Tech Classes Can Help You In Nearly Any Job
When I graduated from ISU in 2010 and got a job with a large company, one of the first things I noticed when I got there was how much people use Excel; nearly everyone uses it in some capacity. The second thing I noticed was that the overwhelming majority of people have an extremely limited view of what the software can do, and how they can use it to make their jobs easier. Despite everyone having different responsibilities and educational backgrounds, we all need to use the same tools to do our jobs.
While many companies offer training opportunities to better learn these tools, few will be as comprehensive as a formal class. Furthermore, having an advanced knowledge of these tools before entering the work force puts you at an advantage right from the start. A portion of my job requires me to pull information from a computer-generated spreadsheet and convert the information in to a more easily readable format. Usually there are a few hundred entries in the spreadsheet I am working on. Another part of this is that I have to go through a list and figure out which department is responsible for the items on that list.
If I hadn’t taken any tech classes during my time at ISU, that task would have taken me forever to do manually. Fortunately, in those classes we went over Excel, and there were units which worked out how to automate this sort of thing. Rather than have to go through each data field one at a time and format everything the way it needs to be, I can simply copy and paste the data in to a spreadsheet that is set up with a few formulas and scripts which allow the new spreadsheet to automatically interpret the data from the old one. The new spreadsheet will then pretty much fill itself out and be ready to go in just a few seconds. The beauty of Excel is that it can interpret information from databases. Because Excel is such a powerful tool for interpreting data, you’re able to tell each cell exactly what to do. One of the awesome time-saving ways I use this feature is that I have a list of tasks that need to be done, and I have a list of departments who have to do them. Some departments have 3 of the tasks, some have 50. Doing this manually is very tedious.
I set up my spreadsheet to look through the entire list of tasks, and output which department is responsible for the task in the list. Doing this required me to have over 100 nested If/Or statements in each cell of the output column. Setting up the spreadsheet the first time did take a bit of time, but now the process is super fast.
Having taken advantage of the opportunity to better learn how to use this software, I was able to save a lot of time doing this task and it gave me time to gain other responsibilities at work. Having a solid understanding of the tools you will need to use in most jobs will set you apart from your peers. I absolutely recommend taking a few tech classes during your time here at ISU. Even if you don’t end up in a tech related job, you’ll still be able to use what you learned in most other jobs, or even in your personal life for finances, etc.
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