A Digital Revolution
The technological landscape has changed dramatically since computers were first developed in the middle of the 20th century. Significant improvements in the efficiency and practicality of these once-rudimentary machines have made their presence in our lives essential.
Advances in computer equipment have been accompanied by other technological innovations like the Internet, changing the nature of how we communicate and collaborate with one another. Nowhere is this more evident than in the workforce. It's now more important than ever for you to have computer skills that are up to par.
Baseline Knowledge Important
In today's workforce, virtually all job functions require that employees know how to use computers and the Internet. From the secretary responsible for conducting correspondence to the physician referencing computer data to make diagnoses, professionals of all kinds are supported in their work by computers.
So if you're looking for a job, what exactly do you need to know? At the very least you'll need to be able to skillfully navigate the Web, send email and use a word processing program (like Microsoft Word). Having a good working knowledge of current operating systems for both Windows and Mac is also a good idea.
Beyond the basics, the computer skills you'll need to pursue a job can vary widely depending upon what industry or role you want to work in. Office positions will often require that you know how to input and analyze information in databases, spreadsheets, presentations and other formats.
Specialized tasks within a particular career field can require additional knowledge. For example, graphic designers must be able to use programs like Photoshhop, InDesign and Illustrator to create print and electronic media. Accountants may need to be proficient in Bookkeeper, QuickBooks, DacEasy or another financial management program.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
With continual improvements in computing equipment, today's professionals must always look to enhance their technological skills. Staying fresh with updated software is important, as is becoming acquainted with any new electronic professional tools that may be developed.
Whether you're looking to get a handle on computer basics or train in the use of profession-specific software, you can check out libraries, community colleges and technical schools for classes. These locations often also provide sessions on using computers in your job search.