SEE THE GRAND DESIGN
We no longer go online just to post reviews on FoodDank or rant about the eccentric Shuber driver. The way that we consume information has changed dramatically over the past decade. Social media is an unceasing torrent of news and information, feeding us more than we can retain. With the advent of mediums such as blogging, live streaming, and snap videos, gone are the days of lengthy text walls; businesses must focus on creating content that makes maximum impact within seconds. This is where graphic design skills can give your résumé an edge over others. As a graphic designer, it would be your job to convey information to your audience in the form of featured images, infographics, and in-article snapshots. A good grasp over software such as Photoshop and especially, Illustrator, can open up even more opportunities for you. Since almost half the job offers that pop up on Facebook career pages (you know, the page you pretend not to follow?) require basic design skills, now's the best time to start, my friend.
Creative IT Institute of Bangladesh, located in Dhanmondi, offers a standard graphic design course that should acquaint you with the software. The 4-month programme will cost BDT 30000. Yes, the price tag is hefty, but if sporadic YouTubing isn't your preferred method of learning, this could turn out to be a solid investment.
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TO CELL OR NOT
As far as job skills go, the nerdiest skill you could pick up is working with spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel. But if you've spent many a job interview inaccurately replying when asked, “How comfortable are you with Excel?” it might be a good time to actually learn it. Whether you're budgeting, organising client sales lists, planning a social event, or carrying out simple calculations, Excel is undoubtedly one of the most important software in workplaces.
Moreover, recruiters usually look for keywords when going through résumés. If they see Microsoft Excel listed under skills and abilities (ALWAYS include this section) in your résumé, it may make you more employable. It usually shows you can organise and interpret data more efficiently. The Microsoft website and Excel Diary offer free lessons and worksheets in Excel. If you prefer learning from an instructor, “Excel Training and Solution” on Facebook offers 1-day and 2-day training courses for BDT 4000 and BDT 8000 respectively (VAT exclusive). Personally, I don't think the price tag justifies the duration of the “course,” so I'd recommend you learn by yourself.
SLIDE INTO IT
Presentations are a necessity from university through to your work life. When it comes to creating effective presentations, PowerPoint is going to be an absolute godsend. In university, many of your courses will demand that you present your ideas in front of people. As you transition into work life, you'll realise that making successful pitches often relies heavily on your ability to express data and/or your ideas through slides. Thus, I'd call this a good investment for the long haul. Whether you're presenting in front of a manager about the status of a project or making a sales presentation to potential clients, PowerPoint can help you avoid monotony through a combination of visual and auditory experiences. While the software itself is pretty simple to use, learning to optimise the workflow can take some practice. The Microsoft website offers standard introductory lessons free of cost.
CODE IT GET ANY BETTER?
Everything and almost everyone has a website and/or blog these days. Being able to build effective, well-functioning websites is easily one of the most relevant and marketable talents you could possess. This is where WordPress comes in – software that allows you to create websites and blogs of any kind. WordPress is extremely popular among people with no prior knowledge of designing websites, hence, the perfect place to test the waters of web development. The software itself owes its popularity to a lack of coding necessity and immense user-friendliness.
If you're a designer already, learning WordPress navigation could really elevate your skill set, as you could quickly convert your website mockups to the real deal. WordPress usage is part of the coding curriculum offered by BITM.
Now, excuse me, so I can wallow in self-pity at my *lack of* employability...
Mithi Chowdhury is a dog-loving-movie-watching-mediocrity-fearing normal person. Either that or a penguin. Find out at email@example.com