How to Improve Your Tech Skills to Get the Job You Want After 50

By Kerry Hannon

Copyright © 2015 AARP. All rights reserved.

Employers worry that workers over 50 are behind the times in technology, so if you’re not tech savvy, your number-one priority is to get plugged in and up-to-speed on the latest office and consumer technologies. At the very least, learn to communicate through email, to cruise the Internet, and to use Microsoft Office applications, particularly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Here are some suggestions on how to hone your computer skills:

  • Check out AARP TEK. AARP’s Technology Education Center is a one-stop resource for workshops, tools, and tips. You’ll find training videos, information about AARP TEK workshops offered in major cities, tutorials for online banking and online safety, a link to AARP’s Social Media Education Center, buyer’s guides, how-to books, and more.

  • Take classes at your local library or community center. Many local libraries and community centers offer a range of classes, including computer and technology courses that suit skill levels from beginner to advanced. You can often find introductory classes to Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, and more. Some courses may be offered online as well.

  • Watch videos. Although videos don’t provide the tactile learning required to become comfortable with technology, videos show you how it’s done, so you can try it yourself. You can find helpful videos on YouTube and on educational sites such as the Khan Academy and TED.

  • Read books. You can find plenty of books on a variety of technology topics, including computer basics, Microsoft Office applications, blogging, building websites, computer graphics, and more. Try reading such books when you’re sitting at the computer so that you can practice the skills being taught.

  • Get help. Ask a tech-savvy friend or relative to help or contact a local high school or college to see whether a high-school or college student may be interested and available to tutor you.