Written by Maria-Komissa Kalafati
The job market is constantly changing and becoming increasingly competitive. However, specific career skills are highly appreciated by employers and are encouraged in the workplace and these skills have the power to make a difference in success. With one voice, employees, employers, scholars, researchers have stated that the two most essential skills for a professional in the 21st century are computer skills and communication skills. So, this article will focus on how anyone with little-to-non background in these skills can use internet resources to learn and in these areas. The resources will focus on learning and practicing these skills, positively reflecting on CVs, and improving professional practice which will therefore improve employability and performance in the workplace.
In today’s professional workplace, being computer literate is considered essential. How you will be using this knowledge varies from one job to another however basic knowledge of how to use a computer is a universal requirement. So, if anyone is looking to focus on developing one skill, computer skills could arguably be one that would prove most successful in a job.
Most job roles require employees to perform basic tasks such as searching for information and writing emails and in certain environments, such as offices, additional requirements such as having experience with word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet programs, as Microsoft Word and Excel and PowerPoint are anticipated.
This article will suggest one computer skills development online course, for anyone, that has little knowledge on how to use online learning resources to learn, anyone who feels that they are lacking the previously mentioned computer skills, or anyone who is hoping to further develop their computer skills.
“IT User Skills” is a free online computer skills course that is provided by vision2learn (https://www.vision2learn.net/course/free/134/it-user-skills-level-2).
Why should you do this course: If you are looking to gain IT skills that will help you in the workplace and that are valued by UK employers, engaging with “IT User Skills” is recommended since, upon completion, the learner is rewarded with a nationally accredited Level 2 qualification (Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills – RQF), which will boost your CV.
Who is this course for: Anyone who is looking for a qualification to help master IT techniques to improve productivity and performance in the workplace. No prior knowledge or qualifications are required.
Who is eligible for this course: In order to be eligible for this online free course, you must be living in England, aged 19 or over from 31 August 2021 (born before 01 September 2002), A citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) and a resident in the EEA for the last 3 years and not in receipt of any other government-funded training. You will also be eligible for the course if you are a non-EEA citizen with permission from the UK government to live in the UK which is not for educational purposes, and lived in England for at least 3 years, a refuge, or an asylum seeker.
How long is this course: This is a 14-week online course, that requires 10 hours of self-guided learning per week.
How to apply for the course: If you are eligible for the course and believe that you could benefit from it, you are able to apply for a position through the website by clicking on “Apply Now” and provide the required information.
What will you learn on the course: This course aims to help learners gain intermediate knowledge of widely used Microsoft Office programs, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
How is the course structured: The course is separated into three units and each unit focuses on specific software, being word-processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software. Each unit contains an assessment at the end to demonstrate your knowledge of each subject area.
To sum up, if you are looking to learn and develop computer skills that you will benefit from in the job market, “IT User Skills” is a comprehensive online course. Regardless of your experience with computer skills and online learning, this course offers a convenient way to be introduced to the field, with 94% of learners’ success in obtaining the final qualification.
An additional skill that is appreciated and practiced constantly in the workplace, is communication skills. Employees are expected to communicate effectively, which includes talking, listening, and writing. Good communication skills enable you to convey messages clearly and effectively. So, if someone is looking to develop a skill that will help them become successful in the job market, communication skills would be at the centre of attention.
If interested in developing communication skills, this article would suggest a free online course, provided by RIT, “Business Communication” (https://www.edx.org/course/business-communication-3?index=product&queryID=6ed6f25d0fb563bc1354b4336fda5faf&position=10).
Why should you do this course: If you are looking to learn how to effectively communicate and build professional relationships through face-to-face, written, and non-verbal communication, this course covers these topics.
Who is this course for Anyone who is looking to develop their business communications skills? No prior knowledge or qualifications are required.
How long is this course: This is a 3-week online course, that requires 4-6 hours of self-guided learning per week.
How to apply for the course: If you believe that you could benefit from this course, you are able to select a start date and enroll via the website.
What will you learn on the course: This course aims to help learners gain an understanding of how to critically evaluate their role in workplace interactions, how to employ strategies for active listening, how to ask questions that move conversations forward, how to communicate ideas clearly and succinctly, how to assess needs of clients and colleagues and knowledge on the best practices for face-to-face and remote communication.
How is the course structured: Through this course, you will learn how to use language and nonverbal communication to convey shared meanings in face-to-face and remote professional relationships. The topics covered will include, exploring the best practices for written communication, analysing the requirements to conducting effective meetings, introducing documentation and follow-up techniques, and finally exploring best practices for face-to-face, digital, and mediated communication
So, if you are looking to develop your communication skills to advance your professional performance and career, “Business Communication” offers a structured learning environment that aims to facilitate your learning. Even if you have no previous experience of learning via online courses, this is to follow course will guide you through the process.
To conclude, this article has identified two skills that are considered to be the most relevant in today’s job market, computer, and communication skills. The article aims to suggest and make accessible online learning resources in order to help learners develop a targeted approach towards what skills they need to focus on improving and make clear how that can be achieved. The online courses suggested, aim to provide a comprehensive learning environment that will enable learners, regardless of their background, prior knowledge on the subject, and previous experience in online learning to get involved in the learning process and develop their skills, boosting their performance and position in the job market.