One of the major things missing out from modern education in universities around the globe is the focus on digital skills and education.
Question is, are digital skills even necessary? Well- look around you and see what you do all day and see what devices you use. Now look at your day again and see how many of the things in technology that you use you actually even know about. Technology has become so integrated in our lives that it is easy to take it for granted and not think about how you can actually use it to make your life better and learn digital skills that you would give you an edge over others in the job market.
Think about these simple things and decide for yourself:
- Do you know how to set up a document in the cloud?
- Do you know how to search for duplicates of an image online?
- Can you edit an image without using Photoshop?
- Can you make a website without learning how to code?
These are some essential questions for a student living in 2016 and if the answer to all these questions is no, then there is a high-need for you to look into skills that you need to learn immediately.
Digital skills are easily becoming a part of the education system and add up significantly to the productivity of a university student and therefore we have identified the following skills as key aspects of the 21st century education that will not only help you with additional knowledge but will help you accelerate your position in the market.
Using the Cloud
If you have ever been in a situation where you spent hours writing a research paper only to end up losing it because you forgot the save button, then this is for you.
Using the cloud can help save you from such problems and also give you the opportunity to access your document from anywhere (whether a phone, PC or a tablet) no matter where you are. Given that we create and use online content on a daily basis, from images to audio files to apps and personal details, backing it up all in the Cloud is a skill you should (already) have. We recommend Google Drive for all kinds documents, files, videos etc and Google Photos to backup your entire library of photos.
Image and Photo Editing
With Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat around, a lot of the content is becoming about images and less about text and that’s why it is important to learn how to create good looking images even if you are not a designer.
Learning the basics of image editing with a tool like Canva can give you an edge over your peers and the benefit with tools like Canva is that everything is done over the web and you don’t have to install any software to get it running on your computer.
Word, PowerPoint and Excel are more than relevant than ever because creating presentations and editing sheets is a skill that your employers will assume that you already have so if you haven’t started learning already, now would be a good time to give it a try!
Also we highly recommend getting started with cloud-based document processing tools like Google Docs that not only give you access to the tools but also features such as cloud backup and single sign-on and will definitely help improve your digital literacy level.
Coding and Programming
You know the websites that you use, like the one you are reading this on, are built with code and the best with modern tools like WordPress is that you don’t even need to learn how to code to build a website.
The growth of web keeps getting accelerated at an ever growing pace and we can only speculate that a decade from now it will become mandatory for college students, even in arts, to learn how to code so they can produce work that is supported by technology. It is highly recommend for students to learn basic content management systems like WordPress and HTML/CSS which is the markup language used for creating and presenting online content.
Who are you and why are you important?
Your next employer wants to know the answer to that question and that’s why he/she is going to Google you, search you on Facebook and even stalk you on LinkedIn before even calling you in for an interview. Branding is no longer just for corporates but for people as well and that’s why managing and maintaining your online image is more important than ever.
The best way to start to create your personal website or portfolio, establish a LinkedIn profile, set up Twitter and start posting content that establishes you as an expert or evangelist in that domain.
Its more important than ever to learn how to use free tools to create interactive content whether its spreadsheets, infographics, videos, animations.
Apart from simply creating content, its also important to learn how to make use of content that is already available on the web whether its slides on SlideShare, videos on YouTube or talks on TED. The ability to collect, assess and create meaningful and worthwhile collections of various content formats is expected to become even more pronounced in the years to come.
Online Work & Freelancing
Online work and freelancing may not be a skill on its own but it is definitely handy to learn how to make use of your existing skills to make money online and Freelancing lets you do just that. Lucky for you, we are offering a Free course on Introduction to Online Work and Freelancing in which we want to introduce what freelancing is, why it’s such a growing trend and how you can get started to become a freelancer.