What Computer Skills do I Need in Order to Successfully Earn an Online Degree?

To succeed in an online degree program, you need to have skills in using a computer.The first requirement of earning an online degree is to have access to a computer that connects to the Internet. When you are online, you are connected to the World Wide Web, the communication method that online colleges use for delivering course content to you. Through the services offered by an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you can participate in classes, have discussions with your professors and other students, submit assignments and keep track of your grades.

Navigating the Internet

Your ISP provides a browser that lets you access the Internet, and its tool bar helps you navigate the web. Your college has an address that lets your browser locate it, and its home page is where you can find a link to your online courses.

Developing Computer Skills

As a college student, you need to have more than adequate computer skills so that you can focus on learning without distraction. College graduates today enter positions that require the ability to use a keyboard with speed and accuracy, making typing an essential skill.

The U.S. News and World Report states that the requirement for employees to type well and quickly is routine. Knowing the location of the keys so that you do not have to look at them indicates that you have the ability to type. Familiarity with using a mouse is equally important, as it saves time in finding a location on a page and in performing other useful functions as well.

Understanding Word Processing

Much of your online college class work is done off line while you prepare assignments that you can submit when you go online. You need to know how to open a new document in a program such as Microsoft Word, the most commonly used word processing program. The following are also functions you should be able to use with proficiency.

• Save – Use the Save button to avoid losing your work. Computers are an electronic medium, and you cannot anticipate when a glitch or a power failure can make the contents of your document disappear. Along with saving often, you will need to have a good understanding of how to navigate the folders on your computer to find and save the documents you have previously saved.

• Cut, copy and paste – Use the cut, copy and paste functions to remove text or to copy and place it in another location in your paper.

• Edit -Word processors have the ability to check for grammatical and spelling errors, and it takes only a moment to do it. Take the time to look at each change that the program recommends so that you can accept or ignore the recommendation.

Using Email

Professors need a way to contact you, and email is a popular way to do it. Get an email address and learn how to send and receive messages, and take time to set up folders that keep your desktop organized. Make sure that you know how to attach a document from your word processing program to your email.

By gaining or improving your computer skills, you enhance your ability to perform well as an online college student. The skills that you learn for your college courses are often the same that you need as a gainfully employed college graduate in the workforce.