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Wanted: super(wo)man A study to define professional roles for future engineers by distinctive professional competences.

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Excellent communication skills, work independently, a big team player, fluent in English … This is just a selection of professional competences mentioned in vacancies addressed to young engineers. Unless they are super(wo)man, it is impossible for engineering students to acquire a mastery level in all professional skills. Different types of jobs are associated with different demands. The professional role is relevant for explaining the importance of soft skills. E.g., some competences are more relevant for an engineer working in maintenance than for one working with customer relations. Students who can identify their strengths and become more specialized in a professional role, increase their employability. Hence, we aim to design a validated Professional Roles Framework for Future Engineers. The framework defines three roles, independent of domain or sector: operational excellence (focus on process optimization), product leadership (focus on innovation) and customer intimacy (focus on tailored solutions). In this paper we describe the performed investigation about the key competences per role. In a two hour round table discussion, 10 expert panels of 6 to 8 engineers and HR managers reflected on the core competences of the three roles. Preliminary results indicate that professional roles can be characterized by a set of 5 to 8 specific professional competences. E.g., client focused is an important competence in the role of customer intimacy, whereas creativity is typical for product leadership or a positive critical attitude essential for operational excellence.
Book: Proceedings of the 46th SEFI Annual Conference 2018
Pages: 148 - 157
Publication year:2018