Basic Computer Skills You Must Have | Oliveboard

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Basic Computer Skills: There may have been times when you saw the phrase ‘Basic knowledge of computers mandatory’ or “basic computer awareness preferred’. Ever wondered why this phrase is appearing in so many job profiles now?
Computers have become a staple in all workplaces, whether they’re the government, bank, or private sector. Knowing the basics of a computer, its operation, and the functioning of software like Microsoft Office is necessary. A lot of areas depend on Microsoft Word for documents or Microsoft Excel for database management. This is why job aspirants should make themselves aware of the skills they should develop. In this case- basic computer skills.

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What are Basic Computer Skills?

The first step to working on a computer is knowing about the computer. What is a computer? What makes up a computer? How does it work? What can a computer do? These are the fundamentals of working with computers. So let’s dive into the world of computers!

What is a Computer?

We’ll start with some fundamental computer awareness. Bank and Government job aspirants must be aware of computer awareness being a subject in many exams. This is because most of the work in government and bank offices is done on computers. So the question-

What is a computer?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a computer is defined as follows:

an electronic machine that can store, organize and find information, do processes with numbers and other data, and control other machines

The Oxford English Dictionary

So basically, a computer is an electronic device that performs calculations, finds data, and makes sense of the data for us. The computations a computer performs can be as small as an addition calculation and as big as a 10-year census analysis. The computer can also store data for us, making it easy to access whenever we want.

basic computer skills

The First Computer

The first computer was the Antikythera and was a complex machine built by the Greeks (200-70 BC). Archeologists believe that greeks used it to calculate astronomical events like eclipses. It was a mechanical device, with dimensions of 34 cm × 18 cm × 9 cm. It had a wooden box and had around 30 gears.

The actual word Computer was a job title until 1897.

Charles Babbage must be a familiar name. He invented and designed the first computer in 1821 and called it the Difference Engine. He also proceeded to design two more computers- an Analytical Engine and a Difference Engine No. 2. Charles Babbage was famously known as the ‘father of computer science’. However, for the computers he designed, he was not able to build them due to financial constraints.

Alan Turing is another well-known name. He is known as the ‘father of computer science’. Alan Turing was vital in helping the English defeat the Germans during World War II through the Turing-Welchman Bombe, which would decipher Nazi Codes. His book “On Computable Numbers…” forms the basis of the modern computer.

John Blankenbaker of the Kenbak Corporation designed and invented the first personal computer – the Kenbak 1. He did so in 1971.

Parts of a computer

Now while there’s a lot more that we can study about the development of computers, let’s now check out what makes a computer….well, a computer.

Let’s take these one by one.

1. Monitor

Computer users interact with the computer through a monitor. It displays the inputs, outputs, images, videos, and a lot more.

2. CPU

The CPU or the Central Processing Unit is the brain of the PC. When you enter information into the computers for processing, this information goes to the CPU where the CPU converts it from a user-friendly language to a machine-friendly language. Once processed, the CPU converts the output from machine-friendly language to user-friendly language and displays it on the monitor.

3. Keyboard

This is an input device that users can use to provide alphanumeric and special character input to the computer. The mode of input is typing.

4. Mouse

This is also an input device that is used to interact with the monitor. The mouse shows up on the screen as a pointer that moves around when you move the mouse. You can use this to select different things on the screen, cut, copy-paste, open folders, and a lot more. It is the basic form of user interaction with the computer.

Other Peripherals

These include headsets with mics, speakers, webcams, joysticks, tablets with pens, external hard drives, printers, and a lot more. These external devices are either input or output devices.

Input Devices- Mic, Webcam, Joystick, Tablet+Pen, External Hard Drive

Output Devices- Headset, Speakers, Printers

Why Are Basic Computer Skills Necessary?

Computers are everywhere – at home, at a government office, at a bank, at a school, at a margin-free store, and at a mall. Almost every area of work and relaxation uses computers whether as desktops, laptops, tablets, or phones. So it is obvious that computers have become an indelible part of our lives. For any job seeker or aspirant to have a career that grows, it is necessary to have basic computer skills.

Here are a few software that are popularly used and what their applications across industries are:

  • Microsoft Word: Documentation
    • Used for: Letters, Circulars, Notices, Reports, Resumes, Cover Letters, Articles
    • Used in: All job sectors
    • Alternative: Google Docs
  • Microsoft Excel: Data Analysis and Computation
    • Used for: Budgeting, Performance Analysis, Tables, Task and Time Management, Charting and Graphing, etc.
    • Used in: Finance, Data Entry, Accounts, Managers, etc.
    • Alternative: Google Sheets
  • Microsoft Access: Database Management System (DBMS)
    • Used for: Data Storage, Data Sorting, Querying, Reporting
    • Used in: Finance, Accounts, Data Analytics, etc.
    • Alternative: LibreOffice Base
  • Microsoft Powerpoint: Powerpoint Presentation Software
    • Used for: Creating presentations
    • Used in: Almost all Private Sector Jobs, Some government sector jobs (particularly higher level)
    • Alternative: Google Slides

There is a lot of other software that is becoming fast relevant in government, bank, and private sector jobs. Adobe (Acrobat Reader, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) is one such software.

Basic Computer Skills: Where to Learn

It is always best to explore software like Microsoft Word and Powerpoint on your own. Excel, Access, etc, would require more guidance. You can start exploring Excel using our basic guide here and build from that. Here are a few recommended books you can read to get a hang of Microsoft Office as a whole:

  • Microsoft Word: Microsoft Word 365 Step-by-Step – Joan Lambert
  • Microsoft Excel: Excel 2019 Bible – Michael Alexander
  • Microsoft Powerpoint: Powerpoint for Dummies, Office 2021 Edition – Doug Lowe
  • Microsoft Access: Microsoft Access 2010 Step by Step – Joyce Cox and Joan Lambert
  • Microsoft Office (general): Microsoft Office Step-by-Step (2021 Office & Microsoft 365) – Joan Lambert and Curtis Frye

Oliveboard will be soon launching skilling courses for various subjects including Microsoft Office. These will be highly relevant to your career path- whether a bank, government, or private. Upskilling yourself will help boost your confidence and give you an edge over other prospective candidates. So make sure to keep an eye on our Dashboard!

Basic Computer Skills: Conclusion

As you can see, in this age of digital advancement, it is necessary to not remain ignorant of technology. It is best to brush up, or at least familiarise yourself with the most basic of software and computer knowledge that you will need in your professional career. Especially applicants for Bank exams should make sure to gain awareness of Microsoft Excel and Access and learn more about DBMS software like SQL. We hope you will take this opportunity to learn more about computers and invest time to make it a beneficial skill.

Frequently Asked Questions

What comes under basic computer skills?

Basic computer skills include the basic knowledge of computer hardware and peripherals, the software used commonly, mainly Microsoft Office, the internet, etc.

Can I learn computer skills if I don’t have a Computer degree?

Definitely! You can take up computer courses post-graduation, that too in various fields, not limited to Microsoft Office. There is a wide range of courses and certifications that you can join to gain experience through projects and add to your resume.

Are computer skills required for bank and government exams?

A number of bank and government exams have a paper for Computer Awareness in their Prelims and Mains. Even if not, day-to-day work, especially administrative work, will require basic knowledge of computers.

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