April 22, 2024

Students need better preparation for digital careers, Jisc survey suggests

Author: jess.moore@jisc.ac.uk
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The results of the digital experience insights student survey 2019 explore how learners at UK universities and colleges engage with technology.

Published today (3 September), the results of our digital experience insights student survey provides powerful data from 29,531 students on how they engage with technology.

Data drawn from 13,389 further education (FE) students and 14,525 campus-based higher education (HE) respondents shows that only 40% in FE and 42% in HE feel their course prepares them for the digital workplace.

Worse, despite Office for Students predications than more than a million digitally skilled people will be needed by 2022, less than half of the FE students surveyed (49%) and only 70% of campus-based HE respondents agree that digital skills are needed in their chosen career.

Access the digital experience insights 2019 report

Valuable insights

Launched at the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) annual conference, the digital experience insights student survey 2019 shares information from students at 50 UK institutions – including 13,389 students in further education (FE), 14,525 based on-campus in higher education (HE), and 1,617 online HE learners. Participants describe their attitude towards technologies and their digital learning experiences.

Overall, satisfaction levels are high, with 70% of FE students and 75% of those studying on-campus in HE rating the quality of digital teaching and learning on their course as ‘good’, ‘excellent’ or ‘best imaginable’. Further, 72% of FE students and 87% of campus-based HE students rated their organisation’s digital provision as ‘good’, ‘excellent’ or ‘best imaginable’.

‘Vital’ skills

Jisc student partner Sam Jenkins – a history undergraduate at the University of Winchester – comments:

“Using technology at university has helped me to engage with programmes and apps, which will be vital to my future career.”

He’s not alone. Around seven in ten students in HE and six in ten in FE agree that, when digital is used, they understand things better and enjoy learning more. Around four in ten students would like digital technology to be used on their course more than it is now – and mobile devices could present an emerging opportunity: 79% of FE students and 86% of HE students now have access to smartphones, suggesting there is value in ensuring education services and resources are mobile-optimised.

Currently, just 53% of FE students and 70% of HE students agree that their institution supports them to use their own digital devices.

Opportunities for all

Sarah Knight, Jisc’s head of change – student experience, says;

“With increasing demand for digital skills in the workplace, technology is no longer optional for colleges and universities. Authentic opportunities for all students to develop digital skills need to be embedded within courses.”

Since the digital experience insights student survey launched in 2016, more than 100,000 students have had their say, helping to shape the digital experience for future learners and contributing to a variety of initiatives in student engagement, curriculum design, and careers and employability services.

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