Crash courses in computer learning

Most people who want — or need — to pick up some new computer skills don’t necessarily want — or need — to enroll for an IT degree. Luckily, local community colleges offer a huge variety of very affordable courses.

“We get two kinds of students,” says Rita Atake, director of career and information technology programs at Montgomery County Community College (MC3). “Some are employed but need new, specific skills, because their employer is upgrading software or migrating to a new system. Others want to improve opportunities for advancement in their current jobs.

“We also get a lot of people who have been laid off and who want to get skills that will make them more employable.”

MC3, like most community colleges, offers classes in both operating systems and specific programs, from Word to Photoshop to Flash. In addition, you can take workshops like Social Media for Business, or Intro to Blogging, Wikis and Podcasting.

Though they don’t receive credit, students who successfully complete the courses get certificates to show their employers.

Take lessons off campus

In addition to classes on campus, MC3 offers custom training for companies. “We can go to their site — days, evenings, weekends — and provide the exact training the company’s employees need,” Atake says. “Classes range from high-level technical skills to Word or PowerPoint.”

Employers in Montgomery County can call Rita Atake at 215-619-7313 or e-mail her at

Follow Judy Weightman on Twitter @JudyWEdu

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