Microsoft introduced its Office suite of productivity in the 1990s and the world has never been the same since. The programs contained in the suite were quickly adopted by the business community but at the same time people were quick to start using the programs at home too. The programs within the suite were so popular that since being introduced, multiple organizations have introduced free versions that perform basically the same functions, such as Apache OpenOffice and Google Docs. Long story short, these programs (especially Word, Excel, Powerpoint, & Outlook) are so popular and have been around so long that in most industries it is assumed a new hire already has familiarity with them.
The Internet has had a profound effect on people’s lives around the world over the past few decades. It has opened up limitless possibilities both in the business world, as well as personal life, so it has been widely adopted in both areas. If you don’t happen to have a lot of experience navigating the Internet, or are not very confident in your abilities to do so, this is a vital skill you will want to develop ASAP. Though the names of the leading Internet browsers have changed over the years, the functionalities are similar across each of them. Similarly, even though the names of the leading search engines have changed over the years, being familiar with using them is key starting point for being able to navigate the Internet. Because make no mistake, navigating the Internet is a very important technical skill.
With the many positive opportunities that came along with the Internet there were also some negative ones. One such negative side effect has been the spread of viruses and ability for people who wish to do harm to infiltrate organizations without having to do so physically. Being at least somewhat familiar with what information security is and best practices is another vital technical skill. You don’t have to be able to keep up with the professionals in the information security field, but you should know to not open email attachments from strange email addresses or not to browse suspicious websites while at work, for example.