Student experiences in the direct applicability of their engineering education to professional practice
This paper describes on-going work investigating the experiences and perceptions of under-graduate engineering students with aspirations to work in construction engineering in site and project management roles. Construction companies employ many graduate Civil Engineers from Australian universities in a range of construction engineering roles. However, it appears that graduating engineers may have few ideas of the workings of engineering industry, professional roles they will be expected to play and the career options available to them. There is also some evidence to suggest that employers also find this lack 'work readiness' in new recruits perplexing. In the transition to professional practice, employers and new graduates have found a need for a very steep leaning curve to equip newly graduating engineers with the necessary work skills to adapt their engineering degree education to the 'real world'. This paper describes some on going research into the issue and outlines and examines some of the issues that are routinely faced by newly graduating engineers in their transition to professional practice. The paper also discusses proposed course enhancements based on the concept of the Construction Supply Chain as a means of providing exposure to the skills, culture and practices of the construction industry.