How to: Gain essential IT skills (for free)

Want to improve your tech skills? You don’t need to break the bank…

Basic computer skills are now essential in a wide range of industries, making them a pretty invaluable asset – whether you’re looking for a new job or want to progress in your current one. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to get up-to-speed with the latest software – and not all of them come at a cost.

We spoke to vision2learn, one of the UK’s top providers of free courses, to find out how you can gain essential IT skills (for free):


What IT skills do I need?

IT skills are becoming more and more essential in the workplace – no matter what field you’re in.

And with many employers considering IT proficiency a prerequisite, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your knowledge.

Here are a few of the most useful, versatile, and essential IT skills that everyone should learn:

  • Word processing. An ability to use word processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word) efficiently is valuable across a wide range of sectors. This includes skills in data entry, layout and formatting, editing tools, and more.
  • Spreadsheets. With software packages like Excel used daily in a number of different roles (in sectors from marketing and sales to HR and finance), your ability to create, manage, and analyse spreadsheets (along with charts and graphs) is vital.
  • Presentation software. Alongside the ability to present confidently, it’s also useful to be competent in the software that allows you to put together an informative and engaging presentation. From slide editing and formatting, to animation and preparation, excellent PowerPoint techniques could drastically improve your skillset.
  • Soft skills. It’s not just hard skills that employers are looking for when it comes to IT competency. From problem solving and analytical abilities, to communication skills and attention to detail, there are a number of soft skills needed to work in this industry.


How to gain essential IT skills

So you know what skills you need; but how do you get them?

Here are a few great ways to gain and develop your IT abilities:


  1. Practice

One of the best ways to learn is by doing. Just ask whoever invented the phrase, ‘practice makes perfect’.

Because whether it’s by watching/reading  tutorials (or just going it alone) to get to grips with the basics of computing, creating your own projects, carrying out training and development at work, or taking an online training course – there are a number of ways to advance your skills.

From essential skills like web, email, and Microsoft Office, to more advanced industry-specific skills, you might find that all it takes is a proactive attitude (and access to a computer) to expand your knowledge.


  1. Learn from an expert

OK, so it might not always be possible to learn everything alone.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to gain essential IT knowledge and hands-on experience from tutors, mentors, employers, or other industry professionals.

Pursuing voluntary positions or internships within a field that allows you to work with computers, for example, is a great way to learn practically, with the guidance of others. If you’re able to work alongside IT professionals within your current organisation, that could also help to build your skillset.

In addition, attending conferences, listening to webinars, or taking a course with a dedicated tutor, are all great ways to gain valuable insights into not only the field of IT, but also on the best way to grow your skills.


  1. Take an online course

Taking an essential IT skills course is the perfect way to combine all of the above learning techniques to develop your understanding of tech; and also boost your CV with an industry-specific qualification.

And, with vision2learn, you can study completely free of charge – gaining intermediate knowledge of some of the most widely-used Microsoft Office programmes, including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

In fact, it’s perfect for anyone looking to develop their computer skills and improve their IT productivity – whether it’s to find a new job, enhance their performance in their current role, or fulfil a personal learning goal.


Why study with vision2learn?

vision2learn offer courses funded by the UK government, that are delivered and accredited in partnership with a further education college.

They’ve helped thousands of people to advance their skillset and progress in their career, studying everything from customer service, business and IT, through to nutrition and healthcare.

Benefits of studying with them include:

  • Access to FREE courses in work-related areas
  • A convenient way to update your skills and boost your CV
  • Gaining a Level 2 nationally accredited qualification
  • Flexible studying options
  • UK-based support team and a one-to-one dedicated tutor


Find out more


Interested in taking a free course? Talk to vision2learn today. 


vision2learn are one of the UK’s top providers of free courses, helping thousands of people across the world to get certified and progress in their careers.