How to Bridge the Digital Divide in the Workforce
If you thought that computer proficiency was only necessary for people who work in information technology or high up in corporate offices, think again! Recent studies have found that nearly 80 percent of middle-skill jobs (those requiring more than a high school diploma, but less than a four year degree) also demand computer literacy.1 Digitally intensive jobs are on the rise throughout the U.S. workforce. If you’re not on board to these ever-evolving technologies, you and your job prospects could be left behind.
Check out these 3 important ways you can bridge the digital divide, increase your marketability, and enhance your long term career prospects.
Start with the basics. If you only use a computer to get online, it’s time to delve a little more deeply. Take advantage of free workshops offered by libraries, local businesses, and other groups that teach the basics of computer operations. Become familiar with the hardware, software, and interconnections that every computer needs to operate.
Learn the Microsoft Office Suite. Microsoft remains the biggest software company in the world2 with good reason: its office suite is an indispensable tool for businesses all over the world. Become familiar with:
- Word: Because it’s the most popular word processing program, when you know Word, you’re literally on the same page as millions of other workers. The software allows you to create, edit, and save documents. It has features that correct your spelling and check your grammar. It even has a built in thesaurus. It also has templates and design features that allow you to add your own personalized style to all the documents you produce. And it integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products; you could import a table from Excel or export a page from Word to your PowerPoint presentation in a matter of minutes.
- Excel: Microsoft Excel is a digital spreadsheet that automates the tasks of business accounting and calculations. You can create, manage, and analyze the financial data that is at the foundation of any business. Whether you’re using it for your household budget or your company, your ability to look at the numbers and get to the bottom line will help you make sound financial decisions. There are filter, sort, and search tools that let you choose what criteria you’re going to examine and design tools that help you create easy-to-understand graphs that pop off the page and emphasize the points you most want to make.
- PowerPoint: All that data and all those documents from Excel and Word can be dense and difficult to get through –but not if you turn them into a PowerPoint presentation. In addition to making information easier to deliver, PowerPoint has lots of features that allow you to add graphics, images, and animation. You can even imbed music and videos.
Learn about the cloud. You probably already use the cloud for music and video, but it has many more benefits in a work environment. It allows you to access documents and applications from wherever you are and share them with whomever you choose. It can help increase flexibility, security, productivity, and profits.
At American National University, we know that digital fluency can give you a wealth of knowledge and the competitive edge in the job market. That’s why we emphasize computer literacy across our curricula. Check out all our career-focused programs in Business, Health Sciences, and Information Technology to learn all about in-demand careers and the computers that help run them. Give us a call at 888-956-2732 today.
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