Throughout your day-to-day life, you will encounter data all of the time, this could be facts, figures, details and information that forms a 'collection of data'. Being data literate is your ability to read, understand, analyse and communicate this data.
Businesses use data to improve services, performance and meet customer need, but data skills aren't just used by Data Scientists. It is important to remember that data is part of many careers, the difference being the level of engagement with data required.
- Do you have experience of finding and using data and statistics in your work?
- How could you develop your skills in interpreting and analysing data?
- Are you confident using numbers and managing your finances?
In the next section you will see how you can develop this skill.
Develop your data literacy skills!
Here you will find some suggested activities that you can do to enhance your data literacy skills:
- The Data Literacy Project: Free online courses designed to take you from novice to data fluent, you will learn to confidently interpret and work with data both in your everyday and working life.
- Online Privacy and Data Protection eLearning: Learn about the risks involved in operating in a virtual world, tips for managing the risks and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
- LinkedIn Learning: Here you will find a whole host of technology related courses, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to develop skills such as Data Analysis, Business Intelligence, understand Big Data and more! You can access these for free using your university email account.
- Jobs and Work Experience: Gaining real work experience will enable you to practice your data analysis skills in a workplace. This could be through an internship, placement, part time job or volunteering.
- Virtual Work Experience: Replicate work tasks online with top companies, by completing a 5-6 hour online virtual work experience with Forage.
- Join a club or society with the Student Union: You could practice your data skills by analysing society recruitment and engagement trends.
To learn more about employability and how to access opportunities to help you develop in this area, take a look at our employability booklet (aimed at new students) which provides all you need to know.
Demonstrate your employability skills
You will be asked to provide evidence of your skills through the job application and interview process – you can talk about where, when, why and how successfully you have used your employability skills.
We would recommend keeping a record of evidence of the skills you have developed so that you can refer to them when submitting applications or preparing for interviews. Our Employability Skills Checklist and Activity can be a starting point.
- What skills you are using during your study?
- Can you record experiences as you go along?
- Are there skills and qualities that you are struggling to evidence?
- How will you maintain your skills audit?
- Do you need to take action to bridge a skills gap?
Be positive and relevant
- Give examples of the most relevant skills first from your job, internship or work experience
- Use confident language to describe your skills, for example, praise employers have given you.
- Better to focus on transferable skills than routine tasks on your CV, gained through part-time jobs.
Sell your skills in different ways
These are just a few examples:
- Social Media including a Linked-In Profile
- Networking opportunities
- CV, Covering Letters, Application Forms
- Interview and Assessment Centres
Think beyond common skills
Our Employability Skills are probably ones you are familiar with. But there are some you might not be familiar with, such as meta-skills. A meta-skill like a master skill – it's something that can help you in lots of different environments.
Think also about:
- Subject skills e.g. Software, use of Lab equipment or research methodology
- Talents and abilities e.g. Languages, drawing skills, athletic
- Personal qualities e.g. Calmness, tenacious, creative, supportive
Match skills to your employer
Research the employer – what is their company culture? Look on their website and see what their company beliefs are.
Look at the job description you have. You should be able to find some of the employability skills they are looking for.
Use the STAR technique to help you relate the employability skills into your answers and examples. Read our blog post written by our careers adviser, Adam Taylor, on the STAR technique.
Speak to a careers adviser
Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).
Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.