Workplace Technology: Are Graduates Prepared?

Workplace Technology: Are Graduates Prepared?

With cell phones, tablets, and time spent online, we might assume all technology is second nature to today’s generation of graduates. While most have basic digital literacy skills, many students are not in fact proficient in the higher level technology that will be necessary on the job, come 2020. In order for students to master these skills before entering the workforce, secondary and post-secondary educators must consistently incorporate them into instruction and coursework.

Teachers are beginning to realize that rudimentary computer skills will no longer be enough for success in careers of the future. Yet many admit they simply do not feel comfortable teaching more complex technology. As a result, students may not have adequate in-school opportunities to learn about and practice website design, computer programming languages, or data analytics—just a few of the skills employers might look for when interviewing candidates.

In the spring of 2018, audit, assurance, and tax services company PwC conducted a survey in collaboration with the Business-Higher Education Forum to learn more about the topic of technology and digital proficiency in United States schools. The survey included more than 2,000 K–12 educators and revealed that only 10% actually feel confident enough to teach advanced technology skills. The study also showed that classroom technology use often involves merely viewing websites and videos, rather than actively participating in technology projects and applying skills.

CEOs are starting to worry about the growth of their companies and whether or not entry level employees will have the competencies required to help their businesses progress. What can be done to close the gap between employers’ expectations and students’ capabilities? Increasing collaboration between industries and educational institutions is one solution to the issue. By working together with employers on professional standards, training materials, and overall curriculum development, schools can provide students with a better chance for success.

Employers can partner with teachers in designing lessons and assignments, supplying equipment, and aligning learning standards with industry needs. They can help teachers train students in the skills necessary to receive industry certifications. Employers can also work with schools to offer students opportunities to experience work environments, allowing them to see the role technology plays in different organizations. Schools will need to be more proactive as well. Providing new professional development opportunities in technology will help instructors feel more prepared to teach high-level digital skills. Districts can also broaden the range of technology courses available to students.

Ensuring that students keep up with the latest technology trends, programs, equipment, and applications is essential. Bridgeway Education supports schools and professional organizations in creating cutting edge learning and career-readiness resources for today’s students. Contact us for more information at [email protected]