Solid technical skills are becoming increasingly important, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. While computers have become easier to use in many ways, the leading edge is more complicated than ever. This complexity scares many people away from developing their technical skills, but let’s consider some of the reasons you may want to go beyond the basics.
Here are some of the advantages strong technical skills can offer you:
1. Enjoy significantly higher paying work.
Whether you’re employed or self-employed, strong technical skills allow you to leverage technology to the hilt, and that leverage pays. The better you understand the technology you use, the more value you can efficiently extract from it. People gladly open their wallets to pay those with in-demand technical skills.
2. Save money.
You’ll save money every time you can solve a technical problem on your own instead of having to hire someone at a high hourly rate. This can add up to substantial savings over time.
3. Save time.
You’ll save time by solving technical problems quickly instead of scratching your head in confusion. There are many technical problems that baffle novices but which require only a quick fix from someone with adequate technical skills.
4. Prevent problems.
You’ll prevent problems before they occur by intelligently maintaining and upgrading your technology. Even a simple skill like keeping your video and sound drivers up-to-date can prevent compatibility problems down the road, especially if you play computer games.
5. Reduce frustration.
Technology isn’t particularly frustrating if you understand how it works. A lack of understanding is frustrating. If something breaks, and you know how and why it broke, then it’s just a fact to be dealt with rather than an act of divine cruelty.
6. Make intelligent technology purchases.
I don’t know many geeks who buy their computers at retail stores. It’s a lot smarter to buy online if you know what to look for. You’ll get better value, higher quality components, and more control over the final product.
Decent technical knowledge can help you target those sweet spots with all your technology purchases, so you get the best bang per buck.
7. Empower yourself.
Today it’s almost ridiculous how much technology can do. You can use your computer to manage your whole life now, including your finances, your calendar, and your entertainment. Knowing how to use technology can add tremendous richness to your life. But if you lack the technical skills, you’ll probably find it way too complicated to extract this value in a reasonable amount of time.
8. Access information efficiently.
Whenever you want to know something now, you can go online and get the information in seconds. Sites like Google, Wikipedia, and WikiHow truly place information at your fingertips, but it still takes a bit of technical skill to craft intelligent queries when you’re searching for something obscure.
Need to buy a new suit? Want to see what movies are playing near you? Want to become an early riser? If someone has figured it out, it’s probably online. With an internet connection at hand, we all become walking Wikipedias.
9. Earn money online.
This is one of the coolest benefits of technical know-how. With the right technical skills, you can build your own income-generating web site. Your computer (or some online server) will work tirelessly to make you money 24/7.
10. Feel more confident and comfortable with technology.
Competence builds confidence. As you develop your technical skills, you’ll feel more comfortable with all forms of technology. This will encourage you to branch out and leverage technology even more. You can listen to audio books on your portable MP3 player, take pictures with your digital camera, and so on. You’ll feel in control of technology instead of intimidated by it.
The more technical experience you gain, the faster you’ll adapt to new technology. You may fall behind the curve at some point, but you’ll quickly catch up with a few days’ research.
Like it or not, strong technical skills are of major importance today. Don’t let yourself be caught on the wrong side of the technology fence.