PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When it comes to computers and smartphones, are you up to date or are you on your way to becoming a “technology dinosaur?”

Experts say, in most cases, we all have the capacity to adapt. Perhaps we don’t adapt at the same speed, but a feeling of being overwhelmed and failure causes some to back away. That can leave you at a competitive disadvantage.

“I don’t like [them.] You [have to] get the Internet and I don’t like the Internet,” Kenny Safco said.

However, you don’t have to be advanced in life experience to feel the impact of a tech skills gap.

“I sit next to other individuals at work, especially younger individuals, who their skill-sets are a little higher because they are recent college graduates and I wanted to keep up with them,” Nicole Nadeja said.

Which is what brings Nicole and many others to New Horizons in Green Tree, in an attempt to try to keep up and get ahead.

When it comes to avoiding the fossilization of a tech dinosaur, we fall into three categories.

“Early adopters, those who go with the flow and those who are hesitant to make any change whatsoever,” said Denis Rudd, the regional director of New Horizons.

Those who are hesitant could be putting their jobs on the line.

At Manpower Services, they can still find you a job that doesn’t require computer literacy.

“[You need] to at least understand how to turn a computer on, to work in a Windows environment and to have the skills of typing,” Kelly Scott with Manpower said.

But if you want to make a living wage, there are a couple of other skills to know.

“I would say the basic skills are the Microsoft Office suite, Word, Excel PowerPoint, some sort of e-mail client like Outlook or Lotus,” said Rudd.

Which is why students at New Horizon are learning the finer points of crafting an Excel spreadsheet.

“Since I’m new to my position, I thought it would give me a lot more knowledge and help me out better,” Marina Dovivito said.

But, the need to stay current isn’t restricted to computers.

“It’s a smartphone. It’s smarter than I am,” Bob Wagner said.

Wagner and his wife have been cell phone users since the beginning, but he is now the proud owner of an iPhone.

“Yeah, this one here you can be talking to someone on it and see them on it. I don’t know how to do that yet,” Wagner said.

He’s willing to learn and for a retiree, it’s added life enhancement. For someone in the working world, smartphones have almost become necessities.

“We’re always working, everyone is always working because you have access to it and I think those who get ahead in this work are those willing to work 24 hours a day,” Rudd said.

When it comes to electronic communications, e-mail or texting- patience is scarce.

“Because of the ability to instantly connect with somebody, the return communication is anticipated,” Kelly said.

Being responsive can pay off when it comes to advancing.

“It’s the person who’s always connected, always on, always willing to do the work who takes precedence in some cases,” said Rudd.


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