Like many Americans, you might find yourself in need of a new job, or at least one that pays better. The key to making yourself competitive in a tight job market is gaining new skills that are useful for a variety of different careers and working environments. So while you may be interesting in taking that class on how to sculpt ceramic ashtrays, you’ll be more successful if you choose a universally valuable skill. The most commonly required skills in today’s job market focus on computers and software programs.
If you haven’t yet, now is the time to learn Microsoft Word. Even if you don’t use computers for your specific professional field, Microsoft Word is a requirement just to create and send out your resume. It is one of the most widely used and fortunately easy to learn computer programs available.
While you may be able to compose a letter or a flyer in Microsoft Word, there are many features you are probably unfamiliar with, which is why taking a class at a learning center can be helpful. Even temp agencies will test you on some basic Microsoft Word knowledge, which includes creating simple macros, quickly changing layouts, and adding tables and graphs.
Some people may suggest picking up a book or a manual and learning some tricks and tools through self study. While this may work for some, it’s usually ineffective with beginners or those with little computer experience. Once you’ve mastered a few different programs picking up new ones becomes much easier; however, without guidance the average person is often unable to go beyond the superficial usage of most computer programs.
Taking a training course gives you a chance to work one-on-one or in a small group with an expert instructor. Reading a book is passive and can be confusing and frustrating as the lessons progress in difficulty. Since computers require an extreme level of visual focus, an instructor is much more helpful in illustrating techniques and explaining usage. You’ll receive demonstrations and can watch and follow along at your own pace. Diagrams in a manual leave out important steps. CDs that claim to teach you through videos are also similarly frustrating. They can be tedious and focus on unimportant tasks.
Computer training courses for using programs like Microsoft Word are also helpful because there are many different courses to suit your needs. Some learning centers offer computer classes based specifically on career fields such as accounting. Others will combine several software programs into one course so you receive a valuable overview of how they interact and work together.
If you want to move up in your career and make yourself an asset to your company, then you need to have at the very least a basic understanding of programs such as Microsoft Word. The younger generations already have an advantage and an ever-expanding knowledge of computer programs, making them prime competitors for many job positions. Even for those with secure professions, learning Microsoft Word can help make many everyday tasks, both personal and work-related, go much more smoothly and professionally.