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Analysis of Employability skills for Civil Engineers in New Zealand Analysis of Employability skills for Civil Engineers in New Zealand HOT



The  transition  from  university  to  a  career  in  civil  engineering  is  a  challenging  process.  This  study examined the perceptions of engineering graduates regarding the difficulties they encountered in their transition from the university to the workplace. Recent practising graduates were surveyed to identify their  current  employment  situation  and  their  attitudes  toward  their  academic  preparation.  Factor analysis revealed three main challenges facing engineering graduates: communication; responsibility; self-confidence. Seventeen interviews were conducted to gather information on ways to facilitate this transition. Also this paper discusses employer expectations & required employability skills in potential engineers. It does it through presenting research in which over 20 employers in Auckland were asked to  record  their  perceptions  of  graduates  in  respect  of  their  employability.  The  findings  suggest  that employers nowadays place emphasis on soft skills and give emphasis to a set of generic skills such as communication skills, problem solving and interpersonal skills. 


Employability  upon  graduation  is  a  major  priority  for  most  engineering  students.  New  engineering graduates these days are confronted with more challenges and competition in getting employed when compared to graduates of the past. Therefore, the excellent academic degrees alone are inadequate as employers require potential engineers to possess “competencies and capabilities” in generic skill. The objectives of this paper are: firstly, to examine the various engineering employability skills that have  been  identified  after  several  interviews.  Secondly,  to  collect  feedback  on  whether  graduates were employed in their career of choice or in relatively unskilled positions. 


A literature survey along with primary data collection using a survey and interviews was undertaken. The  researchers  undertook  exploratory  research  work  and  using  two  questionnaires  to  collect  the primary  data;  one  of  them  was  for  employees  to  know  their  perception  towards  employability  skills and the other was to identify graduates transition challenges. The findings were analysed to come up with a synthesized framework.   

Anticipated outcome 

It is anticipated that this study will assist in developing a framework that will give both the employer, and  prospective  graduates  the  skill  supply  and  skill  requirement  needed  by  industry,  and  thereby identify  gaps.  Ideally  then  these  gaps  that  need  to  be  addressed  by  the  tertiary  institutes  prior  to graduation. 


Findings presented in this report will suggest.

  • challenges to make engineering an attractive occupation in New Zealand
  • Framework that could  be used by the engineering sector in its future engagements with the education sector
  • To inform strategic and workforce planning. 



Analysis of Employability Skills for Civil Engineers in New Zealand

Created 2016-11-18
Changed 2016-11-18
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Created by Lynette
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