Computer skills vital in job market, experts say

For people looking for a job in today’s market, a nice suit and tie aren’t the only things they will need.

According to Alisia Harriel, a senior business administration student from Stuart, Fla., it is mandatory for all School of Business and Industry students to partake in a course that prepares them for much more.  

“In SBI, it is mandatory for all student to take a professional leadership development course, which teaches you how to operate the software used our field,” Harriel said.

Computer literacy has become an extremely important skill to have in the job market. 

According to the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 62 percent of working Americans use the Internet as an integral part of their jobs.

Brook Lochore, vice president of public relations for Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend, said computer literacy skills are extremely important.

“Computer skills aren’t just for technology jobs anymore,” Lochore said. “Nowadays, people need those skills to even apply for jobs online.”

Most companies today are looking for their employees to have basic computer skills. These skills include knowing how to use email and Internet, navigate a computer’s files and functional knowledge of Microsoft Word.

Job training centers, such as Goodwill Industries and Workforce Plus, stress the importance of computer literacy in the market. Today, centers offer numerous computer-training classes for those searching for jobs.

According to the NTIA, about 30 percent of U.S. citizens don’t know how to use the Internet, whether they’re at work or at home. This could be a problem for those who are trying to climb up the ladder in their careers. 

“It’s very important to learn computer and technology skills because it can help people move up faster in the job market,” Lochore said.

William President, a Marriott hotel employee in the event and services department, said he took computer literacy classes in high school, and they’ve come in handy.

“Taking computer classes really helped me when I was job searching,” President said. “It was just one more thing I could add to my résumé, and during interviews, employers would tell me they loved how skilled I was.”

President thinks his computer skills are one of the reasons he has his job today.