Reading, Writing And WPM?

Computer keyboard. i i

Is speed on the keys essential? John A. Ward/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption John A. Ward/Flickr
Computer keyboard.

Is speed on the keys essential?

John A. Ward/Flickr

I've remarked many times that the most valuable class I took in high school was a simple elective: Typing. It's served me incredibly well — my speed on the keyboard allowed me to procrastinate like crazy in college, and more to the point, helped me secure my first post-college job (we had to take a typing test as part of the screening process, a task I sailed through and secretly sort of enjoyed). In graduate school it came in handy again — I've always been the sort to formulate a paper in my head before putting finger to key, and relied heavily on my ability to type at a rate close to the speed I think. And now, when blogging, script writing, IMing, and transcribing are daily parts of my job, I'm able to complete tasks faster and squeeze more work into the day.

Gordon Rayner, chief reporter at The Daily Telegraph, thinks touch-typing skills aren't just helpful, they're essential. In a piece for the paper, he asks, "Touch-typing would help every child throughout their lives - so why are our schools so blind to this?" and recommends adding it as the fourth essential skill for UK students, after reading, writing and arithmetic.

What do you think? Is touch-typing speed a boon or a necessity?

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