Directorate for Education and Skills

Adults, Computers and Problem Solving

What's the Problem?

In series:OECD Skills Studiesview more titles

Published on June 23, 2015

Also available in: French

book

The report provides an in-depth analysis of the results from the Survey of Adult Skills related to problem solving in technology-rich environments, along with measures concerning the use of ICT and problem solving. The Nordic countries and the Netherlands have the largest proportions of adults (around 40%) who score at the higher levels in problem solving, while Ireland, Poland and the Slovak Republic have the smallest proportions of adults (around 20%) who score at those levels. Variations in countries’ proficiency in problem solving using ICT are found to reflect differences in access to the Internet and in the frequency with which adults use e-mail. The report finds that problem-solving proficiency is strongly associated with both age and general cognitive proficiency, even after taking other relevant factors into account. Proficiency in problem solving using ICT is related to greater participation in the labour force, lower unemployment, and higher wages. By contrast, a lack of computer experience has a substantial negative impact on labour market outcomes, even after controlling for other factors. The discussion considers policies that promote ICT access and use, opportunities for developing problem-solving skills in formal education and through lifelong learning, and the importance of problem-solving proficiency in the context of e-government services.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword and Acknowledgements
Executive Summary
About The Survey of Adult Skills
Reader's Guide
Problem solving in technology-rich environments and the Survey of Adult Skills
Proficiency in problem solving in technology-rich environments
Differences within countries in proficiency in problem solving in technology-rich environments
Proficiency in problem solving in technology-rich environments, the use of skills and labour market outcomes
Some pointers for policy
Annexes2 chapters available
Tables of results
Additional Tables
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