Experts from industry identify key competences for engineers

Experts from industry identify key competences for engineers

72 engineers and 15 HR professionals participated in 12 round table workshops (i.e., expert panels) to identify the key competences for engineers entering the labour market.

 

During 11 in-company workshops and one mixed-panel workshop, Sofie Craps, Phd researcher KU Leuven asked the experts to dive into an extensive list of 64 professional competences. The in-depth discussions resulted in lists of 6 to 10 professional competences for each of the professional roles for future engineers: product leadership (focus on radical innovation), operational excellence (focus on optimization) and customer intimacy (focus on tailored solutions).

The final competency profiles describe the key competences that engineers should possess to be successful in their job. For example, a positive critical attitude and solution-oriented mind-set is essential for an engineer that works in the role of operational excellence; creativity and vision for a product leadership engineer; and client focus and empathic ability for an engineer in a customer intimacy role. The results will be presented at the SEFI 2018 Conference in September in Copenhagen. Further analysis will be submitted for publication after the summer.

 

Many thanks to the companies and experts for their time and effort and interesting feedback during the panel workshops. Also a big to our thank you to project partner BDO and PREFER coordinator Maarten Pinxten for their assistance in moderating the panels.

 

In order to consolidate the outcomes of the 12 expert panels, Sofie organised a meta-panel with 9 experts from different companies (sectors) at the end of June 2018. The participants repeated the same assignment as the 12 panels, but this time they could only select from competences that were mentioned in the previous panels. The participants explicitly compared their outcome with the overarching outcomes of the 12 panels, resulting in three final competency profiles for engineering graduates.