Are students in graduate programmes adequately attaining professional skills?

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World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education


© 2017 WIETE. A method known as the computing professional skills assessment (CPSA), developed by this team, assesses the professional skills identified by ABET as essential for computing graduates. The method allows simultaneous evaluation of six skills: problem solving, teamwork, professional and ethical considerations, communication, local and global impacts, engagement in further research and learning. The range of the measurement scale is from a skill level of zero up to entry career. The instrument has been tested and validated with undergraduate students. As the top end of the scale corresponds to the attainment level for professionals in entry level positions, here the authors trialled it with a class of 16 postgraduate students who were expected to achieve at that level. The authors found that the students performed near to the target level. As the method is also well suited to teaching the skills, they conducted a survey of the students' perceptions of its benefits. The results showed the students were very positive about the method and felt it was very beneficial for developing their professional skills.

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