Woodstock Area Job Bank

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When I took over here at the Job Bank, I knew one of the hurdles I would have to overcome is adapting back to Microsoft Office. Office is a great program. I used to use it, but several Macs ago I stopped purchasing Office and just started using Works which came free with the computer.


If you are confused, for the most part both programs are the same. With both, you get word processing—Pages with Mac and Word with Microsoft.   With both, you get a spreadsheet program—Numbers with Mac and Excel with Office. Both do a great job. I was a Numbers girl, but in the business world Excel is king so that’s what I do now. There are just enough differences to make things difficult.


Several weeks ago, I was invited to Woodstock High School to speak with Interact. Interact is the Junior Rotary club at the high school which does community service projects. During my talk about potential volunteer opportunities for the club, I brought up a need in our area for tech help setting up cell phones and tablets. In my enthusiasm, I even suggested how valuable students could be in the non-profit community with their knowledge of Excel. All non-profits need man power. With their computer savvy they could… I noticed a lot of blank looks. I stopped to clarify.


“For instance, we have a large database at the Job Bank. I could use a group to set up some new Excel….” more blank looks,“You guys do learn how to do spreadsheets, don’t you? “


One young man spoke up. “Yes, but we Sheet.”


My turn for a blank look.


“Sheets. We use Google.”


I now know that in school Microsoft Office no longer reigns supreme. Macs have been replaced in the educational market and Chromebooks have taken over. Why? For one thing, they’re cheap. They also don’t get viruses and there are no storage issues. My daughter says they glitch. Chromebooks only use Google products: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides.


There is an upcoming 10-week Excel class being offered at the Voc in Hartford. When I first saw the ad, I considered taking the class myself. Who was I kidding? 30 hours of computer classes! I knew why I might benefit but I wondered what types of other people might be looking for such a class. Now I know. Students leaving high school don’t know the premier business software anymore. I wonder what they use in college?


Interesting…does that mean I should skip relearning Excel and go straight to Sheets? Or do I go with Excel and soon become a dinosaur? How will businesses do business five years from now? Maybe the mega tech companies will finally agree and no matter which program you choose the work can be done and shared without the glitches. Don’t I wish! Until then, I guess I’ll stick with Numbers, at home, use Excel when I have to, and for now only deal with sheets on my bed.


Until next week,

Beth Crowe

Director Woodstock Area Job Bank

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