Dear Lifehacker, As I near the end of my university degree and prepare to enter the corporate workforce, I am acutely aware of my lack of touch-typing skills. I know I should have learnt at some point, but laziness and the heady lifestyle of university got in the way. I’ve recently been reading about the Dvorak keyboard, and its supposed benefits when compared to the traditional QWERTY layout. Should I learn to type on the Dvorak in a bid to reach higher speeds faster? Or should I stick with the slower, yet universally used, QWERTY? Thanks, Incompetent Typist
Typewriter picture from Shutterstock
Sorry, Dvorak lovers, but this is an easy one; teach yourself with a standard QWERTY keyboard.
Unless you want to take bring-your-own-device to the point where you supply your own keyboard, the machines you end up using in the workplace will be equipped with QWERTY layouts. While you can switch to a Dvorak layout in most desktop operating systems, that isn’t always the case on mobile devices. Frankly, it isn’t worth the trouble.
Realistically, unless you’re planning to take a job in transcription, the speeds you’ll be able to achieve with a conventional QWERTY keyboard will be more than adequate. Indeed, the speeds you’ll manage with two-finger typing will probably be enough in a lot of circumstances.
Improving your speeds by learning proper touch typing will definitely help you stand out from other candidates, but adding a footnote that says “I can only achieve those speeds on a Dvorak keyboard” will make you seem like a weirdo. QWERTY isn’t logical, but it’s what’s used in the real world of work.
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