Education and the Digital Economy: Strategies that Lead to Success

Education is closely tied with technology now.

Flickr user Ester Vargas

Now more than ever the college experience brings more than just textbook knowledge. Education, like every other industry, is becoming more driven by technology than before. Many universities have quickly caught on that students not only need to learn the necessary skills to succeed in their field but that they also need training in how to use technology to survive in today’s digital economy.

All fields incorporate technology in some way and the more students learn about how to use technology in their careers, the more likely they are to land their first job and foster their careers successfully. By incorporating technology into the classroom many students get to use tools they may already be interacting with but now they can apply skills they already know to their studies and future work fields. Here are some ways digital skills can help college students in their future careers:

Learn New Skills

Through campus workshops and websites such as Lynda.com, students can quickly learn new digital skills that can help them advance in their field. Even learning basic skills such as Photoshop or using Excel can make a big difference in finding a job post-graduation. Employers are always looking for applicants that not only have knowledge in their field but also have technological skills that can be useful to their company. College students should take advantage of the time they have while in school to learn these new digital skills and take initiative in their learning by seeking out opportunities to learn more.

Apply Those Digital Skills

Once students have learned digital skills they can begin practice applying such digital skills before even applying for a job. Students can use these digital skills such as creating a blog, using Photoshop to create a unique resume, or even start their own company through social media. Many college students will find that practicing and perfecting these digital skills early on will help them impress recruiters once they begin their job search. Many companies also rely on college interns or newly graduated employees to apply digital know-how at work.

Networking Online

The digital economy involves more than just having digital knowledge but also using digital tools to network. Networking is key for students to land their first job straight out of college or gaining opportunities that can help advance in their careers. Networking now does not have to mean going to meet-and-greet events or mixers but students can now conveniently reach out to professionals and experts online. Through websites such as LinkedIn, starting conversations with professionals and experts is easier than ever. Many professionals are also very open to mentoring and speaking to college students and online communication makes it convenient for both their busy schedules and a student’s hectic schedule.

Create Digital Portfolios

Along with perfecting digital skills and networking, in order to be successful in today’s digital economy is to use online tools to create interesting and compelling digital portfolios and resumes. Both digital portfolios and a resume are great ways for students to display the skills they have learned while at the same time use these skills in a career boosting way. Producing a creative digital portfolio can also help college graduates stand out from the sea of applicants.

Become Social Media Experts

Social media has become a huge digital outlet for all companies in all fields to reach audiences and advance their brands. College students are already using social media to communicate (don’t forget to clean up your social media!), but learning how to use social media in their careers can put them a step ahead of other job candidates. Social media management is one of the fastest growing careers and many companies look to newly graduated college students to take on the role of managing their social media accounts. Learning the most effective ways to monitor and use social media to advance a company’s profits and branding can be a good way thriving in today’s digital economy.

College education has surpassed teaching students what can only be found in textbooks. Professors know that in order to produce well-informed and highly skilled workers they need to educate students in digital skills. The digital economy continues to evolve and college students are not only the ones that will work in the digital economy but also progress with it.

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