Computer Skills for the Workplace

Most jobs today require a working knowledge of certain computer skills. Employers seek and reward employees with the skills and knowledge to send messages across the country via e-mail; use a spreadsheet to create a graph and paste it into a report; add and edit data in a database; understand the implications of file sizes, memory limitations, and network arrangements; and recognize the function and features of modern computer components. Any job candidate who already possesses these skills will stand above those who do not.

This course is designed to provide the fundamental computer competencies you need to survive and prosper in today's fast-changing workplace. You will learn how to implement the powers of modern office software to work faster and more efficiently. We'll focus on practical application for software most common to the workplace. When you finish this course, you will have learned why employers consider technological literacy so critical to the success of any organization.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:


Microsoft Windows 95 or newer with any edition of Microsoft Office 2000 or newer; or Mac OS X with any edition of Microsoft Office 2004 (Mac); Internet access, e-mail, and the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser. Note: Please be sure to install Microsoft Office on your computer before the course begins.


All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week One
Wednesday - Lesson 01
Whether you're looking for a new job or looking to improve your position at your current company, computer skills are essential to your success. In our first lesson, we'll examine how companies set up and use technology solutions. Then we'll take a close look at some of the components of those solutions. Just understanding how technology fits into the overall flow of work at your company will advance your position relative to your peers.
Friday - Lesson 02
Your computer has a software program installed on it that's referred to as an "operating system." Most often, this system is Microsoft Windows, but it could be others, such as Macintosh or Linux. In this lesson, you'll learn how this system controls many important parts of the computer and how you use those controls every day for tasks like managing where you keep important files, and printing hard copies of documents. We'll also talk about menus, taskbars, and shortcuts along the way.
Week Two
Wednesday - Lesson 03
Copying and pasting are two of the most important things you'll learn to do with your computer. These simple tasks leverage the enormous power of computers and can save you hundreds of hours or work. We'll cover these two tools in today's lesson. We'll also discuss the dialog box—again, a simple concept once you know how to use it, and once you master it, you'll have come very far in understanding how to interact with your computer.
Friday - Lesson 04
Next to e-mail, the word processor is probably the most frequently used application software in the workplace. Yet, if you've never taken the time to learn the basic features of most word processors, you're not performing nearly to your potential. In today's lesson, you'll learn and practice the important capabilities of word processors like Microsoft Word.
Week Three
Wednesday - Lesson 05
During this lesson, we'll address three additional areas of word processing: formatting, organizing information, and using special tools. Once you understand formatting tools, you'll be able to make your text take on a special appearance so that it draws attention where you want it to. For example, you can underline, bold, or italicize text in the middle of a paragraph for emphasis. After you learn about text formatting, we'll go over paragraph and page formatting. We'll also examine how to organize data in tables and lists.
Friday - Lesson 06
During today's lesson, we'll go over some important fundamental concepts related to spreadsheets, including spreadsheet organization, formatting, basic formulas, and data sorting. Once you discover how to create a basic budget spreadsheet, you'll see how the skills and knowledge you gain from this lesson can have a powerful impact on your ability to contribute more in the workplace.
Week Four
Wednesday - Lesson 07
In this lesson, we'll discuss more details about the spreadsheet, and how to provide easy-to-understand, accurate data. You'll learn how to build graphs that can graphically display numeric information so you can easily demonstrate trends, analyze past results, and predict future performance. You'll also find out how to use some advanced spreadsheet tools that can make your spreadsheets even more effective.
Friday - Lesson 08
E-mail affects your work performance in two ways: First, it allows fast communication among geographically dispersed workers, and second, it provides rapid dissemination of large documents and files to those same workers. In today's lesson, we're going to study the best ways to use e-mail to enhance your work performance. We'll examine some rules for writing business e-mails, and you'll learn about e-mail etiquette and how to insert emotions into your messages. Then we'll discuss some of the advanced functions associated with e-mail, such as attaching documents.
Week Five
Wednesday - Lesson 09
During this lesson, we'll examine the components of a database, focusing primarily on the user interface. In your job, you might use this interface to perform a lot of different functions, including data input, data output, and data maintenance. Clerks work with databases to input information. Other employees might work with databases to filter, sort, and read information. Database-management personnel interface with databases to keep them accurate, reliable, and secure.
Friday - Lesson 10
In today's lesson, we'll go over some of the computer's utility programs to help you better understand the operation and organization of your computer. Additionally, these programs will help you manage and safely maintain the data on your computer. The utility programs we'll discuss here deal primarily with file maintenance. Some of the functions associated with these programs are viewing files, compressing files, diagnosing problems, uninstalling software, defragmenting disks, backing up files, and running screen savers.
Week Six
Wednesday - Lesson 11
Today, we'll go over the major storage media available in the workplace, as well as their corresponding characteristics. These major media types include hard drives, memory sticks, compact discs (CDs), tapes, and PC cards. We'll review some of the terms people use to describe memory size, and then we'll compare file sizes to different storage options. We'll also relate storage options to the different work tasks you might perform, and we'll discuss when each option is most appropriate for a certain task.
Friday - Lesson 12
In our final lesson, we have three specific goals. The first is to identify ways to use your computer skills to find a new job. The second is to use those same computer skills to get a promotion within your current organization. Our third goal is to explore strategies for continued learning in order to support your ever-growing employment goals.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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