Transversal Competency Level of Engineering Graduates Dictated by European Industry

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Abstract

The importance of which transversal competencies, a collective term for non-technical competencies such as problem-solving and communication skills, are required for student success in the labor market has been studied. There is no doubt that students need transversal competencies for professional practice. However, little is known about the specific competency level that graduates should hold after completion of their Bachelor or Master in Engineering. To investigate graduates’ competency levels, this article reports on the design, development, and results of an industry questionnaire, which studies the perception of industry representatives in Europe of the competency levels that Bachelor and Master engineering graduates should hold after graduation. A total of 28 representatives who work in the engineering industry and who recruit or work with recently graduated engineers responded. Industry representatives were given a list of 36 competencies and were asked to select the most important competencies and the competency level they perceive students should have after completion of their Bachelor and Master degree for each. Significant differences were found between the required competency levels for Bachelor and Master graduates. Industry representatives perceived that Master graduates require mostly advance level (as opposed to a lower level for bachelor graduates) for competencies such as risk tolerance, problem-solving, listening skills, writing skills, interdisciplinary thinking, strengths/weaknesses awareness, and actively seeking learning. These findings were unaffected by years of work experience of the industry respondents or their company size. The findings of this study help higher education institutions, employers and lecturers to stimulate the development of competencies required by industry. More specifically, they will be used as a starting point for developing and implementing curriculum elements aimed at enhancing competency levels of students at a Dutch university of technology and its European partners in the European project funding this research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASEE 2019 126th Annual Conference and Exposition, 16/06/19 → 19/06/19 Tampa, United States
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventASEE 2019 126th Annual Conference and Exposition - Tampa convention center, Tampa, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201919 Jun 2019
Conference number: 126
https://www.asee.org/conferences-and-events/conferences/annual-conference/2019

Conference

ConferenceASEE 2019 126th Annual Conference and Exposition
Abbreviated titleASEE 2019
CountryUnited States
CityTampa
Period16/06/1919/06/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Transversal competency level
  • preparing for practice
  • engineering education, questionnaire

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