In today’s job market, you need basic computer skills to build any career. You can’t even work as a waiter or cashier these days without having some knowledge of how a computer works. To help you get to grips with these machines and their software, Oxbridge Academy offers a number of computer courses via distance learning – to students all over South Africa.
What are the computer basics?
Computer basics, or computer literacy, includes two areas of knowledge. These two areas are interdependent, meaning that you need to master both of them if you are to become fully computer literate. Mastering the computer basics means:
1. Learning how to use a computer system
Learning how to use a computer system is the first step in mastering the computer basics. Before being able to send e-mails, surf the internet, or type documents, you will need to learn all of the following things:
- How to safely switch a computer on and off.
- How to use computer hardware, such as the keyboard, screen, and mouse.
- Basic computer terminology and concepts.
- How to use CD-ROMs, DVDs, and other types of memory devices.
- How to work with computer files.
- How to use an operating system such as Windows.
Learning how a computer system works in a basic sense will enable you to learn how particular software works.
2. Learning how to use computer software
Computer literacy also means being able to use basic computer software, especially word-processing programs. Basic computer software will include:
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Word
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Media Player
- Microsoft Excel
You will need to learn how to use software to perform specific functions, including:
- Sending e-mails
- Printing documents
- Opening and saving documents
- Copying and pasting
- Browsing the internet
- Bookmarking websites
- Running a spell-checker
Why is computer literacy so important?
In the current job market, computer literacy is not optional anymore, especially if you want to build a long-term career. Whether you work in an office, a grocery store, or a library, you will need basic computer skills – as almost all businesses employ some sort of computer system that employees need to be able to use. What about something like construction work, you ask?
Even for those jobs where you don’t use a computer in your day-to-day duties, if you want to advance your career, you will eventually need to be able to use a computer. Imagine you are a construction worker, and you get promoted to being a foreman – suddenly you will be expected to send e-mails and work with electronic timetables, spreadsheets and reports. What’s more: becoming computer literate is a great way to qualify yourself for such a promotion.
Basic computer practices in the workplace
Different work environments require different kinds of computer skills. Some employers use systems written specifically for their businesses. This includes systems used by retail outlets, call centres, banks, and libraries. For these kinds of jobs, you will often receive the necessary software training on the job. However, to benefit from this kind of training, you will have to know how to use a computer to begin with! For most office jobs, however, knowing how to use a computer with the basic software will be enough. You will need to know how to:
- Manage documents and computer files
- Write, print, and e-mail documents
- Navigate a digital filing system
- Edit documents
- Create tables, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Send e-mails with document attachments
- Do online research
You will be able to learn how to do these things with a basic computer course.
Learn all the basics – study a management assistance course
Studying a management assistant course at Oxbridge Academy will teach you all you need to know about computer practice in an office environment. It will teach you:
- Basic computer literacy.
- How to organise and analyse digital data.
- How to communicate using digital technology and computers.
- How to use Microsoft Office software such as Excel and Word.
- How to use a computer in an office environment.
What’s more, these courses are meant as vocational training programmes rather than general computer training programmes. You will thus learn a number of skills related to office work environments that will help you qualify for a number of office, management, or administrative jobs. Oxbridge Academy also offers national qualifications in management assistance, focusing on computer practice. Find out more about these courses by clicking here.
Find out more about learning basic computer skills by studying a management assistant course
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