Proper touch typing techniques are easy to learn. It can be one of the most important things that you take away from a high school career, and it can and will serve you for the rest of your life. Despite this fact, typing classes at school are slowly disappearing, leaving the next generation of typists relying on hunt and peck and thumb typing styles that are infinitely slower.
The average adult touch typist can manage sustained speeds of around 40 words per minute. This is quite a bit faster than the average hunt and peck typist who only clocks in at around 20 words per minute. This is still not fast enough to land you a job that requires higher end typing skills. Most employers who require typing skills are going to want to hire someone who types at least 60 words per minute with a minimum of 98% accuracy.
Learning to type, much like learning a new language, is a great deal easier if you start young. While it is not impossible to learn to properly type, the learning curve is much higher. Children should start learning to type by about age 7. Most typists at that age should be able to type at around 15 words per minute, and should with practice be able to add 3-5 words per minute to that speed per year. By practicing for 20-30 minutes per day, anyone can increase their typing speed,and there is an enormous number of free typing tutor sites available on the web for anyone who is interested.
There is a great selection of tools available for teachers who want to reintroduce typing into their curriculum. Sites like Ratatype, TypingWeb and Type Racer supply everything that a teacher could need, including lesson plans, customizable lessons, and secure, private virtual classroom environments. Teachers can create lessons based on whatever is being currently taught, or using quotes from pop culture, as well as create a location that only the students and teacher can access.
Even if you take nothing else away from your school career, typing should be a priority. In addition to making your high school and college careers easier, it is something that you can take into the working world as well. There are not many jobs left that don’t require some form of basic computer and typing skills. Even jobs that you would normally overlook, such as a grocery store cashier, require at least the minimum of computer skills just to be able to run the cash register.
There is no more important skill to learn than how to properly touch type. It will make your work quicker and more efficient, makes you look better to potential employers, and overall, just makes your life easier. A good touch typist can complete work that would take a hunt and peck typists three times as long. But don’t take our word for it. Write up a resume. List your typing speed as 30 words per minute, just as an example. Submit it to some potential employers, and see how many times your application is looked over, bypassed, or simply tossed in the trash.
Adam Fort is an education advisor and touch typing enthusiast. His goal is to introduce 21th century skills to educators around the globe.