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Stakeholders Qualitative Feedback: Current Skills and Competencies Needs

Stakeholders (industry, faculty, and students) interviewed were asked about competencies and skills engineering graduates required in Qatar. The majority of competencies in the four-dimensional model described earlier in Chap. 2 have been reported by the various stakeholders.

However, frequencies of reports for the following competencies were observed higher than others: communications, teamwork, practical experience, management, lifelong learning, ICT, and disciplinary engineering knowledge. Communications, teamwork, management, and practical experience were indeed on the very top competencies industry required in engineering graduates.

Among the most common weakness/deficiencies in competencies engineering graduates have, the following have been reported: communications, management, practical skills, and foreign language.

Skills Importance Currently

Industry Versus Faculty

A descriptive analysis showed that both faculty members and industrial sector members means are around 4 “agree,” which showed positive perception towards these skills importance currently with relatively higher means in favour of faculty members for Dimension I, except for practical experience which industry members showed higher means.

But for Dimensions II, III, and IV, industrial members showed higher means, which was an expected result due to the nature of the faculty members who focus more in the core engineering knowledge listed in Dimension I, while those of the industrial sector focus more on the soft skills and management skills listed in Dimensions II, III, and IV.

Hypothesis testing using Mann-Whitney U test showed a statistically significant difference in practical experience in favour of industrial sector emphasizing the importance of such skill to the industry as well as adaptability, teamwork, foreign language, and management as detailed in Tables 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4.

Table 7.1 Statistics of 22 generic engineering skills importance currently from S. Students, faculty members, and industrial sector members’ perspectives “Dimension I”

Dim I: Core knowledge and practice

Variable

Group

under

study

Sample

number

(N)/

mean

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. faculty)/mean gap

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. students)/mean gap

Mann-Whitney (faculty vs. students)/mean gap

Disciplinarily

engineering

fundamentals

(depth)

Faculty

41/4.44

0.982/0

0.033/0.35

0.080/0.35

Industry

61/4.44

S. Students

289/4.09

Interdisciplinary

engineering

knowledge

(breadth)

Faculty

41/4.22

0.300/-0.17

0.707/0.003

0.374/0.2

Industry

61/4.05

S. Students

283/4.02

Math, physics, and science fundamentals

Faculty

41/4.22

0.875/-0.07

0.758/0.12

0.659/0.19

Industry

59/4.15

S. Students

281/4.03

Practical

experience

Faculty

41/4.22

0.033/0.30

0.241/0.23

0.131/-0.07

Industry

60/4.52

S. Students

276/4.29

ICT experience

Faculty

41/4.41

0.756/-0.05

0.068/0.29

0.151/0.34

Industry

59/4.36

S. Students

286/4.07

Multidisciplinary

knowledge

Faculty

40/3.78

0.827/-0.04

0.036/-0.24

0.095/-0.2

Industry

61/3.74

S. Students

281/3.98

Table 7.2 Statistics of 22 generic engineering skills importance currently from S. Students, faculty members, and industrial sector members perspectives “Dimension II”

Dim II: Cognition and thinking

Variable

Group under study

Sample

number

(N)/mean

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. faculty)

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. students)

Mann-Whitney (faculty vs. students)

Lifelong

learning

Faculty

41/4.20

0.053/0.26

0.189/0.23

0.285/-0.03

Industry

61/4.46

S. Students

278/4.23

Problem-solving

Faculty

41/4.29

0.428/0.14

0.539/0.08

0.156/-0.06

Industry

61/4.43

S. Students

283/4.35

Decision-making

Faculty

41/3.98

0.060/0.23

0.942/0.02

0.015/-0.21

Industry

62/4.21

S. Students

288/4.19

System thinking

Faculty

41/3.95

0.127/0.21

0.714/0

0.019/-0.21

Industry

61/4.16

S. Students

288/4.16

Critical thinking

Faculty

41/4.22

0.616/0.06

0.847/0.03

0.389/-0.03

Industry

61/4.28

S. Students

284/4.25

Innovation

Faculty

41/4.00

0.222/0.26

0.688/0.05

0.078/-0.21

Industry

62/4.26

S. Students

286/4.21

Design

Faculty

39/4.31

0.923/-0.08

0.364/-0.03

0.262/0.05

Industry

61/4.23

S. Students

284/4.26

Table 7.3 Statistics of 22 generic engineering skills importance currently from S. Students, faculty members’ and industrial sector members perspectives “Dimension III”

Dim III: Professional and interpersonal

Variable

Group

under

study

Sample

number

(N)/mean

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. faculty)

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. students)

Mann-Whitney (faculty vs. students)

Professionalism

Faculty

41/4.37

0.399/0.07

0.372/0.18

0.817/0.11

Industry

62/4.44

S. Students

285/4.26

Ethics

Faculty

41/4.41

0.317/0.11

0.482/0.17

0.579/0.06

Industry

62/4.52

S. Students

284/4.35

Adaptability

Faculty

41/3.93

0.011/0.39

0.349/0.15

0.028/-0.24

Industry

62/4.32

S. Students

278/4.17

(continued)

Table 7.3 (continued)

Dim III: Professional and interpersonal

Variable

Group

under

study

Sample

number

(N)/mean

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. faculty)

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. students)

Mann-Whitney (faculty vs. students)

Communication

Faculty

41/4.44

0.164/0.09

0.176/0.22

0.673/0.13

Industry

62/4.53

S. Students

281/4.31

Teamwork

Faculty

41/4.34

0.007/0.27

0.047/0.31

0.181/0.04

Industry

62/4.61

S. Students

285/4.30

Foreign

language(s)

Faculty

41/4.29

0.023/0.28

0.078/0.31

0.340/0.03

Industry

60/4.57

S. Students

286/4.26

Table 7.4 Statistics of 22 generic engineering skills importance currently from S. Students, faculty members and industrial sector members perspectives “Dimension IV”

Dim IV: Business and management

Variable

Group

under

study

Sample

number

(N)/mean

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. faculty)

Mann-Whitney (industry vs. students)

Mann-Whitney (faculty vs. students)

Management

Faculty

41/3.68

0.037/0.37

0.182/-0.10

0.001/-0.47

Industry

62/4.05

S. Students

284/4.15

Leadership

Faculty

41/4.00

0.117/0.16

0.617/-0.03

0.016/-0.19

Industry

62/4.16

S. Students

283/4.19

Entrepreneurship

Faculty

41/3.85

0.844/0

0.010/-0.31

0.010/-0.31

Industry

61/3.85

S. Students

279/4.16

 
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