Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Walczak M., Uziak J., Tunde-Oladiran M., Cameratti C. and Thibaut P. (2013)

Industry expectations of mechanical engineering graduates. A case study in Chile.

Revista : International Journal of Engineering Education
Volumen : 29
Número : 1
Páginas : 181–192
Tipo de publicación : ISI


The formal introduction of professional skills to the graduation profile of engineering students has highlighted theimportance of non-technical skills in engineering programs. However, there is little agreement among academics as to boththe extent of knowledge required in particular skills and what is the right mix of the technical and professional skills. Thesetwo issues are reviewed in this paper in terms of graduate attributes from the perspective of employers of mechanicalengineering graduates. A survey of Chilean industry revealed a significant discrepancy between the desired and actualgraduate profiles with almost all attributes rated as relevant but not used frequently or vice versa. Interestingly, the leastdiscrepancy and the least relevance were found for technical skills with particular reference to the design and conduction ofexperiments. The apparent importance of professional skills over technical skills is discussed in the context of employers’expectations that are not necessarily aligned with current educational programs. It was concluded that instruction inprofessional skills should be embedded into the technical courses to promote active, reflective and student-centeredlearning.