What Students Need from their PM Education for Employment

Esra is an Academic Faculty Member at the University of Versailles in Paris.

Employability is a key concern of most students as they embark on a course of university study. For engineering students today, a more diverse course of learning that brings together technical, managerial and life skills is becoming increasingly common.

A scientific work has explored the inclusion of project management in the engineering curriculum and identified innovative yet practical approaches to the teaching of the subject [1]. With “project” such a fundamental component of business today—and with anecdotally around 25% of engineering management master’s students becoming project managers upon graduation—a deeper understanding of the role project management can play in the development of tomorrow’s engineers is of significant value [2].

The challenges demand talent that can demonstrate skills not simply in technical disciplines, but in the context of the wider business and social environment. The term “multi-skilled” engineer is starting to be voiced more openly. A survey of practice in project management reported in 2002 demonstrates the breadth of skills required to deliver successful projects [3]. It is the development of these characteristics in tertiary-level engineering students that is the aim of project management teaching.

In order to explore engineering student perceptions of project management as a …

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"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

- Orson Welles, The Third Man

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