Listing up-to-date technology skills on your resume will help you stand out to employers who rely on digital tools to run their business.
Strengthening your computer literacy can also open doors to a rewarding new career in the tech industry.
There are a variety of free and low-cost training resources available to help you build your technical proficiency. This article covers just a few of them.
To compete in today’s job market, it’s important to stay current in the technology used in your field. If you’re applying to office jobs, for example, being comfortable with programs like Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel is a must. Having technical and computer skills on your resume will help you stand out to employers who rely on digital tools to run their business.
Strengthening your technical skills can also open doors to a fulfilling new career in the tech industry. Tomorrow is all about technology. According to CompTIA, employment in the tech industry grew by 46% from 2021 to 2022.1 There are more than 585,000 tech companies in the U.S., employing roughly 12.2 million workers.2
How do you keep your technology skills current?
As an older adult, the idea of mastering the latest technologies can be intimidating. But you’re never “too old” to learn something new. If you’re comfortable with a computer and the internet, there are training resources available to help you build your technical skills and confidence. Some of them will cost you nothing. Whether you’re a technology newbie or you’ve worked in the tech industry before, upskilling—learning additional workplace skills—can prepare you for something bigger and better.
6 training and development resources that can help make you more valuable to employers
Coursera partners with 275+ universities and companies to offer 2,500+ free online courses. In addition to no-cost training, this online platform offers enhanced content for $39 a month. This content can help you learn a specific skill that’s in demand. You can also earn a professional certificate that proves to potential employers you have the know-how required to do a job. Certificates offered by Coursera range from data science and data analytics to IT support, project management, and cloud development.
Coursera also connects you with flexible degree programs that can help you start or finish a career-boosting credential. Explore their offerings now.
2. IBM SkillsBuild
Through free online training programs, IBM SkillsBuild helps older adults gain the skills and digital credentials needed to pursue an entry-level job in technology. SkillsBuild focuses on some of the fastest-growing technology fields, including:
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Data and analytics
- Cloud computing
- Digital marketing
SkillsBuild training emphasizes core technology and workplace skills—such as programming and leadership—that reflect the current market. IBM’s curriculum is user-friendly and designed for adult learners. Browse the SkillsBuild website to find a technology learning pathway that sparks your interest.
4. Microsoft 365 Training Center
The Microsoft 365 Training Center offers user-friendly written tutorials and how-to videos for all programs in the Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. These tutorials are broken down into separate tasks to make the learning process more digestible. To get started, check out the Training Center and choose the Microsoft application you want to know more about.
Udemy offers a mix of free courses and paid courses that start at $14.99. Users can choose from 204,000 on-demand video classes in areas like web development, data science, and digital marketing. Signing up for a Personal Plan (starting at $16.58 per month) gives you expanded access to thousands of courses as well as practice exercises to keep your skills sharp. See Udemy.com to explore course topics by category.
Other ways to boost your technology skills as an older adult
In addition to formal classes and training, there are everyday steps you can take to enhance your technical skill set and keep it continually up to date. These include:
- Immerse yourself in the industry: Take a proactive approach by reading industry-related magazines and books and listening to relevant podcasts. These can be powerful tools for keeping in step with the latest demands and developments in your field of interest. They also provide clues as to which technical skills you should focus on learning.
- Teach yourself: Are you self-motivated and a quick study? Informal channels like YouTube are great resources for building your computer literacy. Find how-to videos on YouTube and other sites by typing “how to [insert skill here]” into the search engine prompt (for instance: “How to use Microsoft PowerPoint”).
- Get a mentor: Do you have a friend, family member, or former colleague who's already versed in the skills you want to learn? See if they'd be willing to serve as a mentor. Sometimes working alongside an expert is the best way to learn.
Above all, be adaptable
The world of technology is evolving at lightning speed, and it’s impossible to know everything. In most cases, mastering the fundamentals is enough to get you started. Then, it’s all about embracing new challenges, applying your problem-solving skills, and learning as you go. Having faith in yourself—and a little bit of courage—can help you be ready for any new career opportunities that come your way.
1. The Tech Jobs Report (September 2022), CompTIA. Found on the internet at https://www.comptia.org/content/tech-jobs-report
2. 25 Trending Tech Industry Statistics (2022), Zippia. Found on the internet at https://www.zippia.com/advice/tech-industry-statistics/#:~:text=By%20the%20end%20of%202021,grow%20by%206%25%20in%202021.