Managerial and Professional Skills and Dispositions from Professionals’ Interviews


Employability should be a primary objective for computing programs, as the majority of IT and other computing graduates go to work in industry upon graduation. Furthermore, students want to be prepared for a career, not just an entry-level job. However, literature has shown a gap between employers’ needs and undergraduates’ preparation in non-technical areas. Competencies (skills, knowledge, and dispositions) can be a common language used by both employers and educators. The more we learn about competencies employers expect, the more we can ensure programs match their expectations. This study focuses on competencies required by managers, by interviewing ten directors/managers, project managers, and product managers who had prior experience in computing-related roles. Each was asked to discuss competencies most important to their current position. Emerging themes identified the most important managerial skills (project management, evaluation of candidates, mentorship, managers’ own technical skills and knowledge, adjusting management style as needed, and appropriately assigning team members), professional skills (communication, problem solving, and relationship building), and dispositions (lifelong learning; adaptability/flexibility; being self-driven; self-awareness; being helpful, positive and pleasant; valuing communication and collaboration; having passion for technical work; and perseverance). Implications for education are discussed. This study is part of a larger NSF-funded project related to investigating the competencies required by computing professionals, and the design of educational resources to promote the development of these competencies.

Publication Date


Journal Title

SIGITE '22: Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference on Information Technology



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Document Type

Conference Proceeding