Are you considering going to school to earn a certificate in computer applications? When you tell people your educational plans do they somewhat look at you like you are crazy, almost like they can't figure out what you will actually be able to do with this sort of a certificate program? Don't let that stop you; instead, take a few minutes, do your homework and ensure that you know what you will be able to do with a degree in computer applications.
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Not only will this help you to feel more secure in your educational and career choice, it will help you have the most appropriate answers when your friends and family question you and give you that crazy, 'what do you think you're doing' look. Continue reading below so that you can easily discover those most important answers, which will also help you to verify that you are on the right path for your future. Start your career training now and even earn a network certification while going to school.
First of all, it is important to understand that there are a couple of different certificate and degree levels that you can choose from as you pursue your studies within the field of computer applications. Although each level of programs will help to prepare you for the work force and for your daily tasks, you will want to keep in mind that the shorter certificate programs will likely only qualify you for entry level positions. For instance, while someone with an certificate level degree will only be qualified for entry level positions within a particular company, individuals who have completed additional, more extensive training will be more likely to climb the corporate ranks within their employer.
However, it is important to note that a student who is studying computer applications will be learning the basics (and possibly the more advanced concepts) of computer applications as it will be utilized within a company or business setting. Although it is not necessarily required in every workforce setting, most individuals who complete a lower level degree or certificate program typically continue their education, even if it is while they are maintaining their current employment position. For many individuals it is more appealing to complete a short degree or certificate program and to then obtain employment and further their education while they are working and gaining relevant work experience.
Should you decide to pursue a certificate based program you can likely expect to be required to complete classes that will train you in website design, desktop publishing, a wide range of office applications, keyboarding, and the fundamentals of information technology, among others. Upon completion of a certificate based program you will be able to seek employment in positions such as an office receptionist, a database administrator, or a document or word processing specialist. Should you decide to pursue an associate's level degree program you can expect to be required to complete your training in a hands-on learning format. In a certificate program such as this you can expect to complete courses that are relative to computer applications in addition to classes that are related to business concepts. It is quite common for individuals who have completed their associate's degree program to search for employment as a computer support specialist, as a data entry specialist, or as an administrative or help desk assistant, among other options. Some that already have their certificate can work on thier Associate's degree in computer technology including game design, computer science and more.
Within the field of computer applications it is important to understand that you may find it necessary to continue your education in order to fine tune certain skills. For instance, as you gain experience in computer applications you will also want to become more adept at communicating with clients, at managing your work time, more comfortable interacting with and helping a wide range of customers, and problem solving any number of technological difficulties. Generally speaking, you will be able to complete a certificate based program in approximately one year, while an associate's degree program will take you about two years to complete.
Keep in mind, within this field of study the available technology is continuously changing. Therefore, if you choose to enter this career path you will need to be prepared to become a lifelong learner with regards to computer applications. Think about it, in order to be competitive against other job seekers and to be able to successfully handle the responsibilities of your position, you will need to be able to stay abreast of current technological trends and changes. Otherwise, other individuals who possess a more current base of skills will be more appealing in the work force to potential employers.
While it is not always the case, many individuals who work in the field of computer applications may have the opportunity to work from home to complete the responsibilities of their occupation. In some cases, you may be expected to work from an office location initially until you have accurately proven your abilities to your employer. If you are wanting quick career training then we recommend a computer applications certificate program.
A good certificate program will help you determine if this is a career you see yourself doing. Many of the programs offered will go over a wide variety of computer applications courses including those in: Website Design, Advanced Keyboard (speed typing), All Microsoft Windows Applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access) as well as desktop publishing software. The goal is to get you updated with the fundamentals of these applications. Once you get hired at a company you often will need to be able to multi-task and use several applications at once.
Graduates of a certificate program in computer applications find themselves working their first job in front desk setting. This could include being a receptionist or administrative assistant for a department. Your knowledge and training will help you land your job so you can then continue to gain more knowledge while working. Also once you start working each company is different and you might be able to learn some in-house applications needed for the company to function.
Another career is that of a data entry processor or computer clerk. This requires typing speed and efficiency. Often your job will include word processing and even graphic design duties.
In any position you’ll need to be able to demonstrate you are capable in operating these computer applications/software. It is typically not necessary you are an expert but being able to conduct basic desktop publishing functions including word-processing and charts is a must. Having the ability to create presentations for management is also a function that will help you stand out in the interviewing process.
One of the top qualities needed is the ability to work on your own with limited oversight. If must have good communication skills and work well with others. Often you’ll work under tight deadlines and report to others.
You’ll need to have the ability to work independently and create/edit documents for others. Below are the Top 4 things you’ll be required to do.
1. Editing Drafts – Often you’ll get documents from staff members or management what need editing. It could be something as simple as proofing the piece or it could need formatted. You’ll use Word Processing applications to make the corrections.
2. Adding Graphics – Sometimes the project you are working on will require you to add and or edit graphics. This could require special software you’ll need to learn how to use.
3. Excel Documents/Budgeting – One of the most common computer applications you’ll need to master is that of spreadsheets. Almost every business uses them for budgeting to forecasting.
4. Presentations – When developing presentations you could use a combination of all of the above. Many of the presentations will be graphical as well as the need to import in spreadsheets or other documents. Understanding the flow of a presentation and how to effectively produce slides is a great skill that many computer application certificate programs teach.