University of Oregon

IT Snapshot: Are Students Prepared to Use IT?

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Faculty/Staff
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This article is the tenth in the series, IT Snapshots. New articles are published most every Friday.

The previous IT Snapshot examined UO students' opinions of how well IT engages them in the classroom.

This week's IT Snapshot gives an appraisal of students' preparation to use IT in college and after graduation. Students were asked to answer the following two questions with strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, or strongly agree as the options:

  • "When I entered college, I was adequately prepared to use IT as needed in my courses"
  • "By the time I graduate, the IT I have used in my courses will have adequately prepared me for the workplace"

Nearly 52 percent of UO students said when they entered college they were adequately prepared (those who answered agree or strongly agree) to use IT as needed in their courses, more than the negative and neutral responses combined. Students at universities nationwide answered similarly.

Students felt differently, however, when speculating about their preparation for life after college. Only 36.9 percent of UO students feel that the IT they have used in their courses will have adequately prepared them for the workplace. The largest set of UO respondents—44.4 percent—answered "neutral".

This raises several questions that are not addressed by the survey: do students feel uncertain about the IT skills they gained in college? Or are they uncertaint about what types of IT tasks their future jobs will require of them? How accurate are students' perceptions of their workplace preparation?

UO students' uncertainty, regardless of its source, is especially apparent in light of responses from students nationwide. Students across the country agreed with the statement at a rate 10.3 percent higher than UO students.