By Adrian D. Ramirez
Director of Career Development and College Relations – UTSA University Career Center
As students prepare to enter a competitive marketplace, in search of jobs and internships, they will need to leverage and highlight any unique skills in their applicant profiles to demonstrate an ability to navigate the new world of work and attract the attention of target employers. Digital literacy is an essential skill for students to cultivate as part of their academic and professional development at UTSA.
Why is Digital Literacy Important?
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified several key indicators of career readiness, including competency in:
“Digital Technology: Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.”
How Can I Help Students Gain Digital Literacy?
Define the technology students will use in the classroom and promote the use as a transferable skill.
If students are required to use Adobe, Zoom, Panopto, or other digital tools to complete your course, ask students to make note of how they are using them, and to what end. Encourage them to add that information to the “academic projects” and “technical skills” sections of their resumes, to highlight skills required by a variety of jobs and industries.
Provide opportunities for students to leverage digital tools to complete group assignments and projects.
Students are often required to respond to behavioral questions pertaining to teamwork and leadership, when interviewing for jobs or internships. Group projects, in the remote environment, can help students learn to leverage technology to work effectively as a team, which can benefit them as they interview for competitive opportunities.
Offer a pathway for students to build a portfolio to promote their use of digital classroom resources.
UTSA provides students access to Adobe Creative Cloud, a set of applications and services for developing content. Encourage students to include the best of their Adobe created assignments, projects, and outside work in their Adobe Portfolio and link it to their resume and/or LinkedIn profile.
The University Career Center (UCC) offers a variety of virtual tools to help students develop resumes, prepare for interviews, make professional connections, and is available to support faculty in their efforts to promote digital literacy to students. Faculty are encouraged to contact the UCC to request access to related resources, schedule classroom presentations, and discuss additional opportunities for collaboration to help facilitate student career exploration and readiness.