Are computer skills necessary for high school graduates entering the work force?
Powell, Martha Kathleen
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The major purpose of this study was to determine the importance of graduating students having computer skills as they enter the workforce in the Prescott area located in Arizona. This study focused on the populations of Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley businesses and past Bradshaw Mountain High School graduates. Bradshaw Mountain High School is located in Prescott Valley. The procedure that the researcher used to collect data for the study was through survey instruments. Two survey instruments were developed and used. One survey was utilized for the business population and a different survey was used for the student population. A random sample collection was used to select the respondents and gather data. Approximately 110 businesses and 81 students returned usable surveys. Results indicated that both businesses and students feel that computer training should be a requirement for all high school students. Most businesses and half of the student respondents viewed favorably making computer training a high school graduation requirement. The computer training requirements ranged from basic or general knowledge of operating computers to operation of specific programs. Most of the business and student respondents viewed themselves as being proficient operating the computer. While about half of the businesses found their employees lacking in computer skills, most businesses did not offer any type of funds for computer training for their employees. Both the business and student respondents didn't see that lacking in computer skills would be a barrier to getting new employment or hiring new employees. The researcher concluded that high school students should be required to have computer training for at least a year before graduating. Most businesses and students used computers in their place of work. Those that did not use computers foresaw the computer becoming a part of future work operations. Lack of computer skills was not seen as a barrier to future employment prospects. This result is probably from students basing their know ledge on their short length of time in the employment force, and businesses not using computers in the capacity they could be used in. As most businesses do not provide funding for computer training, any new hires would have to obtain their own computer training if required for the position.