Using Professional Online Presences To Enhance Computing Student Employability

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This presentation, from the HEA STEM Conference 2013, reports on work undertaken at Birmingham City University, showing how students can become more employable by creating professional presences to represent themselves in the online world.

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Using Professional Online Presences To Enhance Computing Student Employability

  1. 1. Using Professional Online PresencesTo Enhance Computing StudentEmployability Thomas Lancaster
  2. 2. “So What?” Employability
  3. 3. Minimal Expectations For A JobCareer?Good Degree Classification?Well-Prepared Application Form?Solid Performance During Job Selection Process?University Provided Support And Training? 3
  4. 4. More Advanced Expectations?Work ExperienceAssignments Simulating IndustryIndustrial Sandwich Year PlacementsParticipation In Student CompetitionsPortfolio Of WorkFreelance ExperienceVendor CertificationsInterest In Computing Outside The ClassroomExperience With The Latest TechnologiesParticipation Towards Open Source ProjectsEvidence Of EntrepreneurshipProject Tailored Towards Employment 4
  5. 5. How Do Students CommunicateThis? http://www-05.ibm.com/employment/uk/graduate- programmes/apply/index.shtml 5
  6. 6. Not Enough (For Computing?)http://mashable.com/2011/10/23/how-recruiters-use-social-networks-to-screen-candidates-infographic 6
  7. 7. Application Forms? 7
  8. 8. Positive Online Presence
  9. 9. Students Need To…Be aware of how they are perceived onlineTake control of the information that is publicisedabout themDirect employers towards the view of them thatthey want them to haveClaim ownership of the valuable social mediaproperties associated with themEnsure that they are findable (to receiveopportunities)Be required to develop themselves into a brandDevelop a Professional (Online) Presence(=web + social media) 9
  10. 10. Computing Professionals DoThis… http://www.tubblog.co.uk/ 10
  11. 11. Academics Do This… http://thomaslancaster.co.uk http://thomaslancaster.co.uk/blo g 11
  12. 12. Students Do This… http://www.ashleyksmith.com/ 12
  13. 13. And Also…http://www.adamtsmith.co.uk/ http://www.alaurentiu.com/ http://ayeshaprofessionalpresence.webnode.co 13 m/
  14. 14. Or They Use Third Party Services…http://www.linkedin.com/in/rizhwan http://portfolio.bcu.ac.uk/user/view.php?id=59 163 14
  15. 15. Teaching ProfessionalPresences
  16. 16. Professional Practice UG22nd year module (taken over a full academic yearon BSc Computer Science and BSc BusinessInformation Technology)15 credits72 students registered (5 teaching groups)26 weeks – 90 minutes per weekPart employability + Part research/project skillsData collected relates to the 2011-2012 academicyear 16
  17. 17. Employability ContentWeek Topic Week Topic1 Online Professional 5 Personal Development Representation Planning2 The Placement Selection 6 Assessment Centre Process Simulation3 CV Writing And Application 7 Time Management And Forms Planning4 Aptitude Tests 8 Interview Techniques 17
  18. 18. Assignment RequirementsCreate a Professional Online Presence (onesite of your choice)Should support placement and job applications(encourage real life use)Should show creativity (answer “so what?”)Include:Appropriate informationCV2 year Personal Development Plan 18
  19. 19. The Students See… 19
  20. 20. What Do Students Think?
  21. 21. Before Teaching… (59responses)“i think my skills are better and i think that i can offermore than any other candidate for a job.”“Very aware of privacy and security concerns, try toavoid identifying myself on many websites or otherinternet analogues (USENET, etc) Tend to identifymore with non-identifying username for privacy.”“Most the efforts I have made to become more„employable‟ have come from activities outside ofuniversity that have no link to it.”“Ive managed to get a placement at a Digital Marketingcompany in Birmingham Science Park whilst studyingat BCU.” 21
  22. 22. Post Teaching… (39 responses)“I feel I am now professionally minded and have more aprofessinal online presence than the last time I took thequestionnaire.” How employable do you feel you are right now? 70% 64.10% 60% 50% 40% 30% 23.08% 20% 7.69% 5.13% 10% 0.00% 0% 22
  23. 23. Would You Like To Take APlacement Year? 90% 79.66% 80% 70% 66.67% 60% 50% 40% 33.33% 30% 20.34% 20% 10% 0% Yes No Pre Teaching Post Teaching 23
  24. 24. How Many PlacementApplications Have You Made? 100% 94.92% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 46.15% 40% 28.21% 30% 20% 15.38% 10% 7.69% 5.08% 2.56% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0% 0 1-3 4-6 7-9 10+ Pre Teaching Post Teaching 24
  25. 25. Which Professional PresenceElements Do You Have?80% 74.36% 71.19%70% 66.67%60%50% 41.03%40%30%20% 15.25%10% 6.78%0% Facebook LinkedIn Website Pre Teaching Post Teaching 25
  26. 26. How Professional Would People Perceive YouTo Be After Searching For You On TheInternet? 60% 54.24% 48.72% 50% 40% 30.77% 30% 20% 16.95% 13.56% 10.17% 10.26% 10.26% 10% 5.08% 0.00% 0% very unprofessional neither professional very professional unprofessional unprofessional nor professional Pre Teaching Post Teaching 26
  27. 27. What Do We Think?
  28. 28. Key ChallengesConvincing students to own their web site(students who did generally got higher marks)Encouraging “willingness to relocate” for homestudents for placementsEncouraging International students to participatewith the entire placements and employabilityagendaConvincing students to leave their ProfessionalPresences available online after assessmentsProviding opportunities for students to continue todevelop their Professional PresencesIntegrating Professional Presences into more 28courses and beyond the Computing discipline
  29. 29. Further Resources
  30. 30. Workshop ResourcesHEA Computing 2012 Workshop“Enhancing The Employability Of ComputingStudents Through An Online ProfessionalPresence”http://www.bcu.ac.uk/tee/events/previous-events/employability-workshopContains copies of talks and set of teachingmaterials 30
  31. 31. Upcoming WorkshopHEA Computing 2013 Workshop“Professional Presences for Academics”http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/9-May-Birmingham-STEMThursday 9 May 2013Birmingham City University 31
  32. 32. Any Questions?

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