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10 Competencies for Every Graduate
March 16, 2010 - 9:33pm

Every job is a technology job. Technology is baked into each aspect of work. Social media means that everyone in an organization is a communicator, everyone is a salesperson.

As the technical infrastructure continues an inexorable movement towards a service, sourced from without, skills to utilize technology higher up the value chain will be the only ones that pay a professional wage. Just as the word processor replaced the secretary, lightweight authoring tools and social media publishing platforms will replace Web and media specialists for all but the highest fidelity (and revenue generating) tasks.

I'm not saying the media and Web jobs will disappear, rather we will all be expected to create multimedia work in digital format and share / interact with digital tools. Today's NYTimes reporter who writes, but also podcasts and creates short videos, (think David Pogue), provides a glimpse into all of our futures.

What would you choose as the 10 competencies that every college graduate must bring to the job market?

I'm going to shamelessly steal from Mindy McAdams, a professor in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida, and her "Reporter’s Guide to Multimedia Proficiency". I'll share my favorite 10, modified somewhat from the original list.

1. Start a Blog

2. Buy an Audio Recorder and Learn to Use It

3. Start Editing Audio

4. Post an Interview (or Podcast) on Your Blog

5. Learn How to Shoot, Crop, Tone, and Optimize Photos (And Add Them to Your Blog)

6. Learn to Create Effective Voice-Over Presentations with Rapid Authoring Software

7. Tell a Good Story with Images and Sound

8. Learn to Shoot Video

9. Edit Your Video with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker

10. Publish Your Video on Your Blog.

What percentage of our institution's graduates could check-off all 10 boxes? Would this vary by major? Would it be possible to spread these skills throughout all courses, so they are learned in conjunction with the curriculum, or would we need to offer separate "skills" based courses? (My preference is to integrate, as we know that we learn better when we learn skills and content together). What skills would you add to this list?


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