programs Lead to STEM Careers
  • Wave 1 Preliminary Findings Yield Several Interesting Themes
  • Work-Based Learning in Technician Programs
  • Job Search Pathways
  • Developing Strategies for Tracking Community College Alumni
  • Covid-19 Pandemic Impact on LISTEN Participants
  • Perspectives from the Field: Wave 2 Vignettes

Additional research briefs on all three waves of the project will continue to be released over the coming months. Once the Wave 3 interviews are complete, the final survey will be developed using information from the three interviews and will be sent to participants in 2022. For more information, please contact Lakshmi Jayaram at

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