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Computer Skills needed


It used to be love that made the world go ’round, but I’m pretty sure that today, it’s the Internet. I’m going to assume you’re connected, or you wouldn’t be here. If you haven’t played around a little on the Internet, take some time and see what’s out there.

You can find information about just about everything on the Internet, which will make studying so much quicker and easier. Just be careful about your sources. Not everything you read on the Internet is true. Be savvy. Like anything else, you become savvy through experience.


Almost every company uses email now. If you don’t have a personal email address, get one. They’re free at Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, and other places on the Internet. Search for free email. Follow the setup instructions, which are usually pretty simple. Ask a friend for help if you need it, and practice emailing.

I have an 85-year-old friend who sends email via his iPhone. The Internet is ageless.


OneNote, by Microsoft, is a wonderful tool for students. For about $100, you can take and store notes, organize them, share them, and do just about anything you want with them. Your options appear on one page so you can access files immediately. You can add presentations, pictures, audio files, web shots, just about anything. This is one tool that will give any student a leg up.


Microsoft Office Word is the software used most often by business for word processing. It’s today’s typewriter. You might be surprised by how few people know and use the capabilities of this most-basic tool. By learning the software thoroughly, you’ll create cleaner, more professional papers and reports for school, and give yourself a leg up when you look for a job.

If you’ve never used Word, take a class. They can be found just about anywhere.


PowerPoint is the software people use to create slide presentations. When you need to make a presentation in class, this is the tool that will help you present your information in a clean, professional way. Play around with it. There are preset themes you can choose to guide you.

The most important thing to remember when making a PowerPoint presentation is that less is more. People tend to put way too much information on every slide. Spread it out. Keep it simple. Use large type.


Not everyone will use Excel, but if you work with numbers, Excel is your best friend. Understanding how it works will save you a ton of time because it calculates for you. Set up a spreadsheet, tell Excel how you want it to calculate, fill in your figures, and voila! Can’t beat it.