Furthering Your Education
Computer Literacy in the Workplace
In addition to the many colleges and universities, there are also private sector organisations which can further your education. Many employers are now seeking a high standard of computer literacy as a basic requirement, with competency in Microsoft Office being in particular demand.
European Computer Driving Licence
Ideally, you may find that you can take additional classes in computing to complement your mains studies. In particular, look for courses which will lead to a recognised qualification at the end. For example, in the UK and Europe the standard benchmark for computer literacy is the European Computer Driving Licence, or ECDL. Ownership of this qualification shows that you have attained a sound working knowledge of computer basics and can apply them in the workplace. The ECDL Foundation offers education programmes to assist students in gaining these vital skills whilst still at school or college.
If your college doesn’t offer such facilities, you can take the ECDL at a wide range of training organisations. In the UK, Pitman Training are one of the best know providers of ECDL courses. You can study at any one of their training centres, or alternatively you could opt to study online.
Microsoft Word is the standard application across the World for word processing and a good working knowledge of the software will make you more attractive to potential employers. Similarly, Microsoft Excel is the de facto spreadsheet application and used extensively by organisations of all sizes. Both of these applications have many features and understanding them can represent a considerable learning curve.
When it comes to Microsoft Training, the choice of providers is seemingly endless. So how do you choose the right training provider for your particular needs? Clearly cost is an important factor and in this respect it does pay to shop around. However, don’t instantly jump for the cheapest Microsoft course that you find. There are other important aspects, such as class size and these often impact on the price. Some training organisation keep their prices down by putting many delegates onto one course. This strategy inevitably leads to a lower quality of training as tutors are less able to answer questions and spend time with each student.
Microsoft training courses usually target specific Office applications individually. For example, most providers will deliver Microsoft Excel and Word as individual one day courses. These will frequently be offered at three level or more to ensure that delegates receive the correct training for their current experience. Paul Brown Training is one of the UK’s leading providers of Excel courses based in London, offering classroom, onsite and online training across the whole range of Microsoft Office applications.
Depending on the position you are seeking after graduating, you might also find some form of project management training to be useful. The accepted standard qualification in the UK is Prince2. It is a structured project management methodology, independent of any particular software application. Originally intended for the public sector, it is now the de facto qualification for project managers in all kinds of organisations. You can learn more about Prince2 and the training available on the official website.