Most employers think recent graduates were born with all the computer skills they need from tweeting and designing websites to email and Facebook. But what do you do when your boss asks you to create a portal on Google docs for clients to give performance feedback. Huh?
With unemployment hovering around 8 percent, many employers find it unnecessary to supply in-house employee training. They figure if you want to keep your job, you'll figure it out on your own. But taking another class costs time and money.
So what is a new hire to do get up to office speed? Take a FREE online course.
ALISON—an Irish company with an uncatchy longer moniker: Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online—provides free online courses in job-friendly skills. Some are basic but essential—Fundamentals of Google Docs or Touch Type Training. Others are more specialized (Programming in Adobe Flash) and many could be useful for anybody, job seeking or not (Protect Yourself From Identity Theft), says Open Culture.
ALISON focuses on the practical, culling free courses from a range of publishers that will upgrade anyone’s employment skills. The site has a million registered users across the globe and is adding 50,000 learners every month. Un- or under-employed people can get help planning their career path with a course that takes from 1-2 hours. The course includes an assessment and a discussion forum.Course categories include business and enterprise, IT training, financial and economic, health and safety, health literacy, personal development, and languages.
While many sites offer academic instruction, relatively few offer free workplace skill instruction and ALISON selects courses for their quality and interactivity. The site is so robust and straight-forward that government workplace centers in 18 states use it as a tool to help clients beef up their resume skills.
So the next time your boss asks you to create a spread sheet for your sales figures, ALISON can teach you Excel. Even better when your professor starts talking physics, you can brush up with a course on motion, speed, and time.
What skills do you need to help you keep your first job? What practical skills do you need to stay on top in the workplace?