In today’s fast-paced technological world, where the majority of our interactions and transactions take place online, it appears that the children of today are destined to surpass our own digital skills by a considerable margin.

That’s not to say that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks, however. In order to fully achieve your own individual and professional potential, you’ll need to keep up-to-date with as many modern technological developments as possible. This means augmenting your digital skill set as and when you can, adding invaluable strings to your bow that could mean the difference between going big or going bust for your business. Here are five simple ways everyone can improve their digital capabilities and raise their own bar that little higher.

digital skills

1) Step into My Office 

The bare minimum skill that any adult should expect to possess is a basic competence with the Microsoft Office package. Word provides the template for every document, Powerpoint is key to creating slideshows and Excel offers spreadsheets to help keep those finances in order. Luckily, the Office software comes with a tutorial, so investing a few hours in getting to grips with its various bells and whistles represents time well spent in furthering your own digital skill set.

2) Get to grips with your database

Once you’ve mastered the basics of the Office suite, the next step is learning more in-depth database techniques. This ranges from designing advanced forms, validating data and utilising wizards to create easily digestible informational charts. While the sheer breadth of knowledge might seem intimidating, there are a number of technology, science and business courses offered by City Lit which can walk you through the process, step by step.

cloud computing tech

3) Get your head in the Cloud

While there are a number of myths surrounding cloud computing technology, there’s no denying that it is the way of the future. For the uninitiated, cloud computing simply refers to an online database which stores all of your vital files and information, rather than a desktop confined to one single machine. This not only means that you can access your data remotely and from any compatible device, but that there’s no possible chance of it becoming lost in the event of equipment failure. Getting to grips with this vital new software is a worthwhile and ultimately essential investment in the long run.

4) There’s an app for that 

If you don’t yet own a Smartphone, where have you been for the last decade? It’s time to climb out from under that rock, responsibly recycle your trusty Nokia and download the latest apps. With a whole host of free software on offer, the majority of which comes equipped with idiot-proof tutorials and guides, it’s never been easier to stay connected all of the time and learn more about digital skills from the comfort of your own home.

5) Crack the code

Okay, okay, so coding might seem like an unreasonably large step, and no-one’s asking you to learn how to create a website from scratch. But for an overview of the essentials, Code Academy offer free, online introductory courses. They won’t make you a whizz – but they might just make the whole behind-the-curtain side of things seem a little less daunting.