We’re living in a digital world, and it’s getting ever more digitised by the minute. Those without computer skills are severely limited in the job marketplace. It is estimated that 78% of Britons access the internet every day, yet, only a tiny fraction has ever received formal IT training.
Those of us who aren’t digital natives have it even harder and often have difficulty adapting. But there’s one solution: ECDL training. ECDL stands for European Computer Driving Licence (will soon be called the International Computer Driving Licence or ICDL) and it’s a computer literacy program that is recognised all over the European Union and abroad. It is not only a way to improve your computer skills but could open the door to tons of opportunities. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you should get your ECDL qualification.
What is ECDL Exactly?
The ECDL was introduced back in 2013 and is comprised of 7 modules in total. At the base level, you will be taught fundamental tech skills which will include computer and online essentials. You will learn how to use basic spreadsheet and word processing programs.
At the intermediate level, you will start learning things such as IT security, and how to manage databases. You’ll also learn things such as web/image editing, and online marketing. In advanced courses, you will be able to build on basic skills and learn advanced spreadsheets, databases, word processing, and presentation.
Know that you don’t need any specific entry requirements to get started. You also get to do your ECDL course completely online.
Now that we know more about ECDL and what it’s all about, let’s take a look at why you should consider getting your qualification.
The ECDL Qualification is Highly Regarded
One of the reasons why you should get your ECDL qualification is because of how recognised it is. As the name implies, the European Computer Driving Licence is recognised by nearly everyone in the EU. And it’s also recognised all over the world (the certification will soon be rebranded to the ICDL). Over 2 million people have taken the ECDL exam in the UK alone, and the accreditation is certified by the Chartered Institute for IT. In short, most employers know what it is and having it on your CV is always a plus.
The Course is Comprehensive
The other great thing about the ECDL is that the range of modules will allow you to have a holistic understanding of IT and its applications. This could be a great way to move into more specialised areas.
It is also a great option if you’re a business owner. You will have a better understanding of things like IT security, for instance. You’ll be able to have more autonomy, and have a better understanding of digital marketing techniques. And you’ll get all of this information much faster than you would through an advanced degree.
You’ll Get Computing Confidence
Computers play an integral role in our lives. They’re virtually everywhere. We use them to do our banking, shopping, search for restaurants, and book holidays. At work, we use them to make presentations, type documents and set up video conferences.
Whether you want to get the ECDL for professional reasons or otherwise, it will seep out into other areas of your life when you have to work with computers, and give you more confidence when using them. You’ll also be much less likely to make mistakes that could compromise you.
You’ll be More Employable
It is estimated that around 3 quarters of all Brits use a computer as part of their job. So, being computer illiterate disqualifies you from a wide range of opportunities. And these are not only IT-related jobs.
Computer skills are now needed in the service industry, entry-level factory worker jobs, and various other industries. Companies like HSBC, Sainsbury’s, and the NHS all require candidates to have an ECDL certificate. This is why an ECDL qualification could make you much more employable, and make you a much more attractive candidate. In other cases, being ECDL certified could give you an edge over other candidates, even when it’s not required.
You’ll be Better at Your Current Job
No matter where you’re working, chances are that there is at least one area where computers are used. And, having an ECDL qualification could give you better insight into the tech aspect of your job. Another benefit is that it could open you up to promotion as well. Being able to make presentations, complete advanced word processing, manage databases, and use spreadsheets for time management could make you a prime candidate for managerial roles or senior positions.
You’ll Make More Money, who doesn’t want to make more money?
People with an IT background are highly prised in the job marketplace, and someone who has solid computer skills will usually be able to get better pay than someone who doesn’t. Companies are ready to pay a premium to hire people who are computer literate, and getting your ECDL could be a great way to either get better positions or get a raise at your current job.
Expand Your Knowledge
On the abstract level, we all know that the brain is like a muscle, and the more you train it, the more efficient it gets. If you haven’t been on a school bench for a while, getting your ECDL could be a great way to get back on track.
You’ll have much less pressure, and will be able to build on your previous knowledge. You’ll be put in unfamiliar situations and complete new learning challenges. Some people who follow the ECDL find a renewed interest in education, and are also better able to expand their minds and adapt to fresh skill sets.
If you think that an ECDL certification will be a selling point for you at home, you’d be surprised at how highly valued these qualifications can be abroad. Having this set of skills could allow you to work internationally, and in markets where these skills are lacking. You could even parlay your education into consulting work or offer starter courses yourself. Wherever you are in the world, IT knowledge is universally recognised and highly valued.
As you can see, getting your ECDL certification could be a great way to improve your career prospects, and expand your horizons. We strongly suggest that you start looking into it, and all the opportunities that it offers.