Graduates won’t thrive without computer skills

Our university should work to ensure that no graduates leave without basic software and computing knowledge.

TodayâÄôs job seekers need a basic technological skill set, one that can fulfill the requirements of a 21st century job, if they hope to be employed. While many students at Columbia have picked up some of these skills through academic courses or extracurricular activities, some will graduate without being able to use Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. To make sure every Columbian is competitive in the job market, the Center for Career Education should develop seminars to teach students how to use software common in the work world. The CCE has wide array of programs designed to help students meet employers, develop resumes, and draft cover letters. But missing from the CCEâÄôs menu of offerings is the chance for students to reach a comfort level with various computer programs. Students unfamiliar with Web navigation and fundamental computer software, or those who seek to develop greater proficiency in them, should have the opportunity to learn. True, Butler Library offers elementary classes in computer basics, but those courses are only offered once a semester, their space is limited, and they often only introduce students to the program. When employers expect their employees to have a mastery in certain technologies, applicants without sophisticated tech skills will be at a disadvantage. The CCE should therefore work with the libraries so that both offer more job-applicable seminars on a wider range of dates. From white-collar jobs on Wall Street to field work in the most remote locations, every kind of job now requires a basic technological skill set. Every student must have the know-how to survive and succeed in the marketplace of the Digital Age. This editorial, accessed via U-Wire, was originally written by the Editorial Board of the Columbia Daily Spectator and published in the Columbia Daily Spectator at Columbia University.