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Information and Communication Technology Literacy: What Do Businesses Expect and What Do Business Schools Teach? ICT

Ali, Radwan; Katz, Irvin R.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Information Literacy, Higher Education, Business Schools, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy, Human Resources


Today’s information and communications technology (ICT) provides unprecedented amounts of information to organizations and their employees. This overabundance challenges workers, placing an increasing premium on skills of sifting through information of sometimes dubious quality, integrating information critically, and producing well-reasoned conclusions. This paper explores the hypothesis that employers want new hires skilled in ICT literacy, which includes navigating information effectively and using technology efficiently. Based on an ICT literacy framework for higher education, two surveys were created to assess the opinions of human resources (HR) consultants and business school faculty. HR consultants endorsed practically all elements of the framework as being important or essential for new hires. Especially valued were skills associated with information security, confidentiality, and ethical behavior. However, business school faculty did not report a corresponding focus on ICT literacy generally, or ethical/legal issues in particular, in their instruction. The results suggest that while ICT literacy does indeed appear to be among the key skills for today’s workforce, much work must still be done to integrate these skills throughout the business school undergraduate curriculum.

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