About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6285 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

E-PORTFOLIO: AN INDISPENSIBLE TOOL FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT OF RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES

P. Joshi

University of Kentucky (UNITED STATES)
According to Time magazine, the US youth unemployment rate is now at 24% compared with overall rate of 9.1% (June 2011). The young college graduates are facing stiff competition from much older unemployed people with many years of experience willing to take an entry level position. Faced with such bleak job prospects, how does a new graduate stand out in the crowd of job seekers? How does one differentiate from a plethora of candidates applying for the same job or internship? How does a student convince the company to hire him/her for a position? This study tries to address these questions that are often posed by the students to this instructor. The study has looked at the possibility of using electronic portfolios as a meaningful tool for career advancement of college students.

Portfolio is a collection of work done by the individual and acts as a showcase of his/her skills and capabilities. Many fields with visual emphasis such as Fine Arts, Architecture, Interior Design Fashion Design, and Photography etc., have always emphasized on developing a portfolio for their students. This study has tried to extend the concept of portfolio used mainly in visual fields to Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles. The study proposes that similar application can be made to other non-visual fields as well. E-portfolio were used in the study as they have tremendous benefits over the traditional portfolio such as ease of sharing, updating, creating a multi-media environment at virtually no cost. Using e-portfolio not only showcases the student’s skills in a particular field but also the student’s ability to use technology effectively.

Both merchandising and design students need to communicate their abilities visually as well as verbally and incorporating more technology in the production of portfolios is essential for future students (Adomatis, 2003 and Drago, 2005). Students in this study were introduced to concept of e-portfolio in their late freshman year. The students then updated their portfolio in a professional practice course in early junior year and were required to submit a final version of their e-portfolio at end of their senior year before they graduate. The students were asked to include following components (but not limited to) in their e-portfolio: curriculum vitae, career and goals statement, skills statement, academic projects, study tour reports, internship experience and letters of recommendation, evidence of any special certifications, involvement in the community and campus organization activities. The aim of such an e-portfolio was to provide holistic view of a merchandising, apparel and textile students skill set.

The overall response from the students was overwhelmingly positive. The students felt that they have tangible evidence of their abilities; well organized material to showcase to their future employer and elaborate on their skills. Employers too in turn liked to see an actual proof of work, projects, done by the students to discern the ability of a student to hire for a job. Further studies need to delve on effective organization of the e-portfolio to maximize career advancement opportunities, the need to constantly update the e-portfolio throughout one’s professional career. Future studies should also gauge more quantitative responses from the industry on the effectiveness of e-portfolio in getting hired.
@InProceedings{JOSHI2011EPO,
author = {Joshi, P.},
title = {E-PORTFOLIO: AN INDISPENSIBLE TOOL FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT OF RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6285}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Joshi
TI - E-PORTFOLIO: AN INDISPENSIBLE TOOL FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT OF RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 6285
EP - 6285
ER -
P. Joshi (2011) E-PORTFOLIO: AN INDISPENSIBLE TOOL FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT OF RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES, ICERI2011 Proceedings, p. 6285.
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