For years we’ve heard that computer skills are an invaluable asset to any CV. It’s fair to say that it’s probably one of the most asked questions in interviews too, after all computers impact all areas of our lives to some extent. Even if a job doesn’t directly involve computers, any company values these skills because they’re aware of how useful they can be. Small businesses without specialized IT departments are usually especially glad to have employees who can use computers.
However, knowing how to use computers are not only a valuable skill in building a career – they have even more value than that. The simple fact is that computer skills are also invaluable for anyone wanting to work for themselves. The number of self employed computer programmers, IT technicians or network support engineers has never been higher. Whether they’re working directly with businesses or through service contract companies, literally millions of people now can class themselves as self employed simply due to their computer skills. The Internet has enabled millions of people in all sorts of areas to utilize their computer skills to develop new businesses or careers.
It goes further than this though, you don’t even need to work in the technology area directly to leverage your computer skills. Many people in all sorts of areas are using the web to boost their ‘real world’ businesses. In a little village near where I live, a mobile green grocer has developed a brand new web site, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. All of these he uses very effectively to promote his business and his latest offers to customers around the area. He has even launched a milk delivery service directly on the response he received from a couple of adverts on Facebook. Thought that the days of milk delivery where gone ? Well think again as the response was huge largely fuelled by the lower environmental impact of receiving milk in reusable glass bottles!
The new opportunities are everywhere and you often only need a modicum of technology skills to get started. When I was on holiday I met someone who’s retired and set up a business selling solutions to access UK TV stations. He was set up to retire, discovered he couldn’t watch Coronation Street on ITV player and Match of the Day when in Lanzarote, then proceeded to market the solution he discovered – it’s here if you want to see. He’s doing very well and can still enjoy his soaps online.
The fact is that perhaps more and anything learning about computers can open new doors and create opportunities. It’s like learning a new language suddenly options open up that perhaps weren’t there before. As a supplement to your existing skills set or specialization, there’s very little that can compare. For those with entrepreneurial aspirations having the skills to leverage the internet and social media can be the difference between success and failure.
Digital skills can easily be obtained, most schools and colleges offer a variety of technology courses. Of course you can even learn them online now, with many offering online equivalents of their normal courses too. You can bypass blocks by using high speed VPNs – try here, if available which can also be used to access content in different countries anonymously.