Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


As engineering education is a professional education, it should prepare students for working life. However, there are obvious limitations to the amount of content that is possible to cover and the authenticity of the learning environments. In this study, we investigate the students’ awareness and perception of these limitations by answering the following two research questions: What competencies do the students view as work-life relevant? How do students reflect on their opportunities to learn these competencies? The context of the study is the five-year Master of Science in Engineering and Computer Science at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Throughout the programme, the students attend a programme-integrated course with four reflection seminars including written assignments each year. In their fourth year they wrote reflections on their perceived work-life readiness and 38 of these reflections were analysed thematically in this study. We find that students expressed an elaborate view of what constitutes work-life relevant competencies. They readily identify learning experiences in the programme where they have developed such competencies, for instance through projects. They also show an understanding that there are limitations in the ability of the university environment to achieve fully authentic learning experiences. Many students see it as their own responsibility and necessity to complement their education with other opportunities for work-life relevant learning, such as hobby projects or internships. Others seem relaxed about any gap they may have in their work-life preparation and expect to learn on their first job.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.