Society, as a whole, places a much higher importance on college education than they did in the past. While some experts blame the recession for the current employment crisis, it could be said that college degrees/courses are partially at fault.
How College Hurts Employment Opportunities
In the past, simply possessing a college degree put young adults ahead of the pack. They were qualified for better paying jobs in lucrative fields.
While that is still the case with some degrees, it doesn’t hold true for everyone. Since society values college degrees so much, everyone and their dog seems to be getting one. But not all degrees are created equally.
Fewer and fewer students are seeking out the “hard” majors – like science, engineering, and mathematics. Instead, students are flocking to the “easy” majors – like art and psychology.
Considering the technological boom that is happening, it is easy to see how these “easy” degrees are hurting employment opportunities.
Choosing the Right College Courses
No matter what your degree, there are (fortunately!) still ways to set yourself up for future success. Consider your college years as a chance to prepare for life – not just a future job. Truly focus on earning an education – an education that will make you indispensable in the job market and a success in life.
Instead of doing the bare minimum required of your major, take some electives that will broaden your horizons. These courses will ensure you are a well-rounded human being with skills that open up even more doors in the job market.
There are a few courses on college campuses that hold wide-spread appeal. Economics is not usually one of them!
However, this course is one you should not skip (note – you only need microeconomics, macroeconomics isn’t necessary). Everyone – no matter what field they end up in – can benefit from a basic understanding of the price, value and cost of goods.
Not only will this single course have long-term benefits for your career, it will also make you a more educated consumer.
This is another course students usually avoid like the plague. However, it is another must-have. In fact, many colleges are recognizing the importance of statistics and making it a requirement. If your college hasn’t seen the light yet, do yourself a favor and take the course anyway.
Do you know what the fast food manager, electrical engineer, state senator and everyone in between have in common? They all need to be able to interpret and analyze data. It doesn’t matter if that data is about product shipments or voter trends, statistics are statistics.
Today’s consumer market is vastly competitive. As a result, the field of marketing has become hugely popular. Do yourself a favor and learn about why consumers make the decisions they do, what influences their purchases, and how to meet their needs.
You’ll be able to bring valuable information to the table, no matter what job you hold. A basic understanding of marketing will put you ahead of all the other potential employees. Most employers have to pay big bucks to hire a marketing specialist. It’s a huge selling feature and a feather in your cap if the company can get the basics under control with your expertise.
However, there is more to the story. If you have a basic understanding of marketing, you have great freelancing potential. Students with marketing knowledge could easily slip into nearly any job after graduation. But if they would rather hold out for their dream job, they have nearly instantaneous earning potential with their marketing skills alone. They can embark on a freelance career indefinitely or until something “better” comes along.
4. Computer Programming
This is another course that provides great freelancing potential. Even just a basic understanding of computer programming means you could easily strike out on your own.
Don’t let this idea stress you out; it isn’t as bad as it sounds! Sure, it is probably quite a departure from anything else you’ve studied. And it will seem the professor is speaking in a foreign language (which…he kind of is!). But it will be worth it. A single semester of any computer programming language will easily be more beneficial than a handful of “light” courses.
5. Public Speaking
Hate getting up in front of a group of people and speaking? That sounds like the perfect reason to take a communications course!
Every single job available requires communication with at least one other person. Heck, how do you plan to get a job if you can’t successfully nail the interview?!
Learn to speak in front of a group of people. Hone your skills and build your confidence in the safe environment that is the classroom.
6. Business Composition
In a world that revolves around email, formal business communications have fallen by the wayside. However, that doesn’t mean you should be ignorant of their function.
Take a simple course that teaches how to write memos, business letters and resumes. This should be a requirement of your college; but even if it isn’t deemed “necessary” anymore, sign up immediately.
None of these courses will demand a lot of your time. Just a single semester of introductory topics is all you need.
College isn’t what it used to be. A diploma will help you find a job – but a well-rounded education will help you find success for life.
Know more about the author Mike Hanski