6 Electives Every FIU Student Should Take, Regardless of Their Major

During my time at FIU I’ve taken some hard classes and some not so hard classes. I’ve always found that only a few credits out of the 120 I need for my degree actually help me day to day. With literally hundreds of courses to choose from, picking electives can seem a little daunting. Most of us are either paying for school or ranking up quite a bit of debt being here, so we want to get the most out of our experience. Below, are my top recommended FIU electives for all majors. The beauty of these courses is that they’re pretty easy, count toward your degree, and will actually help you later on in life!

 

Personal Finance Management – FIN 3140

This introductory course is an absolute must for every student entering adulthood. Personal finance will help you learn about topics like establishing and developing credit, personal budgeting, taxes, major expenses, insurance, investments and retirement planning. Before entering college, most of us never get a lesson in finance, but we’re all immediately hit with credit card solicitors the moment we turn 18. This course will definitely help you develop the skills you need to manage your finances. If you’re going to invest in an elective, you might as well invest in one that’ll give you a huge return.

 

Public Speaking – SPC 2608

One of my all-time favorite classes at FIU was public speaking. Before college, I hated giving presentations. They intimidated me because I was never taught how to properly communicate in front of a large audience. Flash forward to my freshman year where I gave a speech almost every single class. While it may sound scary, there’s no other way to get over your fear of public speaking other than to do it constantly. No matter what job you go into after college, the odds of you having to address a large crowd are pretty high. Having good communication skills will give you the confidence to do so and may mean the difference between acquiring or losing out on a deal.

 

Conflict Management – COM 4462

Another fun class that will give you valuable life skills is conflict management, where you learn to actually solve problems. Most of us face conflict every day whether at work, with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends or parents. A common problem many people face is figuring out how to resolve conflicts calmly and rationally. Conflict management will help you learn to express yourself more clearly and allow others to be more receptive of your argument. Also, this class could be a good resume booster for companies who emphasize teamwork and collaboration skills.

 

Intro to Psychology

On top of the fact that psychology is just incredibly interesting, after this class you’ll also be able to understand the behaviors and actions of those around you. Intro to psych allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the human mind and how our brains operate. A brief intro into psych can help you learn to communicate better and handle a wide range of emotions. 

 

Business and Professional Communication – COM 3110

Just like there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have to speak to a large crowd at some point in your life, there’s an equal, if not higher, chance that you’ll most likely end up working for a business of some sort. Business communication can differ greatly from your everyday communication, especially when you take into account your role in a company. Learning to communicate in a professional setting is probably one of the most valuable lessons you can take away from college. In business communication, you learn techniques for addressing upper management, subordinates and colleagues; good communication practices; and how to write business memos, emails and give professional presentations. 

 

Intro to Statistics – STA 2122

Let's be honest, you can't escape college without delving into math, even though many of us wish we could (especially me). While it’s never been a very popular subject, it is essential to our education, and stats even more so. Many jobs like marketing, business, psychology, communication, medicine, and law, require research of some sort. Statistics gives the foundation for developing research and helps with decision making. Even if math isn’t your cup of tea, stats will definitely help you in the long run; and if it makes you feel better, statistics has a lot fewer numbers than most math classes. During my time at FIU, I've taken three different courses where I needed the basics I learned in statistics to help me construct good research. If the class above doesn't fit into your major, don't worry, FIU offers a wide variety of introductory stats courses made for each major. 

 

If you’re already starting to think about what classes you’ll be taking for summer or fall, definitely consider adding these six courses to your transcripts, you won’t be sorry you did!