Engineering graduates' development of competencies - Views from academic stakeholders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates importance and development of expertise and personal competencies of newly graduated engineers from the standpoint of academic stakeholders; namely, academic staff members, industrial employers and graduated engineers themselves. The aim was to discover which competencies are the most important ones in working life and in engineering curricula. It was also investigated which competencies have satisfactorily developed and which have not during university studies relative to their current importance. For such purposes, a national-wide graduate survey measuring the importance and development of 26 expertise and personal competencies on the scale 1-7 was used as a basis for research. Then, 69 academic staff members used FINEEC's (The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre) reference programme learning outcomes to evaluate the importance of competencies in their curricula. Finally, 24 industry representatives gave their evaluations on the importance of the 26 competencies of newly graduates. The results from the study indicate that all stakeholders share similar opinions regarding to the importance of several competencies. However, engineering curricula puts more emphasis on theoretical foundation rather than in generic competencies, whereas industrial employers favour attitudinal factors and generic competencies. Furthermore, according to graduates' ratings, several competencies have been developed more than seems to be needed in working life. The same competencies are the most valued in engineering curricula. Similarly, competencies that are least valued in curricula are related to the competencies that are least developed in studies. Interestingly, several competencies that are least developed are also the most important ones for newly graduates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 47th Annual Conference
Subtitle of host publicationVarietas Delectat... Complexity is the New Normality, Proceedings
EditorsBalazs Vince Nagy, Mike Murphy, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen, Aniko Kalman
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education SEFI
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-018-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventSEFI Annual Conference - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 16 Sep 201919 Sep 2019


ConferenceSEFI Annual Conference


  • Accreditation
  • Competency development
  • Engineering education research

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Education


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