2Which Human Skills Are Necessary for Engineers?

Engineers’ training is usually focused on the acquisition of general technical or more specialized skills in a particular area, but it takes more and more human skills into consideration: even if their first position is predominantly technical, engineers, at different stages of their careers, must work as a team and manage projects, and they may evolve towards positions of greater responsibility.

Today, according to the French Petit Larousse dictionary (2016), an engineer is a “person whose knowledge makes them suitable to occupy active scientific or technical functions in order to plan, create, organize, direct, control the resulting work, as well as to take an executive role”. Their vocation is “to respond to the problems of technical nature thanks to their acquired scientific, economic, and human knowledge” (website: Digischool Engineers, 2016). The human dimension is therefore an integral part of an engineer’s function. Gunther, Holleaux and Riveline ([GUN 87], cited by [EYR 03]) even consider that “the principal added value of a major engineering school lies in its students’ learning of the management of human relations, in the rhythm and the importance of the personal developments that it allows them”.

In response to a request from a group of French engineering schools to develop well-adapted training courses, a survey was conducted to identify training courses that meet the needs of their students in their future careers. ...

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