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Industrial impact on topics and types of Master's theses: Empirical study of software engineering theses made in 1990-2016

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SEFI 2016 Annual Conference
EditorsHannu-Matti Järvinen, Robin Clark
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education SEFI
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9782873520144
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2016
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education
Period1/01/00 → …


One of the ways universities and industry co-operate is making the master’s theses on the topics of industrial partners. In this paper 578 theses on software engineering from 1990 until 2016 are evaluated to see how the needs of the industry on information technology in Finland have affected the topics, type, language and orientation of the theses. Also the size of the company and the gender of students were recorded as well. All the theses have been supervised by either of the authors and they represent about 30 percent of theses on software engineering at Tampere University of Technology.
Our strongest hypothesis was that during 2000-2005 golden era of Nokia would affect greatly on the numbers so that the major part of the theses were made for a large company, mobility is one of the most general topics and there are several constructive theses that are part of bigger projects. Other initial hypotheses were that the number of theses in English has been increased since 1990, the number of females has been the same or increasing slightly, and the orientation of the theses (constructive or research-oriented) has not changed much, the constructive ones being much more common.
The results partly proved the hypotheses, but interestingly enough, we got some surprises especially on the language of the theses and the gender on students.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • software engineering education, thesis, industrial impact

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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