Abstract Paper aims Identify the differences in the competences of the production engineering alumni and the importance attributed to it by the job market. Originality This is funded on investigating the gap between the competences the academy and the job market attribute to the professional of production engineering. Research method A questionnaire with production engineers was conducted to collect data that was analyzed using descriptive and predictive quantitative methods. Main findings Soft skills have higher importance to the job market but are the less addressed by universities. Professional competence importance is dependent on the sector. The skills with the higher gaps are associated with the constant transformation of industries and the increasing complexity of decision-making. Implications for theory and practice Theory should adopt a strategic orientation to guide the prioritization of competences and practice must adapt selection mechanisms to test for soft skills and customize it to the professional sector.