SOFT SKILLS DEVELOPMENT ACCORDING TO THE LEVEL OF UNIVERSITY FORMATION FOR ENGINEERING
The great demand for soft skills for engineers leads to determining the development level of soft skills that undergraduate and postgraduate programs reach in their graduates since by defining this level, programs can propose strategies for their increase and become more competitive. This work focuses on determining soft skills development according to university education level for mechanical engineers. A 19-question survey evaluated 10 soft skills development applied to 81 mechanical engineers of different university education levels in 2020. Cronbach's Alpha statistics, bilateral Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Kruskal Wallis ANOVA, Spearman and Post Hoc Game-Howell correlation were used to determine reliability, define the data type and distribution, and determine the interrelation between the different variables, respectively. The current training of soft skills in the respondents was acceptable (3 out of 5); where the soft skills such as exposure, critical thought, recognition, responsibility, integrity, and humility show the most remarkable development, and those as creativity, negotiation, and non-verbal communication are the ones that present the most significant deficiencies. Postgraduate degrees such as specialization or magister strongly enhanced emotional development; however, other soft skills remained at the same level of development compared to graduates. It is proposed to include two lectures with experiential learning pedagogical methodology in the curriculum of the Mechanical Engineering programs to strengthen the development of soft skills.