How to improve your digital skills
Advances in technology have changed the way we communicate, interact and work. They’ve also changed how we receive and make sense of information and how we learn, making it essential to be digitally literate with the skills to navigate technology, the internet and life.
As more products and services become digitally enabled and reliant on technology, your digital skills need to keep up so you’ll be able to engage with technology and within digital environments easily, safely and responsibly.
Why digital skills are important
Much of how we communicate and access information is integrated into the digital world. Having the digital skills needed to interact, learn and work means having the ability to connect, create and collaborate. Our ability to know and understand how best to use technologies (such as computers, smart devices, the internet and social media) also helps us fulfil certain needs in our modern-day lives.
Here’s why your digital skills matter:
- It keeps you independent
Being able to access information and resources means that you’re not dependent on anyone else for it. It keeps you connected to the outside world and up to date with news and changing trends. It also gives you choice and options so you can work and communicate however you prefer.
- It helps you make up your own mind
Being able to do your own research and fact-finding will empower you to make informed decisions and help you identify fake news and misinformation. Having the right digital skills will also help you assess and determine what information online is legitimate.
- It makes you more employable
Most jobs will have a digital aspect to them, and as it becomes more entrenched in how people work, you’ll certainly need an evolving digital skillset for your current and future workplace needs. The skills you have give you the ability to use online resources to upskill yourself in other ways, and they’ll come in handy when you need to use the internet to find a job.
- It lets you enjoy technology
Once you know how to use technology and can successfully navigate the online world, you can take advantage of all the benefits it provides. There are many apps, sites and resources that make various aspects of life easier and more convenient.
- It will keep you safer
Being informed and understanding the risks and hazards that come with being active online will help you engage safely and responsibly, mitigating the dangers of falling into the ‘traps’ that can threaten your personal information and safety.
- The basics will get you far
It may feel foreign in the beginning, but the good news is that knowing the fundamentals of being able to use digital technologies, how to communicate and access information, and how to apply these skills on a day-to-day basis is a good place to start. As with any other skill, the more you practise it, the more confident you’ll become and the more your abilities will grow.
How do I learn digital skills?
Technology isn’t going away, and we need to adapt our digital skills to keep up. Thankfully, upskilling is easy, and you can get started immediately.
Anyone can register for our free Microsoft Digital Literacy online course that teaches you the basic digital knowledge you need to operate a computer and programmes such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You’ll also learn how to use the internet and how to stay safe online. Plus, there’s a certificate recognising your new skills waiting for you at the end.
All you need is a phone, tablet or computer (with a connection to the internet), your South African ID and an email address. Then complete the online registration form and follow the steps to start the course.
Terms and conditions apply.