Remember when typing used to be an appropriate skill to have on a resume? Well, if you’re a student like me, you probably don’t remember, because in today’s work force, basic computer and technology skills like typing, Word, and Excel are so widely used that it would be unnecessary to include them on a resume. No matter what your degree or field you want to go into, technology is an important transferable skill that you either have or will use. You don’t have to major in computer science to grasp the basics and make use of the powerful tool of technology.
Although we all rely on technology for practically every aspect of our lives, it still has an intimidating ring to it. For example, when asked to write an article about technology, my business major self was immediately terrified. With a bit of research, however, I realized that it doesn’t matter what major you’re in, everyone can and should utilize the transferable skill of technology.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), digital technology, a skill vital to career competency, is defined as “leveraging existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. Individuals demonstrate effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.” It’s not about knowing how to use fancy software, but about being adaptable and willing to learn quickly. Using Google or YouTube isn’t a crime; these tools exist for a reason.
Debbie Ungson-Walbert, career advisor for Illinois State technology majors, agreed with the definition from NACE and encourages students to be aware of the software you will need to use in your career. Most often learning how to use that technology can be as simple visiting a 20-minute YouTube video on the basic concepts or comparing its use to a software that you may already be familiar. Most importantly, know the bread and butter: how to create a spreadsheet or PowerPoint and how to properly save your documents.
I also spoke to Redbird Taylor Denby about how she utilizes this transferable skill. By actively taking classes and using technology every day at her job, she continues to sharpen this skill knowing that it will be essential to her entering the work force come graduation.
Lastly, I contacted Kayla Brown a recruiter from The Commencement Group to find out how important technology is to employers. She stated that regardless the position, her company appreciates basic technical literacy.
So, the next time you immediately shy away from applying for a job because technology happens to be in the description, keep in mind that it’s not as scary as you think. With a little effort, you can apply this extremely helpful tool and feel comfortable with the transferable skill of technology.
Mila Wendt is a Career Center career ambassador and a sophomore studying international business and marketing analytics. Connect with her on LinkedIn.