Graduates Fall Behind the Curve on Data Literacy Skills

Employers must equip workers with crucial modern skills

The ability to make decisions from data is the number one skill employers require. But despite its importance, too many graduates are entering the workforce without sufficient data literacy.

Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is encouraging employers to test new recruits so that they can ensure those joining the team have the skills they need, and so they can quickly train those that need it.

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Data literacy is the skill employers claim they need most, according to research by Forrester Consulting. But while 81% of recruiters rank data literacy as a crucial skill for graduates, only 66% of people who plan academic courses recognize it as a priority.

Some 43% of academic institutions do not teach any data skills outside mathematics classes, even though data literacy is essential to a wide range of job roles. As a result, too many graduates are entering the workforce without one of the crucial skills they need.

John Kleeman, Founder of Questionmark, said: “If academic institutions are not equipping graduates with sufficient data literacy, employers will have to work quickly to ensure new starters have the modern skills they need.

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“By testing the data literacy of new starters and potential recruits, employers can identify immediate training needs and ensure graduates, and other workers, get the support they need.”

The Questionmark Data Literacy by Cambridge Assessment enables employers to measure the data literacy skills across their organizations. The results show which team members can understand, apply, communicate with and evaluate data in their job role. It can identify training needs.

Employers can also use this assessment in the recruitment process to:

  • Select the candidates with the strongest available data skills.
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and introduce the right training for new starters.
  • Further assessments can ensure that the training has worked.

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