7 Essential ICT Skills Every Graduate Needs Today
ICT skills are one of the fastest expanding skillsets today, and are currently in huge demand across multiple markets. More than just as an industry of its own, ICT has also permeated into different job functions, evolving from being a specified niche to becoming a basic requirement across different verticals.
Such skills are also necessary for students entering into the working world; however, it appears that many may have a misperception of their actual digital proficiency, vastly overestimating their skills against the actual reality of their performance. This gap is critical, and it is up to academic institutes to address this by implementing more of such ICT skillsets into their educational curriculum.
Here are 7 of the most essential ICT skills every graduate needs, to keep up with the demands of the present job landscape.
- Coding, or a basic understanding of code
Coding is slowly, but surely, becoming a crucial necessity in today’s skillset portfolio, and it’s not hard to see why. Though this used to be more for those in programming, basic code knowledge is now required in almost all industries. At its simplest, it is the understanding of how code works, and the logic behind the development of step-by-step commands for computers to follow.
These days, many schools have integrated coding into their curriculums, even down to the elementary school level. This was a move Apple had anticipated some years back when they launched Swift Playgrounds, an app that teaches code to young children in a fun and interactive manner.
- Social media
Social media has infiltrated our lives in ways unimaginable, with 76% of us logging into Facebook each day, and 51% into Instagram. Businesses are looking to exploit these trends, and graduates – being the younger, always-on generation – are hence expected to lead this charge. Recognising the different social media platforms, along with their advantages, limitations and mechanics are important in this regard. And with the ever-changing online landscape, it is also important to be constantly updated and made aware of the latest developments in this field.
Extrapolating trends and patterns from data – analytics is also becoming a hugely appreciated skillset with a huge demand. The ability to develop, format, modify and represent data using advanced spreadsheet formulas and functions is especially important in an age where data has evolved into a commodity. The confidence, efficiency and effectiveness in executing such applications will set graduates apart from their competition, and also increase their productivity in almost all fields of work.
- IT Security and Safety
With the proliferation of ICT in daily life, the maintenance of a secure network connection has also become an industry and skillset of its own. Understanding the concepts of digital security and privacy would not only help the user, but also the organisation – in particular, preventing security complications and protecting both parties’ data from being compromised. Securing these different aspects of ICT communications – browsing, social networking, email and instant messaging – has never been more important, especially with recent news reports about increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity attacks on individuals and businesses.
- Online Collaboration
Online collaboration tools have been around for some time now, but it is only in recent years that they have evolved with more powerful functions like storage, productivity applications, calendars, web meetings, learning environments. Graduates are now also expected to know how to best utilise these tools. A basic understanding of the key concepts related to cloud computing and online collaboration tools are greatly appreciated, which can help save both the user’s time, and resources for the organisation.
- Managing Online Information
With a slew of information available online in all functions and forms – like news sites, videos, infographics, social media updates – it is important to be discerning users, and to consume only the accurate ones. Searching for, identifying, evaluating and communicating such information is important in today’s world of fake news and half-truths, and the ability to narrow down search terms to the most relevant information has even become a skill of its own.
- Basic image editing
Even if students are not looking to hone their craft in a design-centric job, basic image editing is useful for almost every kind of career, and gives a definite edge over other jobseekers. Knowing how to use editing programmes such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, helps prepare the graduates for a multi-faceted career. Aside from producing high-quality work, these fundamentals will also enable them to be capable in optimising images for web and mobile, in different formats for different situations.
Learn how you can keep your institute’s syllabus up to date, to match current job demands, and empower your students to be ideal employees of the future.