How engineers become CEOs - implications for education and training

Coaker, Warren (2007) How engineers become CEOs - implications for education and training. [USQ Project]


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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

- 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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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2008 05:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:58
Uncontrolled Keywords: engineers; CEO; chief executive officer; career; management; executive; leadership; education
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350715 Quality management
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390403 Educational administration, management and leadership
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations > 350503 Human resources management

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