College is known as the most important four years of our lives because it paves the way for our professional careers and our future.
Choosing a degree and deciding what to study can be overwhelming. You can go into natural sciences or social sciences, depending on what your interests and talents are.
In natural sciences, you can study biology, physics, chemistry, science, and so on. You can also go into informatics and study math, computer programming, engineering, or anything that has to do with technology. Or, you can study anything that is cataloged as a social science.
However, you must keep in mind that regardless of the field or major you choose, there are some skills that students must acquire.
For instance, no matter what field you want to go into —it could be writing, health systems, business management, computer engineering, finance, or science— you need to learn good work ethics.
The classroom and internships will teach you everything you need to learn to succeed in your chosen field. However, there are some skills you can acquire during your college years if you go above and beyond what you're asked for, and that's exactly what your future boss or head hunters are looking for.
Continue reading to find out what college courses will be helpful once you start searching for a job, which courses can be taken by everyone regardless of their major or degree, which skills are important to have, and why the liberal arts model will help you learn all of this.
Keep in mind that we'll be talking about classes/ courses you can take, not degrees or majors! If you need help figuring out where to go after high school check out A guide to choosing a university.
What are companies looking for in an employee?
Once you start interviewing for jobs you'll start to notice that many companies are looking for people with similar traits. For instance, they are always searching for someone who is committed, an excellent team player, has great communication and problem-solving skills, and so on.
These characteristics are often what makes a good employee, and sometimes it can determine whether you get a job or not.
That's why college and getting a degree is more than just obtaining an education in a certain field or subject. Is about developing and learning other things that will help you get ahead.
However, many students believe that all they need to learn is in the classes of their field of interest. But this is not true!
You can be a business or management major and still take a health online course, or you can be studying engineering and take courses from other degrees.
This can be helpful because you'll learn to work in something challenging and outside of your comfort zone —a skill many employers search for in their future employees.
You can get a Bachelor's degree in Finance, aspire to get a career and work in the financial world, but still take a computer science or technology course.
If your goal is to have a big job with a big salary you'll need to do the work, and that includes (as we already mentioned) going outside of your comfort zone and learning new and different things. This way you can stand out while you're interviewing for your dream job.
However, not every course will be necessarily useful in the future. Continue reading to find out which classes can be useful once you start searching for a job, no matter your programs, major, degree, or career path.
Learn more about this subject on What are the best universities in the USA?
Useful courses for everyone, regardless of your major
If you're in your first year or last year of college, there are certain classes you can take where you'll learn some important skills that will be useful for the rest of your professional career. It doesn't matter if you're studying engineering, computer programming, technology systems, medical investigation, finance, law, communications, design, and so on.
Here are some of the courses you should take:
- Business or entrepreneurship courses: learning how to start a business or how to manage a business can come in handy whenever and wherever you are. If you're searching for a job you can list this as a special skill and employers are going to appreciate your background knowledge in management, even if the job you applied to has nothing to do with it.
- Basic computer science class: nowadays knowing about computers is important. If you take a basic coding class or you decide to take several courses on tech systems and computer science, even if this is not your major, it is a huge skill to have and something that will set you apart from other job applicants.
- Math 101: if you're studying anything in the social sciences you're probably not required to pass any level of math class, but we do recommend taking at least a basic class where you can learn the most important things. For instance, take a math class where you learn about investments, financial security, interest rate, how to manage your salary, and similar things.
- English or creative writing courses: Having good writing skills is very important and it will come in handy no matter your field of work. For example, if you want to get a project or investigation financed and you need to write a proposal, you'll have to write a clear, concise, and persuasive proposal and for that, you'll need to know how to write.
- Languages: learning languages is important too, regardless of your degree. We live in a globalized society and we are constantly meeting people from all over the world and your future employer will appreciate it if you can communicate with clients from other countries.
- Law classes: taking a law class can be incredibly helpful for many reasons. You can take a contracts class to understand and make sure that no one in the working force tries to rip you off or with the same knowledge you can fight for yourself by knowing what is legal or illegal to ask of an employee or an employer.
If you don't have more credits available you can always search for an online course on the subject you're interested in. You can always hire a tutor to teach you whatever it is you want to learn right here on Superprof.
Keep in mind that these kinds of classes are on-demand, so make sure you enroll in any of them as soon as possible, before all the spots are taken.
Finally, remember that taking one class of writing, computer science, or law doesn't mean you are suddenly an expert in the field. You take a basic course to have a basic understanding of the subject, if you want to become an expert, you should take more than one class!
Continue reading about school on What to consider when choosing a university?
If you want to take an easy class to improve your average or your GPA we recommend you talk to your guidance counselor and see what they advise.
Choose classes where you'll learn important skills
College is a period for growth, life lessons, and education, and we must take advantage of every year we are there!
If you want to get a bachelor's degree in business management you still can take advantage of the things you'll learn in a science class. Or, if you're getting a bachelor's degree in engineering, you can always take an online class where you learn about financial stability.
Some of the most important skills you'll need are the following:
- Public speaking: many colleges and programs offer public speaking courses, and even though it might seem like an easy class, you need to learn to speak publicly.
- Writing: as we mentioned, learning to write properly is also important because you never know when you'll be asked to write a project proposal, an important letter, or something similar.
- Multitasking: you won't find a class where you learn how to multitask, however, it is a skill you should develop throughout your college years because it will come in handy wherever you go after school.
- Organization: just like with multitasking, you won't find a course that teaches you how to properly organize your time and tasks. But during college and high school, you can work to develop your organization skills and find a way to do things best.
- Adaptation to different environments: learning to adapt is also important because you will find yourself in different jobs and working with different people, so make it a point to find free time to pay attention and see if you are learning to adapt quickly.
- Reading comprehension: another important skill is learning how to read properly, and trust me, many people don't know how to do it. You'll be reading a lot of emails and documents and you'll have to learn to do it fast and efficiently!
Liberal Arts education
A liberal arts college offers all kinds of majors and degrees but the catch is that all the students must take general courses to graduate. For instance, everyone has to take at least one science, math, literature, and history class.
Depending on the college, the mandatory general courses can vary, but the idea is that everyone acquires general knowledge of different fields of study.
General classes are usually the top and best courses and students usually take advantage of them most.
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