Top Digital Skills for teens

Times have changed, and these days kids, need digital skills if they are to succeed in the competitive job market when they enter the world of work.

More jobs than ever involve computers and tech skills, and you can help your teen to stand out by encouraging them to learn essential digital skills at an early age. Here are some of the top skills to teach them.

Spreadsheets and Word Processors

Learning word processing and how to use spreadsheets may have been something that you learned in school, but it is still important. Having the basic skills to use Microsoft Office should be one of the first skills you help your teen to learn.

Teach them how to use such this software, and help them to find their way around it. You may also want to buy an instruction book for them or sign them up for a course. These skills will help them when looking for work because they are so common in the workplace.

Touch Typing

Typing is still fundamentally important in so many jobs. While touch typing is not usually a requirement, it will certainly help your child to stand out when applying for a job.

It is the most basic and important computer skill, so help your child to learn it. Sign them up for a course, or add an element of fun while they learn by using a typing game like typisto.com. Then encourage them to practice regularly, and help them to improve their skills so they know how to type quickly and accurately when they start looking for a job.

Digital Literacy & Web Research

Digital literacy involves finding accurate information online and using that information, evaluating it, and deciding how trustworthy it is. Help your child to learn about searches on Google and how to filter searches to find exactly what they want, as well as how to cite online sources.

Email and Social Media Skills

Digital communication skills are more important than ever. Teach your child about email etiquette and about how to use social media for more than just sharing posts with friends. As online communities become more important to our lives, it is essential for young people to know how to get the most out of them.

Online Safety

Digital security is a very important area, so teach your child about the importance of strong passwords, antivirus software, the risks posed by malware, and how to look after their computer.

Coding

Coding is a creative and fun way for children to express themselves and solve problems. It is like learning a new language, and these days there are many resources to make it fun.

You may not know much about coding yourself, but encourage your child to learn by suggesting resources like Code.org and the Raspberry Pi.

Teach Your Kids Tech Skills

Many of these tech skills will not be taught in school. Touch typing, for example, is something your kids will usually learn outside the classroom, and by taking it out of the classroom, you can make it more fun.

Coding is just a game to kids and they don’t realize they are learning an amazing new skill. So help your kids with their tech education, and you might even learn something new yourself.

 

Nicola Cartwright is a Mom of two school-aged kids who works as a careers consultant with college kids. She is passionate about education and encouragement, the 2 E’s are her motto!