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stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

How essential are computer skills in non-technical academia today?

Asked by stranger_in_a_strange_land (18275points) December 18th, 2009

I completed a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering as well as a BA and MA in History in the 1970s. I completed my PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the 1990s. All of this was done before basic computer skills were considered “essential”.

My knowledge of computers is perhaps at the level of an 8 year old, and not a very bright one at that. I seem to have a “mental block” about learning more computer skills other than e-mail, web-surfing and AutoCAD. I can’t even “cut and paste” or “import” pictures.

How much computer knowledge and skill would be expected of me to pursue a PhD in History? I already have a partially completed thesis (hand written) from the early 1980s and already meet the language requirement.

At this point, I’m not intending to teach, but only want the credentials to lend “weight” to any articles I may write.

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18 Answers

doesnotmakesenseatall's avatar

Basic knowledge of MS-Office is needed, at least. It is not that hard once you start with, try. **wishes luck**

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@doesnotmakesenseatall Thanks, with an effort I could probably handle that. Is there an “Idiot Guide” to MS Office? +GA

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Hello Valentine Michael Smith. You already know the answer to this question.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Yes, this dinosaur should just quietly sink into the tarpit, sans PhD. +GA

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land
PhD is meaningless anymore. It merely indicates a person’s willingness to please his professor(s) by ensuring he will not stray too far too fast from the company line.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Which I won’t do anyway, so I would have to “shop” for a second-rate college willing to accept my thesis without jumping on any Profs bandwagon.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Might have to do it the way Valentine Michael Smith did. LOL

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land
I can Grok it! Try not to get yourself killed!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Only discorporate when the time comes.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Stay away from large bodies of water like bath tubs. Discorporation will surely be if you surf in an ocean!
The abrupt change from rapport of water ritual to a situation in which a newly won water brother might possibly be considering withdrawal or discorporation would have thrown him into panic had he not been consciously suppressing such disturbance. But he decided that if it died now he must die at once also — he could not grok it in any other wise, not after the giving of water.

“Drink deeply…”

doesnotmakesenseatall's avatar

I do not know any such guide, try google. Might help. But really, it is not hard to use or start using MS-Office, specially ‘MS-Word’. **smiles**

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@doesnotmakesenseatall I’ll give it a try. Thanks so much! :^) +GA

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien Yes, swimming pools can be dangerous for Martians, especially with nubile female humans around.

mattbrowne's avatar

People need to be able to drive a car, but not everyone needs to be a mechanic or an engineer designing cars. It’s the same with computers.

Austinlad's avatar

Computers control the world today. In my opinion, a basic knowledge of hardware and oft-used software like MS Office is an absolute must regardless of what your job is.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Austinlad @mattbrowne I’ve let things slip too much in the last 25 years. It’s catch-up time.

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