What happens to college students once they graduate and make the critical transition from campus to the workplace?
This video summarises the major findings. Link to full report below. Major findings:
1. The employers in our sample said they placed a high premium on graduates’ abilities for searching online, finding information with tools other than search engines, and identifying the best solution from all the information they had gathered.
2. Many college hires demonstrated computer know-how that exceeded expectations, yet we found these proficiencies also obscured the research techniques needed for solving information problems, according to our employer interviews.
3. Most college hires were prone to deliver the quickest answer they could find using a search engine, entering a few keywords, and scanning the first couple of pages of results, employers said, even though they needed newcomers to apply patience and persistence when solving information problems in the workplace.
4. Employers said they were surprised that new hires rarely used any of the more traditional forms of research, such as picking up the phone or thumbing through an annual report for informational nuggets. Instead, many relied heavily on what they found online and many rarely looked beyond their screens.
5. Graduates in our focus groups said they leveraged essential information competencies from college to help them gain an edge and save time at work when solving workplace information problems. Many of them applied techniques for evaluating the quality of content, close reading of texts, and synthesizing large quantities of content, usually found online.
6. To compensate for the gaps in their skills sets, graduates said they developed adaptive strategies for solving information problems in the workplace, often on a trial-and-error basis. Most of these strategies involved cultivating relationships with a trusted co-worker who could help them find quick answers, save time, and learn work processes.
Find the full report here:
"Learning Curve: How College Graduates Solve Information Problems Once They Join the Workplace," Alison J. Head, Project Information Literacy Research Report, October 15, 2012. (Two different versions available: Text with appendix, 38 pages, 5.8 MB or text without the appendix, 29 pages, 5.7 MB.)