Posts Tagged ‘e-skills’

Alasdair White, as part of his portfolio of academic and publishing activities, has taught undergraduate business studies students for the last twelve years. His courses are behavioural and focus on doing business in an increasingly hyper-connected and ICT dependent world.

As the second annual European e-Skills Week comes to end, it is interesting to reflect on some of the learning points that have come out of the various discussions around the subject. One such point should be phrased as a major question: are we actually ensuring that young people have the ICT and e-skills that they really need to obtain, hold and succeed in a job in the current business world?

Based on my twelve years experience of teaching undergraduate business studies students, I feel that the answer is (a) on the whole, no we are not, and (b) we should be doing a lot more.

In a recent article for the New European, John Vassallo, vice president for EU affairs at Microsoft, wrote: “Right now there are 5.5 million young people under the age of 25 who are unemployed. In Europe the youth unemployment rate has just reached a historic high at 22.4% … Not only does this concern low-skilled young people having left school early, but there are more and more university graduates who also cannot secure work.” This, of course, raises all sorts of issues about the curriculum in schools, colleges and universities but when a recent finding by the IDC (International Data Corporation – a research unit) that 90% of all jobs will require technology skills by 2015 is added to the mix, we have a point of focus: we need to do more to ensure that pupils and students have the ICT knowledge and e-skills needed for the real world. As Vassallo adds, “…the digital competencies that we associate with the young generation, for instance when using a phone application or social networking site like Facebook, are very different to the ICT skills in demand for getting a job in 2012 and beyond.” (my emphasis) Read the rest of this entry »