Computer literacy so important in the workplace, for everyone from the lowest employee to the highest employer. We are about to tell you why.
Modern businesses rely heavily on computerised technology to efficiently complete vast amounts of tasks. Having decent computer skills means that you can perform the tasks that competing candidates may not be able to. This knowledge can result in you getting hired over your competitors. Universities acknowledge the importance of computer skills and some institutions require their students to complete a basic computer literacy course in their first year of study.
What is Computer Literacy?
Computer Literacy simply refers to a person’s ability to operate computer programmes efficiently and quickly. Computer programmes include basic programs like Microsoft Word, to more complex engineering computer programmes like AutoDesk CAD. For most jobs, being able to use the more basic computer programmes (such as Microsoft Word) is an absolute must. Some jobs may require more specific computer skills needed in that industry, like AutoDesk CAD in engineering or Pastel in accounting. Computer literacy also refers to a person’s ability to use computers to communicate in a professional manner.
Why are Computer Skills so Important?
Your ability to use a variety of computer programmes is an important skill to put on your CV. Not only does computer literacy help in applying for jobs, but it may also increase your salary as you are able to take on more responsibilities.
As you take on these additional responsibilities, it can lead to a promotion within your company, leading you to more exciting, challenging and rewarding work. Certain computer programmes also help you organize your thoughts, helping you to perform tasks more efficiently.
Another very important skill that employers look for is communication. Knowledge of how to access and use the internet opens up a variety of possibilities to communicate with both your coworkers and people in supervisory positions. Instant messaging, email and social media are all computer-based ways to communicate with people instantly.
Knowledge on correct email-etiquette and when it is appropriate to communicate via social media are invaluable “soft” skills that employers look for. Computer-based communication can even be in the form of multimedia where you can compile your different thoughts and ideas into slideshow presentations and videos. Effective communication is directly related to your computer skills.
What Computer Programs should I Know?
Having an intricate knowledge of computer programmes is important, but which computer programmes are the most important?
First off, the basics:
- Microsoft Word (or its equivalent) is how all text documents are put together.
- Arguably the most powerful computer programme is Microsoft Excel. Unlike Word, Excel has very few equivalent programmes that operate at the same level. Excel is used to compile large amounts of data into organised spreadsheets. It can even apply a large number of mathematical equations to the data you plug in. Excel is used in a very wide range of careers and industries. Being literate in Excel will be an advantage to you in almost any career.
- The next basic computer program that you should be literate in is Microsoft PowerPoint. This is one of the best multimedia tools for effective visual communication. PowerPoint helps you put together slideshow presentations to present your ideas in a very visual and concise manner.
There are thousands of other important computer programs, but the three mentioned here are the important basics.
Computer Skills are Lit
If you are looking to educate yourself further in computer skills, you might want to consider applying for a qualification in information technology or computer literacy. Computer skills development can range from networking basics to advanced programming. The level you want to achieve will probably depend on your career path. The variety of skills makes it easy for you to get your tech on. At whichever level that may be. Most institutions in South Africa offer computer skills qualifications so you won’t have to look far to find a place of study. These qualifications come in the form of an advanced certificate, higher certificate, diploma and degree. Once you have decided on which level of computer literacy you would like to achieve, take a look at the institutions in South Africa that offer courses and qualifications in this area.
Computer literacy is undoubtedly vital and invaluable to any potential employer. Particularly in today’s world, where computers are automating a large number of jobs. Being able to stay relevant is essential to employment opportunities. Institution qualifications can help you gain these important computer and communication skills that make you valuable at all times.
Practice your typing. Being able to type fast while still spelling words correctly and maintaining a coherent train of thought is a skill that too few people possess. Emailing, presentations, text documents, internet searches – all of these things require typing. You can practice by repeatedly typing out the same words or sentences or paragraphs and timing yourself each time to track your progress. You’re welcome. “Tech” yourself up to the next level and get skilled in computers. You won’t regret it.