Undergraduate perceptions of social media proficiency and graduate employability: a pilot study

Karen Author, Susie Siew Yuen Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore undergraduate student attitudes towards the inclusion of social media training within higher education pedagogy, student perceptions of social media proficiency as professional expertise and its impact on graduate employability.

Design/methodology/approach
In all, 81 undergraduate students studying medicine, law, science and arts volunteered to complete an online survey. Questions examined student attitudes towards the delivery of social media pedagogy at university and the perceived benefits of social media proficiency.

Findings
Participants stated that social media skills should be taught in optional classes (85 per cent) covering generic competencies (56 per cent). The majority (91 per cent) of respondents reported that social media skills and training were valuable for employability.

Research limitations/implications
This was a pilot study and was therefore limited by the self-selection of participants, sample size and geographic location.

Practical implications
This study identifies that undergraduates across a range of disciplines are receptive to developing professionally relevant social media skills within higher education pedagogy and identify a link between social media proficiency and graduate employability.

Originality/value
Despite the increasing necessity for social media skills in professional environments, few studies have examined the teaching of social media skills as a core competency in higher education. Instead, social media is largely examined in relation to curriculum delivery and student engagement. This study explores attitudes towards the delivery of social media pedagogy at university and the perceived benefits of social media proficiency exclusively from the viewpoint of undergraduate students, to provide an alternative insight rarely explored in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Social Media
  • Pedagogy
  • Graduate Employability
  • Higher Education

Cite this