Transitioning to professional work: a view from the field

Sally Hawse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores the question: “what is a successful transition to professional work for an engineering graduate”? To answer this question, it considers the viewpoint of both recent graduates and more experienced engineering professionals. While graduation signifies successful completion of a higher education program of learning, philosophies of the work lifespan and career transitions present a broader view of the journey from student to professional. Responses to a questionnaire about the value of their engineering degree, and whether technical skills or generic and transferrable skills are of greater benefit to an engineering career, inform suggestions for how higher education and organisations can contribute to successful transition for graduates into the workplace. This chapter starts with a brief literature review and moves on to a discussion of transitions and workplace expectations. It then looks at new graduate and experienced professional views relating to the work readiness provided by formal engineering programs of study. The chapter concludes with recommendations for what academia and organisations can do to support the transition to work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSuccess in higher education
Subtitle of host publicationtransitions to, within and from university
EditorsLeigh N. Wood, Yvonne A Breyer
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789811027918
ISBN (Print)9789811027895
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Engineering
  • Employability skills
  • Work readiness


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