Can I Enroll in Online College if I Never Learned to TypePecking away at a keyboard without typing ability means you might take a little longer to write an email, but a lack of typing skills for online college doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck when it comes to getting good grades with an online education. However, some familiarity with a keyboard is helpful. Just as using a typewriter was essential to students and journalists decades ago, today’s students must acquaint their fingers with a computer keyboard.

How Typing is Used in Online Classrooms

Typing essays and taking online tests are an important part of college on the internet; however, lack of typing skills won’t keep you from completing most assignments while enrolled. Learning how to type will make it easier to participate in online chats that professors hold with students.

Communicating with professors, typing assignments, and completing online tests often require using the keyboard, so working with the mouse and using the keyboard are skills that students need to cultivate prior to enrollment.

Other Basic Skills Needed for Online College

Beginning computer skills are required for success in online college. There’s no need to be a programmer or advanced user, but basic tasks like using a mouse, saving files, and using word processing programs are almost universally required.

In addition, some online colleges have proprietary software that students must download and use. In some circumstances, these programs require typing and other basic computer skills. Future expansion of online classrooms will occur in the next several years, and many of these virtual classrooms will require typing skills.

Students must also be self-disciplined and be able to work without supervision since classes are online and there’s no need to show up in class and maintain good attendance. Typing is necessary, but even the fastest typist in the world won’t pass classes if he or she doesn’t attend the virtual classroom.

Related Resource: What Type of Computer Do I Need to Study Online?

Alternatives to Typing

If there are barriers to learning how to type, there are some options that students may use to complete assignments. Several programs offering “speech to text” technology allow a student to speak into a microphone after which words will show up on a screen.

However, these programs tend to require minimal skills with a keyboard and mouse since their accuracy isn’t yet 100%. Students with physical limitations like paralysis may be inclined to use these programs as a way to complete assignments for online classes.

Learning How to Type

If you’re at all computer literate, chances are you have some basic typing skills. Even if you peck away at the keyboard with just a few fingers, enrolling in online courses may offer the unexpected benefit of improving your typing skills. Some websites also offer typing practice and skills development opportunities.

Some cities offer typing classes at local community colleges and learning centers that might be appropriate for students who haven’t had access to a computer or typewriter. Computers seem ubiquitous in today’s society, but there are many people who haven’t grown up with a keyboard and a computer screen.


Typing is a highly useful skill for today’s students and anyone who is thinking about enrolling in college with online classes should consider working on typing skills. Gaining typing skills for online college is important, but don’t panic if you need to practice a little before you enroll since improvement is as easy as spending some time with a keyboard.

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