Some Career Advice: Hey Kids, Learn Your Keys

Note to journalism students (Well, any students for that matter): Learn to touch type.

Honest, it will make your life soooo much easier. The hunt-and-peck typing approach adds eons to the time it takes to do a term paper. And wouldn't you rather spend your time thinking about your subject than looking for the letter "o"?

Believe me, I know. After college I lost out on a job at a small paper because I could not type fast enough. Yes, they tested me at the job interview. I understand their point of view now. In the newsroom, you want someone who can get the material out fast — and not necessarily with the fanciest of flourishes. All the high-tech software and voice recognition systems in the world these days can't make up for a good 60 words a minute.

Also, in a newsroom you never know what you'll face on keyboards. This morning we were playing intern musical chairs, shifting the kids to desks where someone was out for the day. (Yes, in a perfect world there'd be desks and computers for everyone. The world isn't perfect.)

The problem? The available workstation had a blank keyboard. The person who normally sits there had pounded the lettering off the keys. (I may have a work-stress issue there. Note to self: Monitor that.)

If you know what and where the keys are without looking, that's not a problem. Hmmm ... I wonder if there's some broader economic lesson in that.