Digital Industries – employer needs + graduate skills

Presentation at Web Teaching Day, 6 September 2010

Nicola Critchlow, MMU Careers

Reports on work funded by HECSU.  Key points:

  • Creative digital industries definition confused but cross sector (impacts 10-13 traditional sectors depending on your defintion)
  • Comms skills is valued highly by both employers and academics, but while academics thought students were prepared, employers did not
  • Tech skills valued highly by both academics and (even more highly) by employers, again with employers thinking grads were less prepared
  • work experience valued by both academics and (again, even more highly) by employers, but two thirds of employers thought grads not prepared.

Summary of employer views:

  • grads bring fresh talen and ideas, and assessed by their (untaught!) enthusiam and experience
  • pace of change much higher in industry compared with academics

Tech skills wanted include XHMLT, motion graphics, soft skills etc

Follow-up research focussed on different competencies and identified:

  • cognitive (understanding), behavioural (skills) & affective (attitudes and values)
  • employers are looking for all three, while academics tend (unsurprisingly) to focus more on cognitive competencies.
  • employability initiatives (e.g. e-portfolios) do not necessarily meet employer requirements (if they are looking for enthusiam and innovation outside of prescriptive university led approaches)

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