Analysis of competencies required by agricultural engineering graduates

  1. Tascón, A. 1
  2. Álvarez, R. 2
  3. Aguado, P.J. 2
  1. 1 Universidad de La Rioja

    Universidad de La Rioja

    Logroño, España


  2. 2 Universidad de León

    Universidad de León

    León, España


International Journal of Engineering Education

ISSN: 0949-149X

Year of publication: 2014

Volume: 30

Issue: 4

Pages: 1008-1022

Type: Article

More publications in: International Journal of Engineering Education


Society demands the adaptation of engineering degrees to the needs of the labor market. This study was designed to investigate the level of expertise in the various competencies acquired by graduates of Agricultural Engineering in the course of their studies and the level required of them in their jobs. Online questionnaires aimed at graduates and employers were developed to assess both professional and technical competencies, and then piloted on graduates at the University of León (Spain). Graduates indicated that they perceived a deficit in professional competencies. A significant agreement was observed between perceptions of graduates and employers about which professional competencies are most important in the labor market. The results indicated a deficit in training in some technical competencies and excessive emphasis in others. Most of the core subjects which form the basis of an engineer's education, especially Mathematics and Statistics, were rated by graduates as very important for work. The highest training deficits detected in this study were related to communication, practical engineering, and engineering business skills. The methodology described in this paper proved useful for obtaining information on the most important competencies for the labor market, deficits and over-emphasis in training, and those competencies that should be incorporated into the curriculum. © 2014 TEMPUS Publications.