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Globalization, curricula reform and the consequences for engineers working in an international company

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Abstract:

Since 1990, the downfall of ideological borders has triggered a tendency toward a global economy. This globalization has rewritten the market rules, forcing international companies to adapt the way in which they do business and their structures. With some delay, politics and academia in Europe have reacted, resulting in the envisaged creation of a ‘Higher European Education Area', commonly known as ‘Bologna Process'. To help in the ongoing process of redefining university curricula, this article reviews the requirements of international employers, taking Siemens as an example, and the consequences for engineers. It will be shown that the number of jobs requiring a solid technical base has not diminished, but that the demand for graduates combining technical knowledge with other skills is growing, due to the more complex working environment. In addition, these ‘soft skills' carry more weight when individuals move up the career ladder. Therefore, a technical bachelor's degree that can be combined with a master's degree in another major can be an attractive entry option for many students, who currently are deterred by the long courses that prepare them simply for a technical career.

Keywords: Bachelor; Bologna process; Engineers; Globalization; Master

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03043790600644749

Affiliations: Siemens AG, Corporate Personnel, Wittelsbacherplatz 2, 80333, Munich, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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