Whether you are majoring in hospitality, nursing, communications, or biology there are general skills that we all should have. If you have extra space in your schedule, try taking a course that will not only benefit your career development but also your personal life. We have made a list of five classes that everyone should take, regardless of what you are studying.
1. Personal Finance
Personal finance skills are not just practical skills for starting and managing a business but managing your personal life. Paying taxes, taking out loans, and planning for retirement are all concepts that many college students do not bother to try and understand until they are in financial trouble. Personal Finance can help you recognize the value of managing your money effectively and how the world’s economy affects your bank. Here is a question for you. How many people do you think know the URL for the FAFSA website by heart? I bet even you had to think about it or look it up.
2. Computer Programming
Everyone interacts with computers in all fields of work. We live in a digitally dependent society and computers are not going away anytime soon. You do not need to be an expert programmer but it is helpful to know the basic fundamentals of computer programming. With just a one-semester course you can learn how to use Java or C++. Basic computer programming skills look great on any resume and make you more marketable to employers (and is much more impressive than Microsoft Word).
The thought of taking “speech” or “public speaking” is terrifying to many, but many popular career fields including psychology, business management, and nursing require constant and effective interaction with others. Taking a public speaking course can also teach you how to manage speech anxiety and nervous ticks.
4. Foreign Language
Today’s society is more diverse than ever. Foreign languages are long-term disciplines that will open doors to other cultures and study abroad opportunities. Employers look for potential hires that speak a second or even a third language because it strengthens your intellectual profile. What language should you study? The answer is any! Besides English, the three most common languages spoken in the United States are Spanish, French, and German. The fourth is American Sign Language.
Internships are popping up on resumes of college students and recent graduates everywhere. They are not to be overlooked. Through internships, you learn more than just on-the-job training (and your boss’s early morning coffee order!), many students use them to determine their likes and dislikes in the workplace and narrow down their career path.
Many companies from television networks, to the world’s top fashion brands, and even the White House provide internship opportunities. Some companies even offer virtual internships, which are completed from your home location through video chats and conference calls. If you do not know where to start your internship search visit the career development center, make an appointment with an advisor, or search the Internet for open positions.