Industry and Academia Perceptions of Construction Management Education: the Case of South Africa

Studies on the identification of necessary skills and attributes for construction management graduates present mixed findings, with industry (employers) representatives suggesting that education and training offered at universities of technology do not always address the needs of industry, whereas a...

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Published in: The journal for education in the built environment Vol. 2; no. 2; pp. 85 - 114
Main Authors: Chileshe, Nicholas, Haupt, Theo C
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: Routledge 10-01-2007
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Summary: Studies on the identification of necessary skills and attributes for construction management graduates present mixed findings, with industry (employers) representatives suggesting that education and training offered at universities of technology do not always address the needs of industry, whereas academia contends that construction management graduates are adequately prepared for industry. This paper reports on the findings of research which investigated the perceptions of industry and academia regarding the calibre of construction management graduates. Using a data triangulation and a KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions) approach, information was collected from a survey of 30 academics and 60 industry respondents. The findings indicate that "Trust and Honesty" was reported by both academia and industry as the most important skill and attribute for construction management graduates. "Acceptance of Responsibility" and "Problem Solving Skills" were second and third in importance for industry, whereas academia rated "Planning, Scheduling and Controlling Construction Operations and Activities" and "Numeracy". Least important were "Ability to Conduct Research" and "Marketing Skills". The findings suggest that there are significant differences between what industry and academia perceive as relevant and important regarding skills and desirable attributes. In order to narrow the gap, a meeting of the minds and inclusion of the experiential learning component of the co-operative education programmes is required.
ISSN: 1747-4205
1747-4205
DOI: 10.11120/jebe.2007.02020085