Whether we like it or not–and much to the disdain of the older generations–the world is going digital.
We’re making the switch from newspapers and magazines to digital journals, news websites and e-magazines. Our books are being scanned and uploaded to the internet as ebooks, as some prefer a lightweight electronic alternative to the feel of flipping a page with your fingers.
What could formerly be done by only a calculator, a DSLR camera, an alarm clock, an MP3 player, a GPS and a fitness tracker can now be done with the cell phone in your pocket.
The world is going digital faster than we even realize, and it’s important to take note. The skills that were useful–or even completely necessary–just a decade or so ago are now outdated and rarely used. Penmanship was important when everything was done on paper, but with the takeover of digitalization, your handwriting has taken a backseat to computer skills.
Learning how to code and build a website from scratch is something that will come in handy long term, but not everyone has the time or the resources to learn how to code to a level of proficiency that would help land them a job in IT.
Taking the time to learn some basics of web design–even simply creating a WordPress blog and fiddling with the design–can be beneficial. From there, purchasing domains and hosting your website is not only a great way to learn more about the ins and outs of web design and WordPress, but a great branding play for future employers to find.
Social Media Proficiency
If you’re a young adult and you haven’t gone social yet, it’s time to start. Social media is, almost literally, everywhere. No longer is Twitter limited to the 140 character musings of you and your friends; no longer is Facebook only for posting vacation photos, and no longer is SnapChat for sending pictures of you making strange faces to your friends to procrastinate studying.
Businesses (much like the ones you’ll be contacting about open positions in a short amount of time) also use social media as advertising, customer service, promotional and news-breaking services. Knowing the ins and outs of social media platforms from top to bottom is a valuable skill to have right now.
Social media connects people around the globe faster, easier and more efficiently than we’ve ever experienced in the past. By neglecting to engage in social media, you’re neglecting that connection, and perhaps some job offers.
It may not be able to replace a degree in graphic design, but knowing your way around a Photoshop toolbar can come in handy in a wealth of positions open right now.
Some people will understandably balk at the price of Photoshop, so Gimp, a free photo-editing tool, is a good alternative. Taking a quick tour through the tools available, coupled with online tutorials available, can open up career opportunities you might otherwise have been unable to attain without photo manipulation skills.
Microsoft Office Suite is no longer something you need to highlight on resumes–most employers expect that those seeking employment will have a sound understanding of Word, Powerpoint, etc. These are no longer additions to a resume–with computers present in virtually every home around the country and a college education under your belt, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have that skillset.
Microsoft Excel remains an important facet of most business though. Going beyond a basic understanding, using internet tutorials to learn the depth of possibilities associated with Excel can exponentially increase your potential contributions to a business.
These are the broader, overarching suggestions are just that–general and broad. Depending on the field you intend to go into after graduation, a different set of skills is more than likely necessary.