What Are Computer Applications and Core Courses?

Do you like to work with different kinds of software applications, prepare high-quality reports, or design distinctive slide presentations? Courses in computer Applications are for you! Courses include introductory computer classes, classes in word processing (MS Word and Corel), spreadsheets (MS Excel), database management (MS Access), presentation graphics (MS PowerPoint), operating systems (both Windows and LINUX), and using the Internet.

Why Take Computer Applications and Core Courses?

With the explosion and integration of technology in the work place, the demand for computer-competent employees has grown exponentially. Computer skills are necessary in almost every organization, company, or agency. Even entry-level clerical, secretarial, and other office positions now require applicants to be able to navigate the Internet as well as use word processing and spreadsheet software.

Word Processing Technician Certificate

Just beginning? Start with the Word Processing Certificate! This certificate introduces you to computer concepts and skills in two major word processing software packages. It allows you to bring basic computer knowledge and word processing skills to entry-level positions. It also provides you with electronic documentation of all your educational and professional accomplishments and experiences. You will be able to target individual job requirements in businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and legal firms. In addition to office assistants and clerks, areas such as Web site design, accounting or bookkeeping, banking, and supervisory/managerial positions require some skills in word processing as integral parts of the job. Based on recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002-2012) figures, job demands in these areas will grow an average of 7% annually and continue to exceed the number of available and trained workers.

Information Processing Technician Certificate

After this first level, continue on to an Information Processing Technician Certificate. As a matter of fact, many individuals currently employed in entry-level office jobs are very interested in advancement. More advanced positions usually require familiarity with additional skill sets, specifically in the Windows operating system, spreadsheets, database management, graphic presentations, and the use of the Internet. Such positions include: information technician, customer or client service representatives, and customer support specialists. Using recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002-2012) figures, job demand in these areas is even higher than for entry-level positions - growing from a low of 24% to a high of 47%!

Information Processing Specialist Certificate

Need to know a little more? The next step is the Information Processing Specialist Certificate, which builds upon a previous background in the use of computer application programs. As you advance in an office-related career path, technical expertise in all aspects of information processing is expected. In addition to advanced software courses in spreadsheet and database management, this certificate also provides you with hands-on training in hardware support and maintenance. In many organizations, individuals currently employed in mid-level office positions are interested in opportunities for advancement to lead or resource person. These positions require a high proficiency with office software applications as well as the ability to identify and troubleshoot microcomputer problems. Such positions include: first-line supervisors, administrative analysts, information resource personnel, or lead administrative specialists. Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002-2012) figures show that job demand in these areas will grow approximately 6.6%.

Information Processing Associate in Science Degree

Don't stop now! All of these courses and certificates are directly applicable to the Information Processing Associate in Science Degree. This degree combines computer software proficiencies and competencies in hardware support, maintenance, and repair with general education requirements. You will be able to incorporate three inter-related certificates (Word Processing Technician, Information Processing Technician, and Information Processing Specialist) as major fields of study with course work in natural science, social science, humanities, languages and rationality, and living skills to earn an Associate in Science degree in Information Processing. Furthermore, you are eligible for continued job advancement with this degree. Many employees with advanced software proficiencies and competencies in hardware support, maintenance, and repair are top candidates for supervisory or managerial positions. Such positions include: office supervisors, office managers, computer support specialists, and information processing specialists. Job demands in these areas will grow approximately 19.2% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2002-2012).

PC Support Certificate and Associate in Science Degree

Not interested in managerial duties? Are you more of a hands-on type of employee? If you are, there is the PC Support Certificate and Degree. With the rapid expansion of computers into all aspects of society, there is a growing need for technicians with a broad range of knowledge in computer applications to install, maintain, and support both computers and computer networks. Individuals earning this certificate are prepared for entry-level positions in computer support. Employers hiring individuals with this certificate immediately benefit from the skills their employees bring to the job. Job opportunities for people receiving the PC Support Certificate include entry-level positions such as technical salesperson, help desk support technician, systems analyst, data entry personnel, assistant documentation specialist, and assistant trainer.