In the recent decade of the digital age if there is one skill that is very important for success and that has been neglected. It may come as a surprise to many but it is computer skills. While programming jobs have increased compensation and the number of people employed in IT has increased over the last decade. Computing skills have become worse. Specifically it is typing speed.
There is a lot of work that requires typing – sending emails, writing documents, responding to a client query. Making notes of a meeting into a soft copy for records, file or maintaining on the computer. Many jobs require to fill records of the hourly time spend on the various activities.
Computing skills of fresher college students worsened in last decade
This may come as a shock to many people, who would think with the rapid adoption of IT and growth of computing how has the freshers typing speed worsened. It is an undeniable fact that compared to anytime earlier in our country’s history there has been much growth of computer facilities, rapid adoption of IT and growth of computers across India. In such a situation the fall in typing skill which is a key way of interacting with computer is a worrisome signal.
Why has computing / typing skills become worse
The single reason for the fall in typing skills among freshers and young adults is the growth of smart phones. College students increasingly do a lot of their computing on their smart phone. Checking emails, applying for jobs, social media and browsing on the net. Despite the growth of the population, you will not notice much growth in Internet cafes. Students have reduced using the computers. Earlier to check their emails, or apply for a job they would visit the Internet cafe. This is for those who could not afford a computer, laptop or tab of their own. In fact, even if people had a laptop a decade back, the cost of Internet was steep. Now students spend less time on the computer keyboards and spend more time thumbing on their smartphone. Their speed on smartphones maybe good, but their typing speeds have degraded compared to freshers about a decade back.
Typing speed and its importance in work place performance
Not just freshers, typing helps to be more successful in your job even for those over 25 years old. Typing fast means, you can finish your work faster. That means compared others you can complete work an hour or two earlier if your speed is really fast. Just imagine this extra time, available to do research work, an additional assignment so that at the time of your performance review your output is way ahead of your other colleagues.
Needless to say a fast typing speed helps in not only finding a job but also for career growth. If there is one skill that is essential for the widest variety of jobs, then it is typing skills. A person having the skill of typing with good speed is treated as a competent employee, it is something that is quick to notice by managers and team leaders. The awareness that typing skill is essential to get a job is low when compared to communication skills. In case of communication skills, the lack of which is stressed often by faculty and recruiters. As a result, many freshers or job seekers are aware of the need to improve typing skills.
One major factor for unemployment is lack of typing speed in job applicants
In fact, many recruiters have been saying that nearly 30% of freshers have less than 5 words typing speed adjusted for errors. On online tests administered to fresher job seekers, one-sixth of them score zero typing speed and another one-sixth are scoring below 5 words per minute.
In America 6th class student is expected to have a typing speed of 30 words per minute. The average typing speed of a working professional in America is 40 words per minute. As India tries to become an emerging super power, and a 5 trillion dollar economy. The basic skills like typing of many students seeking white collar job roles is very below the standards of other economies.
Typing skill improves quickly – in 2 months person can go from 0 to 40 words per minute
For someone who daily practices typing for one hour, their typing speed can improve from almost zero to 40 words per minute in just 2 months. They just need a convenient access to a keyboard. There a lot of resources available for learning typing online including many free resources. I have used learn2type.com and ratatype.com. But there are dozens of sites. But the key thing is practice. Those who have good typing speed have spend 3 times more time on the keyboard compared to those who have low typing speed. There is only one way of increasing your typing speed – it is practice, practice and more practice!
Improving typing speed is easy, helps gain confidence in job seekers
Typing speed is an easy to learn skill that takes only 60 to 90 minutes of daily effort. It will teach many things to a young person or fresher. The importance of daily practice to improve themselves, they can track their progress on online tests. This increases their confidence and ability to handle the challenges of the world. Once they master typing speed, it helps them gain confidence to improve other skills. So not only it helps improve one skill it helps to change their entire outlook to skill building.
Ignorance of importance of typing speed is a huge tragedy
However, despite its importance in finding a job, typing skill and improving the typing speed is hardly a priority for job seekers who desperately need to find a job. It is such a tragedy of our times, that this ignorance leads to so much pain for freshers.
If there is one good thing you can do to help someone in need find a job. Then this is it! Ask them to improve their typing speed. If they want to work in a desk job with a computer or laptop in front of them, then they need to type at 40 words per minute. Don’t tell them to work hard, don’t give complicated advise. Just check their typing speed on your laptop or PC. If it is not good, ask them to improve. Improving typing speed is easy, it is cheap and it makes big impact on person’s employ-ability. Spread the message, help make a positive difference! Make a difference by making it easy for someone for find a job! TYPING SKILLS matter!