Digital Natives and Perceived Technology Skills: Bridging the Digital Divide between Natives

By Laura Zizka.

Published by Journal of Communication and Media Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 23, 2016 $US5.00

Over the past few decades, the importance of technology has risen significantly in the workplace. Young graduates are hired with the expectation that their technology skills exceed those of the preceding generations. Previous research has shown that there are generational gaps between employer expectations and the real skills of young graduates which have led to dissatisfaction and misunderstanding. One of these generational gaps consists of perceived technological skills. In fact, Millennials, also known as digital natives, are not as technologically-savvy as employers are led to believe. While these digital natives have grown up with technology, their use is rudiment at best. The results from this study derive from a quantitative survey distributed to first year students at an international hospitality school in Switzerland. Students rated their comfortability with eight specific IT tasks and were also asked to allocate a percentage out of 100 to five areas recruiters seek from new employees: people-savvy, tech-savvy, loyalty, fun-loving, and hard-working. The results showed that international Millennials rate their comfortability with technology much lower than Millennials in similar studies conducted with American students. This study examines how Millennials perceive their technology skill gaps and what can be done to bridge this gap in the workplace.

Keywords: Technology, Digital Divide, Millennials

The Journal of Communication and Media Studies, Volume 1, Issue 3, September, 2016, pp.15-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 23, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 634.278KB)).

Laura Zizka

PhD Senior Lecturer, Learning, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne [Lausanne Hotel School], HES-SO [University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland], Lausanne, Switzerland