Why Do the Digital Competencies Matter?
Across majors and career fields, strong digital skills are in high demand.
The digital skills which students gain at Bryn Mawr offer them additional options and opportunities on the market. Burning Glass Technologies, a think tank for higher education, noted that skills in fields like digital communication, data analysis and management, and algorithmic thinking/coding raise salaries and open up additional job prospects for recent graduates in the liberal arts. In today's technology-driven world, arguably even just having the word "digital" on a resume boosts a student's career prospects.
Bryn Mawr students gain skills across their college experience, from the digital survival skills they acquire when first setting up a network or participating in an in-class workshop on strategic web searching, to work experience in troubleshooting at the Bryn Mawr Help Desk, or digital scholarship experience working on an interactive history project with the digital scholarship program.
But it's often a challenge for a student writing a résumé or applying for a first job to collect this diffuse, variable experience into a clear story. "We have... students who have done very sophisticated work such as complex data analysis, but who don’t really know how to talk about the skills they have with someone from outside of their field of study," notes Jenny Spohrer, Director of Educational and Scholarly Technology at Bryn Mawr College.
The digital competencies framework offers a map for students to reflect on their skills, build skills based on their interests, and practice articulating their competencies to different audiences.
The digital competencies are not a checklist to be completed, but rather an invitation to students to explore their interests and become aware of their strengths. Students with training in the digital competencies gain a new type of digital savvy, and will be able to position themselves strategically for post-graduate job and educational opportunities.