A new year has arrived, and thoughts have turned to resolutions we hope to uphold. Now is an opportune time to reevaluate the skills students are learning and will rely on as they move on to life after graduation.

While the courses students take will expand their breadth of knowledge and grow their intellect, many of the post-graduation skills students need are what we call “soft skills.” Soft skills can enhance students’ learning and improve their assignments, and they also can improve students’ chances of employment upon graduation. Perhaps the biggest soft skill? Digital literacy.

The New Media Consortium’s 2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study offers a detailed insight into what digital literacy means for today’s students, what employees are looking for, and how higher education institutions can improve digital literacy.

Most importantly, postgraduates are expected to be able to consume, decipher, repurpose, create and present information in multiple digital formats. Despite these expectations, an overwhelming number of postgraduates –71 percent–report they received minimal or no experience with the creation and presentation of content or digital storytelling. This includes producing media with a narrative voice, the production of content in digital formats or combining video, images and sound to tell a story.

Next page: 3 ways institutions can ensure graduates leave with digital literacy skills

About the Author:

Karen McCavitt is Senior Group Manager, Worldwide Marketing – Education Enterprise for Adobe Systems.

Karen McCavitt joined Adobe in the fall of 2012 to manage worldwide marketing and programs for Higher Education Institutions. McCavitt brings years of experience in all facets of marketing, helping leading technology companies successfully promote their products and solutions to Education Institutions and Commercial companies. During her career, Karen McCavitt spent 11 years working for Apple, five of which included driving the growth of Apple’s market share among college students.

Karen holds a B.S.B.A. in Marketing and is a graduate of the Marketing Management Executive Program from Columbia University.


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