Sometimes short courses in computing, languages, business, bookkeeping and of course, learning to drive can be of immense help in making you more employable.
Learning skills online
Another way to learn new skills to use the web.
Typing learn XYZ into Google, will give you free training on almost any subject. For example:
- Free Typing Tutor www.sense-lang.org/typing
- MS Word Tutor also typing and web page designwww.nailitnow.com.au/word/free/tocheadings.html
- Book-Keeping www.bookkeeping-course.com
- Wave Accounting Software www.waveaccounting.com/free-accounting-software is totally free: "incredibly easy, intuitive and demystifies accounting and bookkeeping"
- MS Excel www.studyfinance.com/lessons/excel/index.mv
- Desktop Publishing Skills
- Microsoft Publisher is part of MS Office. It's fairly basic but will give you a rudimentary knowledge of page layout, columns, fonts, kerning etc. before you progress to Quark or In Design.
- In Design www.adobe.com/products/indesign The main competitor to Quark. Again you can download a 30 day free trial.
- Adobe Photoshop (image manipulation software) is another package specified in many adverts for jobs. You can download a 30 day free trial at www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/main.html
- Basic web page design can also help as much publishing is now web-based. You can learn simple web design using Notepad (a free text editor which is part of MS Windows: Start/Programs/Accessories/Notepad should get you to it). There are many tutorials on-line: for example www.davesite.com/webstation/html. You can also download a 30 day free trial of Dreamweaver (the web design package used by many professionals) from www.adobe.com/downloads/?PID=2294914 Most libraries will have "web design for beginners" type books you can borrow.
Most universities or public libraries will have a wide range of computing books you can borrow to teach you these programs or of course, you can buy your own copy via Amazon.
Numeracy and Quantitative Skills
Numeracy is not just about competence in basic number skills. It involves understanding and working with numerical and graphical information, drawing conclusions, explaining findings, making deductions and detecting suspect deductions by others. These are in tune with the skills that employers value from good graduates in all subjects, such as critical thinking and independent reasoning.
If you haven’t studied maths since GCSE – and maybe didn’t enjoy it when you did study it – it is worth taking time during your studies to improve your numeracy and quantitative reasoning skills.
Numerical reasoning skills are part of many employers’ selection processes – but this is not the end of it. Graduate careers in all kinds of work areas will involve planning, budgeting time and costs, amending estimates and spotting time or money problems in advance.
More information on numerical skills
- Stand Out and Be Counted www.britac.ac.uk/policy/Stand_Out_and_Be_Counted.cfm a guide from the British Council signalling the value of data-handling skills to current undergraduate students
- Math Tutor www.mathtutor.ac.uk/arithmetic 7 topics to study online at your own pace
- BBC Skillswise www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/maths ”practical, common-sense maths for adults”
- Maths Centre www.mathcentre.ac.uk
- Most university or public libraries will have a wide range of mathematics books you can borrow to teach you. For example you can search and reserve books from Kent Libraries or of course, you can buy your own copies via Amazon.
- See to find part-time courses in any part of the country.
- Hot Courses www.hotcourses.com is a particularly good database of courses.