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I've Been Certified!
The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
Member Name: wigglylittleworm
The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
Advantages: Prove to employers you are computer literate
Disadvantages: Can be fairly dull to study
I can find my way around a PC pretty well, mostly self taught but I've also had some formal training in databases and a couple of statistics packages. Although I would consider myself computer literate I had no way of proving this to potential employers. When I was looking for jobs I saw ECDL mentioned a lot in the person specifications so I decided to enrol for the course.
ECDL or the European Computer Driving License is a qualification which is recognised throughout Europe which covers all of the main areas which you are likely to need in the workplace.
Because of the nature of the course, it is taught in a flexible manner. I studied at a community learning centre affiliated with a local college for a couple of hours a week. This means you can start at any time and work through the syllabus at your own pace.
This course is ideal for someone who has some prior knowledge of computing, anyone who is computer literate enough to have found this review will have the skills needed to start. Believe it or not there are still plenty of people out there who have never used a PC at all and they would need some training at a very basic level before they would be able to do ECDL.
The course costs around £200 including all assessments. It should be noted that currently everyone in Scotland regardless of income qualifies for an ILA of £100 a year towards technology courses including ECDL, but I dont know if that applies in the rest of the UK. There are loads of ways to pay including fee exemption for many groups so it is worth researching all options if you are interested.
The course is split into seven sections:
1 Basic concepts of IT
A potted history of PC development and things like the difference between RAM and ROM and the internet and world wide web. Fairly easy but you need to memorise the different terms.
2 Using the computer and managing files
Again fairly easy how to manage your desktop, delete files, copy files and move files around.
3 Word processing
How to use microsoft word to type and edit documents. I've been using word for years and managed to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way.
How spreadsheets are used, desiging spreadsheets and making reports from them. A fairly long module but not too hard.
I hate databases with a passion. The longest and trickiest module using microsoft access. It seemed to take me forever to plough my way through this one.
How to use powerpoint. I had never used this package before but it was a really simple and short module.
7 Information and Communication
How to surf the net and use email. Talk about teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, this part was a doddle. You can use outlook or outlook express for the testing, I chose outlook as I'd never used it before and learned a lot about a new package.
I cant really say I enjoyed learning ECDL, but I'm glad I did it and have the piece of paper to show to employers. Teaching will vary, at the learning centre I used I was given a CD and paper copies of the materials to take home with me and also a free copy of microsoft office (they had the license to copy it unlimited times for educational use and I only had works at home). I could consult a tutor at any time if I had a problem but only really needed a tutor to book the tests for me. The software was designed by zig zag and easy to use. The testing was done online with enlight, each test had 36 multiple choice questions with a 75% pass rate.
The ECDL is a qualification which is worth studying for as it is a widely recognised way of proving you can use a PC and so my give you the competitive edge when it comes to applying for jobs.
For more information go to www.ecdl.co.uk.
Summary: A well recognised qualification
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