Coaker, Warren (2007) How engineers become CEOs - implications for education and training. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)
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[Abstract]: The aim of this project was to investigate the career progression of engineers - determining the skills and qualities they need to become large company CEOs and thus recommend strategies for long term career development. Specific objectives included: - determine the skills and attributes required by CEOs - determine the attributes of generic engineers - determine maximal path of career progression - develop a ‘Engineer Career Model’ - recommend improvements to education and training The results and conclusions drawn from this project were derived from both qualitative and quantitative techniques using the following general methods: - literature review - questionnaire to top level executives - database search and interpretation - statistical analysis of findings Findings indicate: - CEOs often reach their position as natural career progression rather than actively seeking management - Personal attributes are perceived as being more important than qualifications - Leadership, communication skills and financial training are the most important training requirements - Most universities do not cover some highly desirable skill sets and attributes Implications: - University courses can be adjusted to better reflect the needs of business - Students and engineers can plan careers more effectively by considering their personal attributes and the skill sets required of executives (especially when seeking management roles) - Professional development programs can be designed to maximise proficiencies at the most beneficial stage of their career This project assists engineers in all stages of their career to understand the career progression of engineers within a management environment - thus allowing them to plan careers more effectively. It maximises the probability that an engineer can compete with graduates of other disciplines. Additionally it may allow universities to consider their course programs in order to develop the identified attributes assisting to develop the status of engineers in general.
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