“There is no friend as loyal as a book”
Ernest Hemingway’s quote shows just how much we need to make reading an essential part of our everyday life. There have been written millions of books covering all genres and catering to the tastes of every reader. Books on predicting the end of world and the raise of a calamitous society are gaining more prominence of late. If you are a Sci-Fi fanatic who derives great pleasure in reading plots set in a futuristic world then this collection of 20 great dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction books is for you.
1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
is a bold novel written in 1931 portraying an eternally peaceful and stable global society. It is an exceptional novel envisioning a future advanced in reproductive technology. Children are “created” in special hatcheries. Sleep-learning and psychological manipulation form the basis of the plot.
2. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne CollinsThe Hunger Games
is a 2008 science fiction novel that will leave you enthralled. 16-year old Katniss Everdeen lives in a dystopian city called Panem where children from each district compete in The Hunger Games every year. It is the first in the trilogy and weaves a wonderful story around an authoritarian society. It is well suited for teens and young adults who love to experience an adrenalin rush while reading a book.
3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is a young adult, dystopian novel published in 2011 with an engaging plot. Lena, a young girl, falls in love in a society where love is seen as a disease that is commonly referred to as “Deliria”. The story is set in a time after decades of severe bombings. The totalitarian government has a surgical cure for this disease. Lena falls in love few months before her scheduled procedure. The story revolves around how Lena resolves this conflict. The novel was a New York Times bestseller.Advertising
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a fast-paced, thrilling post-apocalyptic science fiction book that was published in 2009. The protagonist Thomas wakes up in an elevator which takes him to The Glade. He has no memory of his life. The Glade is a futuristic giant maze that houses creatures with mechanical arms. The Maze Runner has received many accolades and is one of the finest dystopian novels.
5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game
is set in the future predicting an imperiled society after conflicts with an insectoid alien species. Children are trained to combat a third invasion by these species. The novel explores interplanetary spaceflights and alien species. The novel has received appreciation and criticism both alike. It is a great fantasy fiction novel that will transport you to another space and time.
6. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is considered one of the earliest works of science fiction under the subgenre “Time Travel”. H.G. Wells has brilliantly scripted a plot where an English scientist tests his time machine that takes him to A.D. 802,701. He travels to a futuristic society comprising of Eloi, a group of childlike adults. The novel is a classic in the genre of science fiction novels.
7. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
We is a fantastic dystopian novel set in the 26th century A.D. It was first translated in English in the year 1924. The author describes the life in a totalitarian regime of One State. It is a modern, futuristic society which is controlled by the Government. The plot details the pitfalls of chasing the collective dream of harnessing advanced technology.
8. Shatter me by Tahereh MafiAdvertising
Shatter Me is a thrilling dystopian novel that unravels the life of Juliette, a 17 year old girl with a paralyzing and killing touch. Shatter Me is a gripping novella that is ideally suited for young adults. It is addictive and intense with romance that the teens will rejoice. The author’s depiction of Juliette is truly captivating. You will not be able to put this book aside until you turn to the last page.
9. The Stand by Stephen King
The plot of The Stand revolves around the spread of a deadly plague that wipes out 99 percent of the world’s population. In this apocalyptic view of the future, Stephen King has written a riveting thriller that keeps the reader guessing. The novel was first published in 1978. Stephen King’s caliber as an ace storyteller makes this novel stand out. He has brought out the everlasting struggle between good and evil to limelight through his narration.
10. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Atlas Shrugged is a masterpiece of Ayn Rand’s work on Objectivism. It is an astonishing story of a dystopian society where the most influential and powerful industrialists abandon their fortunes leading to the collapse of industries. Rand explores several philosophical themes in this novel and details the importance of a man’s spirit.
11. The Iron Heel by Jack LondonThe Iron Heel
is a fascinating tale that describes the conflict in a society where the rise of the Oligarchy is inevitable. It is one of the earliest dystopian novels published in 1908. The Socialist view of the author finds a prominence in the novel. It is one novel that both science fiction enthusiasts and history buffs will equally enjoy.
12. Divergent by Veronica RothDivergent
is a popular dystopian novel set in post-apocalyptic Chicago. The survivors of the catastrophe divide themselves into five factions. The plot revolves around Beatrice Prior and her initiation into one of these factions. The romantic subplot keeps the young readers mesmerized.Advertising
13. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
In Fahrenheit 451, a bizarre science fiction tale, Ray Bradbury presents a futuristic American society in which books are outlawed. It is a brilliant novel that tells the story of the protagonist, Guy Montag, who burns illegally owned books.
14. Legend by Marie Lu
Legend is the first book in the trilogy. An exhilarating novel that follows the trail of June in search of Day, a 15 year old criminal in the Republic. June is a prodigy groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Marie Lu with her fine writing has scripted a captivating thriller.
15. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Pandemonium is the second in the Delirium trilogy. Lena, the protagonist explores the wild outside the totalitarian community she was raised in. Lena is on a quest to restore the society to its original state free from the clutches of an authoritarian regime. Lauren Oliver has managed to keep the suspense intact with her writing. You will be eager to grab the last book in the trilogy when you finish this book.
16. The Giver by Lois LoweryThe Giver follows the life of a twelve year old boy, Jonas, who has been selected to inherit the past memories of a collective before “sameness” was achieved. The author presents a utopian society that degrades to a dystopian standard gradually. The novel unfolds steadily without unveiling the suspense of the plot.
17. V For Vendetta by Alan MooreV for Vendetta
is a graphic novel that depicts the future of United Kingdom from the 1980s to the 1990s. A fascist party known as Norsefire rules the country while V, an anarchist, is motivated to bring the government down and to convince the people to rule themselves. It is an incredible dystopian work that captures the minds of the reader.Advertising
18. Unwind by Neil ShustermanUnwind
is a 2007 science fiction novel set in the United States. A civil war is fought over “abortion” where children between the ages of 13 and 18 years are harvested for their body parts. The story focuses on three youths who are scheduled for their unwound and what happens thereafter. It is a delightful thriller fiction for teens.
19. Uglies by Scott WesterfieldUglies
deals with the emotional and psychological effects of physical changes that adolescents endure. The plot is set in a futuristic era in which adolescents celebrating their sixteenth birthday will turn pretty. In this young adult, dystopian novel the author embarks on a subject that is debatable even in current times. The plot highlights the evils of giving importance to outer beauty.
20. Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One
is set in 2044, when life around is bleak but there is one hope left which is a virtual OASIS. In this virtual world, life is awesome. Wade Watts dreams of finding the keys left behind by the creator of the OASIS so that he can inherit his wealth. This novel will leave you obsessed with 1980s pop culture.
Featured photo credit: dystopia via flickr.com
Published on November 9, 2018
How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career
Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.
Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.
So, are you ready? Here we begin.
Table of Contents
6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)
When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-
1. Spreadsheets and Databases
Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.
To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.
In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Access
- Data Analytics
- Adobe Campaign
- XML Database management system
- Filemaker Pro
- RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging
Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.
Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:
- Content Management System (CMS)
- Google Analytics
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Email Marketing
- Web Page Design
- Digital Media
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Campaign Management Software
3. Graphic Design and Word Processing
A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Illustrator
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Publisher
- Operating Digital Cameras
4. Software and Hardware Design and Development
The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.
To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:
- CISC and RISC architecture
- Embedded Processor Hardware Design
- Memory Management
- PCB Layout
5. IT Troubleshooting
Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.
So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:
- Backup management
- End User support
- Client-Server management
- Installation and configuration
- Issue tracking system (ITS)
- System administration
- Tech support
6. Enterprise Systems
Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.
Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.
The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills
Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.
Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.
Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:
1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.
Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.
This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.
Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.
Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.
2. Rule the Social Media World
Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.
From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.
This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.
Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.
Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.
3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment
From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.
Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.
The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.
The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.
4. Live and Breathe Creativity
It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.
From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.
From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.
62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.
The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.
Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.
5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting
IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.
It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.
The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.
Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills
The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:
- Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
- Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
- Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
- eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
- Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
- GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
- QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.
Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead
Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.
Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.
2. Work on Your Efficiency
Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.
For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.
3. Look for Shortcuts
Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.
4. Apply for an Internship
Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.
By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:
The Bottom Line
Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.
So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.
Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com