Motivation and attitude of computer engineering students toward soft skills

Authors Mariecke Schipper , Esther van der Stappen
Publication date 17 April 2018
Research groups Digital Ethics
Type Lecture


To find, design and create solutions to global challenges, 21st century engineering professionals work in multi-disciplinary and international teams that are expected to work effectively, efficiently and innovatively. Universities are following this trend, as they acknowledge the importance of soft skills for employability. The integration of soft skills in higher education curricula is not straightforward, especially in engineering education. At our university, soft skills courses score low in student satisfaction surveys. This is the reason why we study the motivation, attitude and anxiety of computer engineering students toward learning soft skills. To do so, we performed a quantitative study using an online survey based on the mini-AMBT. Overall, our data indicate that computer engineering students have a positive motivation and attitude toward learning soft skills from both an integrative and an instrumental perspective. The obtained results do not give clear insights as to what causes the low satisfaction scores for soft skill courses. All of the above calls for further, qualitative research. We studied the motivation and attitude of computer engineering students in a Dutch university of applied sciences; the motivation and attitude of students in other disciplines and countries may differ and should be studied separately. Full text for members of IEEE :


Language English
Key words Soft skills, Motivation, Attitude

Mariecke Schipper