Tackling the Digital Native Fallacy – is Singapore ready for the future workplace?

Singapore, 20th July ’17 – ICDL Asia, the leading international computer skills certification across Asia conducted a Digital Native Fallacy “Perception vs Reality” survey and has found significant information and communication technology (ICT) skills gaps in the incoming entrants to the Singaporean workforce.

The survey was part of ICDL Digital Literacy Day 2017 (20th of July ’17) held at Singapore Management University’s Mochtar Riady Auditorium, to create greater awareness and highlight on the need of adopting relevant digital and ICT skills at the higher education level to prepare students for the future workforce.

With technology consistently evolving and as Singapore is on an aggressive momentum towards developing a Smart Nation, many would then ask - what is the most relevant digital skills needed? To answer that, ICDL Digital Literacy Day’s Guest-Of-Honor, SPS Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliment Secretary for Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Education, delivered a keynote speech on the Digital Literacy Challenge in Education.

The Digital Native Fallacy survey was conducted to measure the actual ICT literacy standards possessed by the tertiary students (387 students across 8 higher education institutes) in Singapore, versus their perceived proficiency in ICT skills. The findings were analysed and confirmed by the Singapore Management University (SMU) - Office of Research & Tech Transfer.

The survey arrived at 4 major conclusions:

1.  ICT skills gaps exist in Singapore.
2.  Students with Engineering and IT background scored higher.
3.  Students’ performance are high for ICT concepts and File and Data Management.

4.  On the contrary, students demonstrated lower performance on Word Processing and Spreadsheet.

In celebration with ICDL Foundation 20th Anniversary, ICDL Asia also organised the first ever ICDL Digital Challenge to search for the top student with the best ICT skills in Asia. This competition ran across 7 territories including Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Bhutan, India and Singapore. ICDL Asia selected 14 finalists from 3,700 students in more than 100 renowned schools/institutions to compete in Singapore.

After 3 rounds of competition of sitting through selected ICDL modules, from Base to Advanced modules, to measure their skills and competency in computer and ICT, Prince Sumberia of India emerged victorious. Together with Ang Yee Chin of Singapore (2nd place) and Tatsapun Ngamsompornpong of Thailand (3rd place), they will become ambassadors for Digital Literacy - inspiring the future workforce.

Through the events of ICDL Digital Literacy Day 2017, ICDL Asia uncovered the students’ overall performance to share insights on the common fallacy of the ‘Digital Native’ in Singapore and Asia. ICDL Asia also hope to bridge the gap of the digital standards on education level to the actual skillset that is demanded in the workforce.

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