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Abstract

This study discusses project-based learning and describes a course that is designed around these principles. The study also examines the working-life requirements of today’s IT project managers and assesses the potential of project-based learning in promoting the development of the necessary skills and knowledge for successful project management. The data were collected and combined from three different sources: Recent graduates (questionnaires, n=185) were asked to identify the most important skills they needed in their work; project managers (interviews, n=15) were asked their opinions of the contents and methods used when educating IT project managers; and students (interviews, n=58) were asked what they had learned during the project-based course. According to a comparative analysis of the three sets of data, the respondent groups were unanimous regarding two aspects of working-life requirements and learning outcomes: domain-specific knowledge and social skills. The graduates and the project managers saw these as vital in the work of IT professionals, and the students mentioned them as the most important learning outcomes. The findings suggest that project-based learning may provide students with a learning environment that prepares them well for their future working lives.

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