How to Study Smart and Take College Classes that Count
Whatever you choose as your major, a college degree is your gateway to a career. There are certain classes which, whether counting toward a degree or not, represent smart selections to increase your employability when you graduate. Similarly, if you’re already working, but wish to enhance or change your career, choosing online college classes sensibly can complement your work experience to open new employment doors.
When you graduate from college or university with an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, you may be well educated, but employers today require candidates to have specific skills. There are plenty of graduates with bachelor’s degrees or higher working in jobs at minimum wage, often this is partially because employers lack confidence in recent graduates’ basic skills.
With this in mind, making smart study choices and picking college classes for employability will increase your early career prospects substantially. Some of the most important classes to consider for career launching qualifications follow.
English Composition or Literature
A class that instills you with good written English skills doesn’t just represent a smart study choice; it’s almost a no brainer. Unless you are planning to mend roads when you graduate, there are few jobs worth having that don’t require a command of written English and the ability to produce written material.
Taking a literature or English composition class will help you from the word go after graduating with your college degree. Not only do these classes meet with employer approval, they will enable you to put together attractive and easy-to-read cover letters and resumes.
Introduction to Statistics
Even if mathematics is not your bag, taking an introductory statistics class will put you in good stead for jobs that involve any degree of research. In fact, a statistics class can be of particular benefit if you are not mathematically oriented.
The ability to process numbers statistically is important in most work where it’s necessary to make use of data. This means jobs in business management, financial roles and even psychology. So even if a bachelor’s degree in mathematics couldn’t be further from your mind, do yourself a favor and consider a class in basic statistics.
Another essential class to get you well on the road to employment is economics: specifically, microeconomics, in which a single semester will serve you well. Having a basic knowledge of topics such as pricing, costs and value will enhance your employability within numerous sectors of business.
Apart from the employment factor, an education in economics can enhance other aspects of your life. For example, when it’s time to place your vote at the nation’s elections, you will be able to make more informed decisions simply through understanding the economic consequences of policy proposals.
In the same way that English composition can help prepare and qualify you for work, so can classes in public speaking or debate. Verbal communication and eloquence are as important in most workplaces as the command of written English. Your master’s degree in computer engineering will be so much more useful if you can clearly communicate complex subjects as part of your workplace interactions. Similarly, an education in public speaking will give you the power to persuade employers during job interviews.
Whatever university or college degree you are planning to take, some education in leadership will improve your attractiveness to potential employers. A leadership class is particularly important if you are majoring in one of the harder sciences, as it will help with social skills and creativity. Prospective employers need to know that you can work well with others and leadership skills will provide more than a basic capability to do so.
Introduction to Psychology
A basic education in psychology is probably as misunderstood as it is important. How can psychology classes possibly help with a career in agricultural economics, for example? The problem in this thinking is that too much emphasis is placed on psychology being a study of the human mind. While it’s true that this is the basic nature of a psychology class, you can gain much more from a semester or two learning this topic. Skills you can expect to learn include:
- Use of library resources
- Effective essay writing techniques
- Designing and carrying out surveys
- Collating, analyzing and interpreting data
These skills are all extremely valuable to employers, as are the core disciplines of a psychology class such as understanding human behavior and knowing how to develop rapport.
Taking some or all of the six classes described here can supplement your major or be taken through an online college to enhance your existing career. To find institutions offering these classes, try browsing the extensive database at collegesear.ch.