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Rebecca Davis

No More Digitally Challenged Liberal-Arts Majors - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Edu... - 4 views

  • close the gap between what our students are learning and the expectations of the job markets in their field
  • We celebrate the graduates who seem most like ourselves—the ones who set out to become academics—and we don't talk much about what happens to those graduates after they've earned their Ph.D.'s. Without that conversation, we ill serve many of our students, and we undercut the impact that our fields could have beyond academe.
  • "We like liberal-arts graduates. They are curious and creative, they write well, they can do research, they are quick learners, and they are good critical thinkers." The best of them have the "ability to synthesize and distill large amounts of information." And "we especially need individuals who are good storytellers—who can convey the mission of our organization in a variety of forms."
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  • time management and the skill to juggle multiple tasks
  • "We want liberal-arts graduates who are not digitally challenged," one museum director said.
  • n addition to web design (including repeated mentions of WordPress, Drupal, Dreamweaver, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, though this list is sure to change quickly),
  • Evidence of teamwork—the ability to work collaboratively on large projects with different kinds of people
  • "What we ­really want right now is someone who can build and maintain our website and publicize our work appropriately using social media. We want graduates who can generate content, of course, but they also need some technical skills. And most of the time we can only hire one person. Do you have anyone like that?"
  • people who can work with data and statistics and are able to make lucid arguments, using spreadsheets and visualizations, that are grounded in quantitative ways of thinking.
  • give compelling presentations in a variety forms and contexts, from elevator speeches to lectures before large public audiences. Rather than mere assertions of ability, employers want concrete examples of how job candidates have demonstrated those skills.
  • adaptability. They often use words like "self-starting," "bootstrapping," and "entrepreneurship." Essentially they want employees who are able to think for themselves—within parameters—and who are able to learn on the fly, without excuses or needing a lot of hand-holding or micromanagement. They want people who can get things done, even if it's something they've never done before.
  • But the challenge remains: How do we best help take those passions into places where they can have the most impact?
  • help our students—to paraphrase Frederich Buechner—match their passions to the world's needs.
  • Broader opportunities are available for students who follow another route: experiential education, combined with technological training and collaborative research, and built on the traditional foundations of the liberal arts,
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