Competence-Driven Engineering Education: A Case for T-Shaped Engineers and Teachers

Alabadan Babatope A, T. M. Samuel, Philip Ajewole Idowu, Oluwakemi M. Anyanwu


The demand for engineering education and graduates are increasing daily because the current service and technological designs are unable to meet the needs of the society and the expected dramatic increase in the future. The emerging skill gap requires a shift in the type of expertise required of young professionals that will be needed to successfully lead organizations in the new economy. Researchers have identified various ‘shapes’ for the engineering professionals to make them relevant to the 21st century challenge, especially in the industry where their expertise is much needed. The purpose of this paper is to present the need to upgrade engineering education curriculum to enable a more T-Shaped graduate engineers required in the changing industrial world. T-shaped professionals have problem-solving and complex-communication skills in contrast with the traditional and highly specialized I-shaped professionals among others. The potential benefits of T-shaped professionals to organizational performance are quite significant; hence, the demand for T-shaped professionals in knowledge-intensive, service-oriented economies is increasing. Unfortunately, the challenges associated with creating more T-shaped professionals are also significant. National regulatory bodies for engineering education in Nigeria are beginning to move towards integrated curriculum to break down discipline silos and produce T-shaped graduate engineers for the fast-changing industrial world. Service Science Management and Engineering (SSME) is an emerging discipline with over 250 programmes in 50 nations seeking to create more T-shaped professionals.


Education; Engineering; Graduates; Skills T-Shaped


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