It’s okay to enter college clueless. Nearly all of us do, and it’s fun to start with a clean slate. But by the time you leave after 2-4 years, you better have your wits about you. The job market is tight and absolutely must possess skills that translate to a professional setting.
So, where do you start? Perhaps the best starting point to your career and future success is to work on becoming totally tech-savvy in college. This means developing a keen understanding of technology, and knowing your way around a website. And despite what you hear, even the most non-techie jobs nowadays value a new hire who knows their way around things like blogging, social media, etc.
Here are 4 actionable, easy-to-tackle tasks to become tech-savvy in college.
1. Get on Twitter
It’s incredibly easy to join Twitter and you’ll instantly wonder why you didn’t before. For whatever reason, maybe because of the strange symbols, Twitter scares folks away. But it’s a really fun way to communicate not only with friends, but with employers, brands, and folks you might admire in a given industry.
Twitter will help you:
- Meet new people in your field and learn from them
- Find out about writing gigs, new internships postings, and more
- Become a small scale social media powerhouse
- Hear about breaking news
- Build your social media resume
Easy things like joining Twitter than can inspire you to get more invested/involved in tech, so this is a good place to start your journey with technology.
2. Start a blog
Also incredibly easy, starting a blog is a way to announce yourself to the online world. It’s dirt cheap, and you’ve got a lot of cool options for where you can begin. Whatever you blog about, you’ll find thousands (if not more) others blogging and discussion the same topic.
Blogging will help you:
- Get a website to call your own
- Meet like-minded folks in your niche/industry
- Earn small-scale revenue and learn about things like advertising sales
- Build your social media resume
- Feel more confident with technology
One of the best parts of blogging is the interaction. When you write a post or share an image or video, people will comment on your work and give you the kind of positive attention we all need/want in life. So it’s smart to start up a quick blog today.
3. Take intro to coding
You might say “heck no!” coding isn’t for me, but nowadays even the jockiest, most un-nerdy students are learning code. Don’t go and take intermediate C++ or something like that, but try to sign up for an intro seminar to computer coding and learn the basics, like HTML and CSS.
Learning code will give you:
- A leg up in most job interviews
- A basic understand of how images, text, and video are displayed on the webpages you view
- The tools to build your own simple website
- Something to impress your family with
Check out code.org, the newest project by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and even Chris Bosh for a look at how easy it is to learn coding.
4. Learn Photoshop
The final step to getting yourself up to speed with tech in college is to learn Adobe Photoshop. We’ve all heard of Photoshop to some extent but few of us really know how to use to design powerful logos, graphics, fliers, and other attractive visual content.
If you learn Photoshop, you will:
- Have a huge resume advantage
- Be able to create pleasing visuals for friends, family, and clients
- Understand a lot of techie terms, like layers, masking, gradients and more
- Become valuable to firm with a relatively new web presence
I recommend learning on Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 or a newer version but you can learn things just fine on CS 4 or earlier editions, depending on what your university provides.
Conclusion: Start today
There’s no sense in waiting when it comes to tech. The tech industries move so quickly that it’s not uncommon for today’s skills to become outdated tomorrow. But truthfully, you can always jump on board and increase your tech-awareness, and by doing so increase your marketability with employers.
It’s the kind of initiative you’ll be glad you took on.