How building graduates’ digital literacy opens up future success

The digital literacy skillset is in-demand, not just from employers in IT and technical industries, but in industries we would once have considered far removed from the digital world

A digital skillset is critical to success in everyday life. At Adobe, we believe that students should be equipped with the skills they need to succeed in their careers, and that encouraging digital skills has never been more important.

What is digital literacy?

Digital literacy includes the skills you need to learn, work and live in a society where communication and access to information increasingly occurs through digital tools. In learning specifically, it’s the power to use these digital tools to create innovative projects, enhance communication and prepare students for the challenges of an evolving workplace.

By becoming digitally-literate, students must think critically, solve problems creatively, collaborate effectively and communicate with impact. Students gain these soft skills as they learn digital expertise.

Why is digital literacy so important for graduates?

Firstly, digital skills sets students apart. It shows how they can communicate complex ideas in a simple, creative, and impactful way, and it gives them an edge over their peers. They are noticed by potential employers.

Digital literacy also helps fill a growing skills gap. Government research shows that around one-third of job vacancies are difficult to fill because of the lack of appropriate digital skills, and this isn’t just middle- and high-skill roles that require specific digital skills; it’s baseline digital skills. Creative problem-solving and collaborating effectively with others are the soft skills that many current graduates are missing. Additional research, this time by the World Economic Forum, shows that complex problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity are the three most important skills required to thrive in 2020 and beyond.

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Lastly, being digitally-literate means becoming future-ready. Advances in technology continue to benefit us on a societal and an individual level, but it’s still the human skills – such as the ability to think creatively and articulate ideas – that will provide opportunities in future workplaces. According to UCAS, graduate applicants lack communication, analytical thinking, self-management and resilience skills, all of which can be improved by becoming digitally-literate. And Adobe’s own research reflects similar results; across the 18 career fields we analysed, communication skills were the most highly sought out in job postings, followed by creativity and collaboration.

The Digital Edge Award: how Adobe is helping students build digital literacy skills

The Adobe Digital Edge Award searches the UK for the best examples of digital literacy in higher education, helping students develop a critical skillset for the ever-changing future workplace, and providing a platform and opportunities to elevate their achievements.

Why encourage your students to enter the awards?

The Digital Edge Award celebrates students who exemplify digital literacy through creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and persuasive and creative communication skills. The winning entrant will receive £9,250, plus a highlight on their CV with industry-leading recognition.

Both students and parents favour universities that encourage skills which set graduates apart in the job market. Digital skills improve employability, and with ranking figures for graduate employability an increasing factor in university choice, we believe an award like this could increase a student’s, as well as a university’s, competitive edge.

How to enter

Students can submit a piece of work they produced as part of an assignment for their studies that they think exemplifies digital literacy, and was created using Creative Cloud. They can also submit an existing piece of work or an assignment they have reimagined in Creative Cloud specifically for the Digital Edge Award.

Entries close on 31st May, 2021. Find out more and enter here:

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