ENGINEERING GRADUATES’ PERCEPTION OF COMPETENCIES AND PREPARATION TO THE LABOR MARKET TRANSITION
University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Current models of employability are rather broad and complex, including not only a set of skills as determinant factors in employability, but also a subjective dimension that considers individual self-beliefs and attitudes. Under this framework the peception of competencies developed during Higher Education were explored. This study intended to understand how engineering graduates evaluate the competencies developed during higher education to the labor market and how this relates with the perception of preparation to the labor. For that purpose, a sample of 332 Portuguese senior students taking an engineering masters’ degree filled a questionnaire.
The obtained results pointed to:
(i) a lower evaluation concerning practical competencies comparing with other theoretical, transversal or employability competencies;
(ii) practical competencies, together with communication, methodological and socioemotional competencies appear as the most important predictors of labor market transition.
These findings enhance the importance of integration of stronger practical component in engineering curriculum as a way to better prepare graduates and to promote employability.
Keywords: Employability, Competencies, Higher Education, Labor Market Transition.