The ability to navigate the world of technology has become an increasingly important skill in the workplace. For industrial and skilled, and semi-skilled professional labor, the ability to complete computer related and mobile job functions is an essential work skill.
Increasingly there is a gap between jobs requiring technical skills and the people who wish to apply for these positions. This gap, the digital divide, is something that both workers and companies must bridge in order to meet the demands of today’s jobs and also the jobs of the future.
There are steps that workers can take to increase their technical skills in order to perform computer related job functions. There are technology training programs and computer learning classes available for many types of workers requiring technical skills.
Who are these workers that should be concerned with the digital divide? In many cases they are workers with some high school or those who completed school before technology training became available. They are workers in semi-skilled positions that don’t currently require computer literacy or mobile application skills.
First, identify the type of job and/or job skills that you are seeking to obtain. Then determine a training program will provide those skills. Some examples, may include computer operator, sales associate staff at a hardware, mobile phone, or Big Box store, networking and Microsoft certification, system administration, health administration, etc. Many workers may wish to seek career counseling or visit a career placement office of the training program.
Second, make a list of programs offering the skills you wish to obtain. This list may include local evening classes offered at a high school for specific computer applications, community colleges/associate degrees, trade schools courses, or computer training certifications.
There is no right time to begin taking technical training courses. Learning should be life long and computers skills are increasingly the gateway to employment opportunities, government services, life skills, and accomplishing major milestones in life. Similar to literacy and language proficiency, technical skills provide access to achieving life goals. Beginners may do well to take a night class at one of the areas evening class programs.
If you need financial aid or other assistance, ask the school or certificate program for information, or check for state and local assistance and grant programs. It’s always the right time to add computer literacy skills to your employment skills. Follow up with training by inquiring with the school or career placement office or the library career center on job listings or next recommended classes to take.
Below are links to several options for acquiring technical skills.
These programs work well for adult learners. Start at the beginning and acquire basic computing skills and terminology. Many of the Chester County local libraries have computing centers where you can practice applications such as using the Internet or Microsoft Word (creating documents such as a resume), Microsoft Excel (spreadsheet software), Microsoft Access (using a database).
Decide where you want to go with your career and which technical skills you wish to add to your toolbox. Devote a few hours a week to your careers and the results will surprise you. Take time away from a TV program, the Internet, social networking, leisure reading, or join a childcare group to give yourself the free time to achieve your career goals.