Heightened computer skills now a necessity for modern-day job searches

by Jason SalasTuesday, June 19, 2001

In the Information Age, job seekers need up-to-date computer skills to make it in the job market

To all the newly-minted graduates of the Class of 2001 - first of all, congratulations! It’s summertime, and so after the initial parties and vacations subside, you’ll likely be looking for a job. And naturally, this is the time of year when we at KUAM get tons of resumes from people looking for employment.

One of the largest challenges with technology growing as fast as it has been in recent years isn’t mankind’s ability to understand and implement it in his organization---it’s his ability to keep up with it. Since the boom of the computer in the early 80’s, computer skills have been seen as value-added skills for potential employees in securing a job.

Well, here’s a harrowing reality check for you: today, these skills aren’t helpful – they’re required.

Gone are the days when just knowing a little bit about Word and Excel will be enough to get you a foot in the door, much less total employment with a company. Now, companies expect prospective employment candidates to have some degree of mastery of basic business applications such as presentation software (like PowerPoint) and even database programs (like Access), in addition to word processor and spreadsheet applications. And many businesses even require experience with basic Web page design, for making the company’s most valued asset – its information – available to business partners, clients, and vendors.

Several reports recently noted how the demand for employees with intermediate-to-advanced computer skills have grown to be part of the package. Online job site Monster.com has noted that having the skill set necessary to do information-intensive work and collaborate with other people within and outside of an organization can mean the difference between landing a job, or missing out on an opportunity.

In fact, for many jobs not even directly involved with technology, now more than ever having the ability to master the almighty workstation, in order to be more productive for the company.

In the states, experience with Internet technologies is a must.  Everything from knowing how to use e-mail, to knowing how to quickly and effectively search for information on the Web is expected. Many companies even expect candidates to be familiar with HTML authoring.

In the hypercompetitive environment that is business in the New Economy, employers don’t want to see someone that’s “willing to learn,” they want someone who is going to solve their problems, and help them be more effectively able to compete.

And for those of you involved in technical fields – the demand is even greater for you to keep your skills honed. Programmers, systems analysts and developers have to be sharper than ever, and hiring managers are going to expect to see a portfolio of systems you’re administered, sites you’ve built, and applications you’re authored.

Nevertheless - good luck, happy hunting...and keep those resumes coming!  (If you'd like to see what openings we have, click here).

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