I have a 60-ish student in class, who believes that he is not being hired because of his age. He snarls about younger people getting all the work, and refers to them as “punks”. This student has 3 degrees (B.S. in Structural Mechanics, M.S. in Engineering and a J.D. in Law), and has been out of work for over 1 year. He has zero computer skills (has problems using a mouse, does not know his way around the computer), and states that he despises the computer. He also complains of feet problems and wants to learn at home.
I am 53 years old, and am self-taught. I learned how to use the computer in the 1980’s, and have been working with computers ever since. Unlike my student however, I continue to learn how to master applications as well as formatting techniques, and web page design. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and an M.A. in Education.
I can remember when we used the keyboard to get around the computer, making use of command line functions. My first computer was a Kaypro 2X, I paid over $6,000 for it when it was new. I would be lucky to get $150 for it today. Hiring criteria in the 80s and 90s was measured in keystrokes per hour (kph). WToday, the criteria generally ranges from Word to Excel, PowerPoint to Access (depending on the position). The mouse has changed the face of computing, making today’s applications more user-friendly. Yet, I still find people from many walks of life who have not, and (in some cases) refuse to learn how to use these applications. There are many reasons one can offer why they may not want to learn how to use today’s mainstream application powerhouses, but to not learn how to use today’s office applications can seriously limit one’s ability to find gainful employment.
More to come…