Software Engineers and Engineering: A Survey of Undergraduate Preconceptions

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Executive Summary

Past research has demonstrated that student misconceptions about degree programs can negatively affect enrolment and retention rates. Software engineering is a relatively new discipline that is distinct from computer science and other engineering specializations; however, it is still rapidly evolving and consequently there is potential for misconceptions about the new discipline to arise. A study was therefore undertaken to investigate the preconceptions of first-year students enrolled in various Bachelor of Engineering degrees. Students were asked to rank the importance of different skills and activities for software engineering, and to rate a variety of statements about software engineering using a Likert scale.

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