In the last few years our world has become even more reliant on IT. The internet is driving business as never before and even traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses must now have a serious online presence.
Gone are the days when only those working in IT needed computer skills. These days it is pretty much taken as a given that all staff will be able to work productively with a computer. Having good computer skills can set you apart from the crowd and make you more productive at work and it makes sense to ensure you keep up to date with the latest applications and practices.
Most of us are familiar with the usual office productivity packages but there are many other areas where IT skills are vital. Broadly speaking, these can be divided into office productivity, IT support and administration, online technologies and programming.
Office productivity refers to the sort of computer applications that most of us are familiar with. These include the well-known Microsoft Office suite of Excel, Word and PowerPoint. Being familiar with these can greatly enhance your ability to work in almost every office environment.
The days of the typing pool or office memo are gone and nowadays it is all about emails and Word documents. There are many training providers offering high quality education, such as the courses offered for Microsoft training here. Business owners may well require that all staff attend such courses or can at least demonstrate proficiency in this area.
A second level of IT proficiency is that of IT support and systems maintenance. Such staff may be involved in desktop support, where they support the internal user community. In such cases they must be expert in all desktop applications.
These professionals may also be involved in network maintenance and systems support, carrying out backup and security tasks. Microsoft offers a range of certifications for all support and server management activities.
With the growth of the web it is no wonder that so many people are taking training courses for web development. This can involve proficiency in applications such as Dreamweaver and Flash and content management systems (CMS), including Drupal or WordPress.
This is a booming industry and the CMS technologies mean that even those without much technical knowhow can now construct and maintain complex websites.
Computer applications are everywhere, from online banking and shopping to your desktop PC and company server. All of these systems have to be designed, developed and maintained. This has led to a growing applications development sector, where new software packages are created and existing ones updated and maintained.
Programming languages include Java, C, C++, Python, PHP, Ruby and PERL. Each has its own strengths and areas of application and the variety of languages both places demands on the industry and creates opportunities for developers.
Whatever your level of knowledge, you can probably benefit from some IT training. This could focus on improving basic skills or even equipping you for a whole new career. With the continued growth of the web, such skills will only become more important in the years ahead.