11 Reasons Why Computer Skills Are Important

Computer skills are becoming more of a need to keep up in today’s society. The best way to learn and keep up with the latest computer trends in today’s society is to implement computers in your lives as much as possible. Initially, there will be a learning curve and you may want to go back to not using computers that much but if you continue to develop your computer skills the investment of your time will be worth it.

1. Helps Your Career

In just about every industry today skills with computers are needed. I know of people who never really concentrated on computer skills and are having trouble keeping up in today’s society. In higher education and most jobs, you will find most will assume you have basic computer skills and will not take that into account when you are getting onboard or teaching new skills. Tasks will take longer to do when you have to learn technologies that you are already assumed to know and on top of that learn the skills to get your school or work-related projects done.

There is also a movement of working remotely which is also called the laptop lifestyle. It is the idea of creating a career online with a computer. The jobs range from software developers, bloggers, marketing, online stores and much more. To do this though you need to understand various computer skills like programming, how to create your own website and where to find jobs online.

2. Many Ways to Stay Organized and Productive

There are many apps online created to keep you organized and productive like Evernote or Wunderlist which are todo/note-taking apps. I have two separate posts written for apps to download based on your OS which you can find here for Mac and here for Windows.

If you are still writing down your notes or tasks that you need to get done for the day then you are spending more time than is necessary to get work done. Initially, it may take time to learn how to use various productivity apps but the time investment will be worth it over time.

There are many more productivity apps to choose from than the ones mentioned earlier. The best way to find apps that fit your needs is to identify what you are trying to become more productive in like time management and search apps based on that. This will also help you get more familiar with browsing the web and to develop your online skills.

3. Great Way To Showcase Skills or Promote Products

With the many social media platforms and with multiple ways to market yourself, you can use the internet as a tool to showcase your skills. If you are an artist, have a product you want to get in front of people, or any other skill you think will be of value to others then using the internet to push that skill could work.

Getting jobs today can be difficult especially if you are new in industries and many places prefer people with prior work experience. Knowing how to navigate your way around the internet can help you find freelance positions online that can help you gain experience within your industry. If you find ways to promote projects you worked on you may find yourself having recruiters coming to you for job opportunities.

Although there is an understandable backlash towards social media these days it is still possible to use it for your advantage. There is a massive audience on many social media platforms that you can use to get your products in front of or as a chance to offer your skills. The best way to learn how to use social media is by using it yourself.

4. Increases Speed At Doing Task

Knowing how to use computers can help you automate many common tasks in your life. You can setup paying bills online, plan to have your groceries delivered to you weekly, and much more. Whatever common tasks you do daily most likely has an app already created for it that can help eliminate repetitive task in your life.

Having a fast typing speed will eventually allow you to type a lot faster than you can write. Typing is used all over the internet, therefore, increasing your typing speed will come with practice while you are using it online. There are also online courses to increase your typing speed. If you are disciplined to stick with them, they can increase your typing speed but they are not necessary.

Computers can perform calculations on a large amount of data at a faster rate than humans. For instance, within Microsoft Excel, you can create macros that can be reused to do calculations on a large set of data. This can be useful for a lot of scenarios like creating a macro for budgeting your personal finances, using it for analyzing numbers within the financial field and for analyzing data within the STEM field.

5. Online Entertainment

There are various ways you can get entertained online ranging from watching movies on Netflix to playing games on Steam or reading books online. Going to physical locations to pick up books, movies, video games is enjoyable because you can potentially meet people who have the same interest as you.

The problem though is that physical copies typically cost more money since the retail store needs to increase the price so that they make money on it and the company who sells it to them needs to spend money on creating the physical item. There is a chance you will arrive at the physical location to pick up your item and learn that it is out of stock or may never be stocked again which is becoming more common since many people are seeing that the digital form of content is cheaper.

6. Easier To Communicate With Others

Computer skills can give you the ability to communicate with others online and usually for free. There are social media apps to communicate with others like Twitter, Youtube or Facebook.

Common free messenger app you will see people use are WhatsApp and Slack. This app allows you to send free text messages and voice even to people who are in a different country than you as long as you are on a Wi-Fi connection. The app uses your internet connection to connect you with others so if you are not on a Wi-Fi connection, there can be a price assuming you have exceeded your data limit.

Slack is a common tool used within businesses for coworkers to collaborate on their work. Within the app, people can share files, share screens and have voice calls. It can be used for free but they do offer business plans for more features on their website.

7. Research

It is important to develop your skills in doing research online because of the number of free and paid content that is offered. You can find a wide range of content online ranging from simple how-to guides to peer-reviewed scholarly articles for research papers.

Within Google, you can access Google Scholar to access peer-reviewed scholarly content. If you are trying to do research for school or looking for studies to work on your own research Google Scholar is another resource you can use. You can find some articles on here for free but there are some studies that can only be accessed if you have the necessary credentials.

You will run into times where you will not know how to do something such as using a new piece of software or getting familiar with a new field. Most likely there are resources online to help you learn, but you need to learn how to research them. The best way to start is by using a search engine like Google or finding helpful tutorials on youtube. After getting a basic background you can decide whether to invest in paid material from a trusted source.

8. Understanding the Hardware is Just as Important as the Software

To pick out the correct laptop or desktop PC for your personal needs you need to understand the hardware within your computer. I wrote a post dedicated to finding the right desktop PC and for finding the right laptop for you and it breaks down the hardware you will find within your PC. You will most likely be using the same computer for a number of years so it is beneficial for you to make sure that it gets the work done that you want.

There are a few components within the computer to consider which are the CPU, GPU, Random Access Memory (RAM), motherboard and storage. The CPU is responsible for taking instructions as input from the RAM and the better quality CPU you have the faster it can complete the instruction.

Opening programs from your storage takes too long, therefore, the RAM is used to hold the memory of active programs because it your computer can read and write data faster from it. The motherboard connects your other hardware together like your CPU, RAM, storage and any other additional parts you add on like RGB lights.

There are two types of storage, Hard Disk Drive (HDD) storage which is older, slower and cheaper to buy. Then there is Solid State Drive (SSD) storage which is faster but cost a little more to buy. Generally, for laptops, you want to get one with an SSD and in your desktop, you may want to get a hybrid of both SSD for the OS and any other programs you want to access quickly. Then you can use the extra HDD space for any other data.

9. Helpful In School

While in school you are most likely going to have to use a program in Microsoft’s suite of applications or an application within Google Documents. Having computer skills is going to help you use the basic functions within them and look up what you do not know about them. There is not an expectation to memorize every feature within these applications especially if you have the skills to research what you do not know.

There are many online resources for learning such as Kahn Academy. This material can supplement the topic you are interested in or used to

10. Will Know How To Protect Yourself Online

Since computers are being implemented more and more in our everyday lives it is important to know how to stay safe online. I wrote an extensive post on how to stay safe online which you can find here.

Staying safe on the internet involves downloading anti-malware software from trusted companies and have it scan your computer daily. Be careful on downloading content online. If you download content from untrusted sources like torrents then there is a chance unwanted malware can be attached to it. Some of this malware goes undetected by anti-malware software thus remaining on your computer. It is best to just buy content rather than taking the risk of putting your computer at risk of getting a harmful virus.

11. Necessary In A Web Browser

We spend a lot of time browsing the internet through some sort of web browser like Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari. I mostly use Google Chrome and know of a couple of convenient tips that have saved me time while browsing.

If you accidentally close a tab you can click on Windows you can press “ctrl + shift + tab” and it will reopen that tab. For Mac you can press “cmd + shift + tab”. It will open your tabs back up in the order that you closed them. There are other shortcuts like pressing “ctrl + t” / “cmd + t” to open a new tab within the same window or “ctrl + w” / “cmd + w” to close a tab within a window.

These shortcuts are available other browsers, like the ones mentioned above, but the shortcut commands may be different. Either way, there are many more shortcuts to learn within your browser to limit the number of clicks you need to do. I emphasize limiting the number of clicks because you can generally do task on your computer faster with a keyboard rather than constantly keeping one hand on the mouse.

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