Training in basic computer skills is a must for people who have not had access to computers. While many younger people use computers frequently, older folks still may avoid learning even the most basic tasks for computers. In today’s job world, knowing a little about computers is necessary for most jobs, making basic computer skills training a necessity.

Definition

“Basic computer skills” covers a wide variety of topics. The most basic functions include turning a computer on and off, starting and closing programs and finding help if needed. These skills require little more than a quick demonstration for most people. Other basic computer skills are a bit more complicated but needed, nonetheless. For someone without basic computer skills, the list of training should include using word processing programs, using email and searching the internet. Many people survive with just these skills.

Benefits

Few career fields today exist without the use of computers. Even largely manual labor jobs, such as driving a delivery truck, require the use of computers to perform tasks such as tracking packages. Most retail outlets have computer-based register systems. Knowing how to use a computer for basic operations opens the door for job opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach. Being able to complete basic tasks on a computer will make you a more marketable potential employee.

Potential

Computers can appear scary for people who have not used them before. The benefit of learning how to use a computer is that you may discover a new hobby. The internet in particular opens up new opportunities. People with eclectic hobbies can find communities of enthusiasts online. Cooking becomes more fun with new recipes online. Forums can be a way out of isolation. Knowing how to use a computer can open up new worlds to users.

Training Options

People without computer skills have several options for filling in that gap in their knowledge. The easiest may be to hop on a computer and begin playing around. Library computers are good for this method because they tend to be locked down so a new user cannot damage anything. Most community colleges and community education centers also offer beginner courses on computer use that may work for someone who needs more direction. A number of online resources are present as well, though certainly they require getting on the internet to use. For example, the Goodwill Foundation has formulated a comprehensive “basic computer skills” training course that it makes available for free.

Considerations

Knowing the most basic functions on a computer will put you at par with the minimal user. A beginner course on computer use will help with providing only the basic information. At the end of the course, you should be able to send emails, surf the web, write a document and perhaps create a flyer. For most office jobs, these skills are the base level required and more advanced skills may be necessary to stand out from other applicants.