Careers for Information Workers

By Faithe Wempen

An information worker is someone who works with computerized information extensively on an everyday basis. Information workers typically have a high school diploma and perhaps a two-year associates degree as well. The term information worker refers to the fact that people in these jobs work mostly with information, rather than handling physical objects.

An information worker is a proficient end-user of computers. This person should be very familiar with Windows, Office, and the Internet, and may have specialized training in other applications as well, such as financial/accounting software or a proprietary business management program that’s specific to the company.

Word-processing specialists and digital literacy

Although anyone can learn the basics of word processing, some people take that extra step to become really proficient in all aspects of the software. A word processing specialist is able to create consistent, professional-looking documents, including memos, forms, legal reports, letters, and technical articles, in a variety of formats.

Word-processing specialist may be a full-time career in itself, or the duties may be combined with those of a general administrative assistant or receptionist. To prepare for this career, you should have specialized word-processing training. Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Microsoft Word at the Expert level is recommended.

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is a certification you can earn by taking a series of computerized tests at a testing center. There are three levels of certification. You can earn a Microsoft Office Specialist certification in each application.

For Expert-level certification, you must pass the Expert-level exams for Word and Excel. For Master level, you must pass the Expert-level exams for Word and Excel plus the basic level exam for PowerPoint and one other basic level exam of your choice (Outlook, Access, or SharePoint).

Social media marketers and computer literacy

A social media marketer specializes in helping companies promote themselves using social networking tools such as blogs, social networks, and microblogs, including Twitter. Their purpose is to increase public awareness of the company and its products. The role requires marketing expertise and a thorough understanding of how search tools work and how to call attention to the client companies.

Using this knowledge, the social media marketing person adds keywords and hashtags to the content they create. This helps the client company’s web pages appear more prominently and frequently in search results and rank higher in page rank indexes.

The process of writing content in this way is known as search engine optimization (SEO). Marketing and business skills and professional courses in SEO marketing are expected for such a role. A successful social media marketer will demonstrate her expertise by maintaining her own use of social networks.

Researchers and fact-checkers and digital literacy

Newspapers, magazines, and non-fiction book publishers sometimes employ researchers or fact checkers to make sure that what they are about to publish is accurate. A researcher spends all day on the web and in computerized reference books, looking for whatever information is needed at the moment. She is an expert at using web searches to pinpoint information, evaluating the reliability of sources, and pointing out where sources may disagree.