Whether you are still a student or about to graduate, you may be realising just about now that it’s quite a challenge to get that first opportunity in the workplace particularly if you want work that’s relevant to your degree or intended career area. ‘Generic’ skills can open a variety of doors and are useful, as the term would seem to suggest, across a range of careers. In the new issue of the Vic Careers ‘Finding Summer Work’ handout, you’ll find advice on skills that add to employability and free resources to help you develop them.

For FREE training resources that assists with your workplace and professional development, YouTube is fairly hard to beat although it can take patience to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve checked out a few of the offerings of value if you would like to gain or enhance skills in touch typing, MS Office Word and Excel, and Statistics. If you know of other resources please feel free to share:

• Touch Typing Skills

Learning to touch type can be achieved fairly quickly and building up a good speed is something that can then be worked on over time. There are two YouTube resources on ‘touch-typing’ that should suit most people:
Start here to prepare for your touch type training http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_zfcHlisqc
Then move to an online keyboard and tutorials with your real-time performance statistics keybr.com

• Computer Skills

MS Word:
Clear visuals and verbal instruction make this series of well-prepared and thorough tutorials, a good introduction to Word – if you’ve never been ‘trained’ in Word then you’ll probably have some bad habits that this course will alert you to. The material was intended to supplement a print-based programme but can be used without it:
If you prefer to pick and mix your training yourself then there’s plenty of useful material here

MS Excel:
Another series of tutorials with visuals and verbal instructions that will build skills and confidence quickly; again designed to be used with print resources but works without these

• Statistics

Some people actually like statistics, a difficult concept for those of us that don’t. But perhaps disliking stats can be as much about mindset as ability. If the thought of interpreting statistical data or calculating probability makes you either fall asleep or break out in a sweat this site could help. mathcentre is dedicated to preparing people for any academic study (and by inference, work role) that requires maths or stats skills. Resources are organised by academic subject and topic and include lectures from subject specialists, iPod material, handouts and diagnostic tests. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and enjoy what you find there.

Finally, disciplines such as Statistics, Geography, Architecture, Accounting and Media have sector–specific software. Find out what software is considered the ‘industry standard’ and learn the basics – most software vendors have tutorials on their websites.

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Advice, Skills development