Essential Computer Literacy Skills

With the digital age moving developing as it is, many businesses are incorporating digital technology and computerization into aspects of their work processes, to the point that, odds are, a job will probably require a certain degree of computer literacy. But simply being able to stay on your computer for hours on end doesn’t necessarily mean you are computer literate.

So, if you’re wondering if that Microsoft Word training is the only skill you’ll be learning on your way to computer literacy, here’s a list to help get you started.

  • Search engine use. Utilizing the search engine to its fullest is surprisingly complex, far more than typing in an address or keyword. Finding the best results from a search engine requires having some understanding of what makes them tick. Advanced search and other functions need to be learnt, and certain minutiae have to be understood. For example, the difference between google.com and scholar.google.com
  • Word processing (or the principles). One of the first uses for the computer, word processing has stood the test of time, staying relevant throughout the years, even in spite of the fact that many of what it does is already present in numerous other applications. That Microsoft Word training is still important; the principles stay the same, and so too, do the basic functions, just with different ways to make them work. Spell check, header editing, text alignment, regardless of what software you use, these are important.
  • Spreadsheets allow for a myriad of analysis-related functions, and is quite the handy tool. Of course, it’s still a tool, which means whoever’s using it has to know how to operate it. Figuring out how to get something like Excel to solve formulae, generate mean, median and mode, and the like is important, especially for particularly number heavy businesses.
  • Browser basics. Using a web browser is more than simply typing in a website, indeed, some people goof that up too, it’s also about managing the whole of the browser itself. Opening links in new tabs or windows, bookmark use, navigation by URL, etc. can maximize the utility of the browser and grant unlimited access to the internet.
  • Virus/Malware control. Whilst, yes, your antivirus can and will scan for malware, you still have to know and understand how it all works. Computers miscalculate (which is basically fancy-talk for “they make mistakes too”), which is why having the user be aware of the computer’s state is important too. Knowing the signs of malware attack, knowing how to set up manual scans, etc. are important, on top of knowing how to avoid malware in the first place.
  • Common keyboard commands. Ctrl+V? Ctrl+Y? Knowing what keyboard input commands will save you the trouble of right clicking a text to copy, going to the program you will then right click to paste it to may not sound like the fanciest thing ever, but it’s a must for anyone who’ll work with a computer.

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