What information competencies matter in today’s workplace?

Alison J. Head, Michele Van Hoeck, Jordan Eschler, Sean Fullerton


This is a qualitative study about the information competencies that employers seek in university graduates and the skills which graduates demonstrate when they enter the workplace. Included are findings from interviews with 23 US employers and focus groups with a total of 33 recent graduates from four US colleges and universities. Employers said they recruited graduates for their online searching skills but once graduates joined the workplace they rarely used the traditional, low-tech research competencies that their employers also needed. Graduates said that they used skills from university for evaluating and managing published content; yet most graduates still needed to develop adaptive strategies to save time and work more efficiently. A preliminary model compares information problems in the university with those of the workplace. Opportunities are identified for preparing students to succeed beyond the academy in the workplaces of today and tomorrow.


information literacy; workplace information literacy; preparedness

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.29173/lirg557

CILIP Registered Charity no 313014

ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)