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School of Computing

Skills you need

Are computing courses a good fit for you?

You might be wondering what it takes to succeed in UFV's computing courses. What skills levels are expected for students tackling first-year classes?

Before you take:

  • BUS 160/CIS 110 - Computerized Business Applications
  • CIS 145 - Web Publishing
  • CIS 146 - Web Publishing - Intermediate (see self-assessment test below)
  • CIS 162 - Introduction to Animation
  • CIS 165 - 3D Animation
  • CIS 190 - Systems Hardware Concepts
  • COMP 125 - Principles of Computing
  • COMP 150 - Introduction to Programming

General computer skills you need

You should be able to:

Do the basics

  • Start and shut down the computer.
  • Work in the Microsoft Windows graphical user environment with a mouse.
  • Set up personal preferences for the desktop and display properties.
  • Find and start programs, and navigate menu systems to choose options.

Manage files

  • Use My Computer or Windows Explorer to find files.
  • Create folders, copy folders and files, move files, rename files, delete files and folders.
  • Copy and move files and folders onto other media (floppy disks, USB flash drives, network drives, CDRWs, etc.)

Work with software applications

  • Create professional documents in Word, including formatting, pagination, headers and footers, numbered and bulleted lists, etc.
  • Create and use spreadsheets in Excel, including formulas, formatting, linking and the use of charts and graphs.
  • Browse and search the World Wide Web using Firefox or Internet Explorer.
  • Use e-mail to send and receive messages.

What if you don't have these skills?

You'll need the above skills to succeed in first-year computing courses, so make sure you master them by the time you start your classes.

You can learn on your own, or take CIS Introduction to Computers and Digital Technologies and earn a grade of C or better.

You can write the Computer Skills Placement Test (CSPT) if you wish to check your level of knowledge. See UFV Assessment Services for more info on taking the computer skills placement test.


Soft skills you need

Should you apply to one of UFV's computing programs? Great question. There's more to a computing career than mastering networked systems and programming languages.

You might be a great fit for a computing career if you:

  • enjoy problem-solving
  • have good math skills
  • can work well in collaborative teams as well as on your own
  • want to learn how to communicate effectively
  • can see yourself contributing to or managing complex projects
  • are passionate about constant learning

Not sure whether computing is right for you?

Learn about computing science vs computer information systems