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ERIC Number: ED559493
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-9827-1
Self-Perceptions of Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Leadership Skills among Recent Engineering Graduates: A Qualitative Study
Watson, Fallon E.
ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, The University of the Rockies
This study describes the communication-specific soft skills that recent engineering graduates from Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredited universities in the state of Kentucky report they use at work. Utilizing a basic interpretive qualitative approach in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain the richness of the personal experiences of 10 recent engineering graduates who are currently employed as engineers in Kentucky. The central focus of the study is to add to the current academic discussion about engineering graduates lacking communication-specific soft skills by specifically identifying the specific communication-specific soft skills engineering graduates need to have and which, if any, were taught to them in their engineering curriculum during college. Study participants indicated that engineers in Kentucky are spending around half of their time at work utilizing skills that are grossly underdeveloped. Interviews lead to identification of seven specific non-technical communication skills within three main categories of communication-specific soft skills: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and leadership skills. The engineers interviewed in this study indicated that the communication-specific soft skills they needed, while consistent with pre-established categories, are more complex and more engineering-related than a generic listing of job-related soft skills. This study adds to the current academic literature about communication-specific soft skills in engineering by identifying which communication-specific specific soft skills recent engineering graduates say that they need. By identifying these skills, this study is paving the way for future research on how to incorporate those skills into college curriculum. This study can also be used as a guide to conducting the same type of study in other geographical locations to see if the skills that engineers say they need, or that they learned in school, vary based on location. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky