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Career Planning

Studying for an Employable Edge

Start preparing for your future in choosing your college courses wisely.

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 21, 2013

Studying for an Employable Edge
It’s every college student’s worst nightmare: graduating without any job prospects. But, why not start preparing now so that won’t happen? There are ways to secure that you have the so-called bright future ahead.

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How? According to CNBC, many of your course decisions may impact your hiring potential. The following are some recommended courses that can help ensure you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring decisions. 1. STEM Courses

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STEM - the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics - courses looks great to employers. We know what you’re thinking. Great, that doesn't help me one bit because it has nothing to do with my field of study. Wrong! Actually, employers view these courses as valuable regardless of your field. It’s actually a sought after skill, particularly for those with liberal arts degrees. Why? Most liberal arts majors don’t take those courses to sharpen such skills; therefore taking them will make you stand apart from the applicant pool.

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2. Internship-Driven Courses What could be more valuable for hiring managers than seeing "real world" experience? It’s basically the equivalent of a job, but you’ll gain college credit for it.
Not to mention that it will help your hiring potential immensely because employers are able to see you can hack it in the “real” world. Knowing you can actually perform a job? Well, oddly enough, data shows they value that sort of thing. 3. Business and Economics Courses Courses related to business and economics translate to skills applied in almost all fields of study. While an economics course may be more challenging for, say, a creatively-minded student, it’s well worth the extra effort. Business courses improve a student’s general understanding of the inner workings of a business model, which shows employers that, since you understand the basic concepts behind a business, you’re more likely to contribute to its success. 4. Theatre Arts Courses Shocked this is on the list? Think about it differently. Courses, like improv, help students come out of their shell and vastly improve speech and communication skills – all valuable assets within the “real” world. It doesn't matter if you’re not planning on making business presentations on a regular basis. These courses will aid in the way you come across in interviews and networking situations as well, which is something everyone could improve upon! 5. Professional Writing Courses Learning to write well is a skill that, sadly, has declined in recent years. But, when you think about it, so much of today’s communication involves writing, no matter what field you plan on pursuing. Writing emails and reports, for example, are daily tasks for most jobs. Additionally, grammar and writing skills come in handy during the job search as you’re drafting resumes and cover letters. When you’re able to perform necessary daily tasks above par, rather than at a mediocre level, employers tend to notice. 6. Leadership Courses We’re willing to bet you haven’t come across many job listings that are “seeking introverted wallflowers, followers preferred.” Long story short, employers value leadership skills. They also value leaders who are able to encourage collaborative team efforts, which are skills developed within such courses. Leaders that can bring out creativity and skills in teammates are an added bonus. It’s an acquired skill, which is why it helps make job seekers more marketable in terms of hiring potential.

What other types of courses have aided you in the “real” world?

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