By Kerrie Haynes

Computer skills are collectively regarded as the most basic yet important skills that you need to have to get hired today. They are up there along with other soft skills like communication and interpersonal skills that are on top of the list of hiring factors. Millennials may not have a hard time acclimatizing themselves with computers and gadgets of today’s world, but if you are from the older generations, you need to up your computing game. There’s no need to be embarrassed about something that you don’t know. Because every single skill in this world can be learned.

Here are seven approaches that can make you better at computing. Whether it is working on an Excel spreadsheet or installing software on your computer, these tips will give you more confidence and courage to deal with technology.  These 7 useful tips that are well-suited for both professionals and college students alike:

1.     Refer online tutorials

Whether it is a YouTube video or Wiki how-to guide, you can learn a lot from the internet. Today’s “Google it” culture has made referencing almost synonymous to online searching. Hardly anyone uses the library anymore; they just fire open their smartphones, type in a query, and bang! Hundreds and thousands of websites are ready to give information at just the click of a link.

If you do not know how to do something on your computer, the best and the easiest way is to just look it up online. This can mean reading online tutorials, guides, articles, etc.

2.     Befriend geeks

If you are a professional who works in an office, befriend those in the tech support department. Being around people who know about computers and technology can make your life a lot easier. Plus, having a friend in the IT department has its own benefits, don’t you agree?

3.     Experiment with Software

If you are looking to extend your computing skills, you should sometimes explore uncharted territories as well. For instance, if you have only used Microsoft Word all your life, why not give OpenOffice a try? This way, you’ll gain a better understanding about document extensions (like *.doc, *.docx, *.odt, etc.), document conversion, and formatting.

4.     Take an Online Course

The advent of MOOCs such as Coursera and edX has made life a lot easier for people like you and me. For example, if you’re interested in learning about a specific software such as internet browsers – you can sign up for a free online course and learn all there is to know about browsers and more. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera – having knowledge about these apps and their differences can make you look like a rock star in front of your less informed peers.

Browsers open many windows to the world of the internet, where you can buy anything at a lesser price and get it delivered to your house. For example, do you know there are online essay writing services like My Essay Writing that you can take advantage of when you need essays and papers written?

5.     Teach Your Colleagues and Friends

Once you have learned a specific skill, the best way to master it is to teach it to another person. Remember Stella from Accounts, who was asking you about the steps to install iTunes? Well, now that you know, why don’t you teach others too?

Teaching someone a skill is not an easy task as you have to go through the basics first and then make them understand the framework before they can learn it.

6.     Read Technical Books

We all know that no one’s ever read those software “terms and conditions” except for the people who wrote them, but reading technical documents can actually help you in times of crises. The next time you buy a new notebook, why not go over its instruction manual rather than chucking it in the basement?  You’re sure you will learn at least one new thing about your new notebook from that manual.

7.     Engage Yourself

If you are trying to learn a new skill, make it your temporary passion. Read about it, watch videos, and practice it till you finally master it. Investing in yourself has its own share of benefits, and learning a new skill by being all over it can go a long way in your academic and professional careers.

These are the top seven approaches that we think will help you become a more knowledgeable person around computers and technology in general.

Author Bio: Kerrie Haynes  is a young writer who enjoys writing and sharing her knowledge with others.  She is currently studying in her last year of university.