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11 Courses All College Students Should Take

Train your brain to support your professional journey.

Shawna Newman

January 11, 2021

These 11 college classes and course types will serve you later in life.
11 Courses All College Students Should Take
Your college will require you to take core undergraduate courses, which can either become very useful for your future or a series of generic lectures that you will not find the slightest bit beneficial. The latter is rather unfortunate but it should not turn you off to the idea of taking courses outside of your degree program. In fact, having a simplistic understanding of certain subjects can be very useful throughout life and it is actually in your best interest to develop, at the very least, basic skills. These will come in handy in terms of your education, career and life. While it may not be possible to take all of the below courses, it is possible to see how students could benefit from course material within each. Some are included within an undergraduate’s core curriculum but varies based on what each university offers.

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Before you sign up for any courses, take time to consider which you might benefit most from and which fits within your program requirements to count towards graduation. Ask yourself "Does the school compensate credit for this course?" You don't want to waste your time in college--as it's not inexpensive to get a college degree! The following list details recommendations of college courses you should consider taking, regardless of your intended or current major, in order to gain a solid intellectual foundation. These college courses can give you the holistic knowledge you need to succeed later in life! Some would argue these courses listed below are some of the best college courses you can take:

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  1. Accounting/Finance
  2. Most people will loathe the mere suggestion (myself included) but if you plan to have a job, that means you have plans to make money. Moreover, if you plan to make money that means you will have to pay taxes. If you can file your own taxes and manage your own money, you are going to be a lot more self-sufficient than most of your peers (or most of the world, for that matter).

  3. Art/Design
  4. Perhaps you’re not the world’s most outwardly creative individual. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate and cultivate an understanding for the arts. Nor should it stop you from bringing out your inner Picasso! Nobody is one-dimensional in terms of talent (including you) and college is all about exploration.

  5. Business/Business Management
  6. Whether you plan on starting your own business, working for a large company or a small office – business is everywhere when it comes to the work environment. Though you may not be managing the business, it’s useful to know how things operate and what your managers or superiors are going through, how businesses operate and how important business decisions are made. Not to mention, if your superior ever asks your opinion on a business matter, you should be able to answer intelligently!

  7. Communication/Speech
  8. Whether speaking to one or one hundred people, it’s important to learn how to articulate your message clearly. In these courses, you’ll learn to get your point across through understanding your audience, conveying your message and speaking with confidence.

  9. History
  10. Our past influences such a large part of our future and understanding these historic events can help propel future discoveries. While there is far too much history to learn in one course, choosing one topic that interests you is certainly a great start!

  11. Journalism/Writing
  12. No matter what field you choose to go into, strong writing skills will not only be beneficial, but essential to your success as well. They’ll help you to communicate with future employers and, once you gain employment, your boss and colleagues. You will find that writing skills will become necessary your entire life. The art of writing is here to stay. BONUS: A course combination including history and the media, a USA Today article recommends adding a History of Media course to your list. Considering the current events in the world today--we couldn't agree more!

  13. Physical Education
  14. Great as an elective, any course that keeps you active is always a great idea. Whether you decide to take a course in mindfulness or the Art of Walking, they may help you discover new interests that you didn't know you had!

  15. Political Science
  16. The American government is confusing and, assuming you’d like to become an informed citizen when you vote, this is a good option to do so. Within these courses, you can learn about how elections really work, how the government is structured and, of course, politics galore!

  17. Sciences
  18. Science is all around us! Learning about scientific subjects will further your discovery about the world in which you live. You can choose from such an array of topics – pick one that interests you and explore!

  19. Statistics
  20. Involved in so many of our business and financial decisions, statistics often seem to make the world go round. A basic understanding of how statistics are calculated is integral to making the very decisions based on them.

  21. Computer Science/Web Design/Development
  22. It’s no secret that basic computer skills are now a must within pretty much every career. Give it a few more years and you can likely add basic HTML coding and editing webpages to that requirement as well. If you can add other web development skills to your repertoire like proficiency in programs, such as Photoshop, Python, Ruby and JavaScript then you’re going to be way ahead of the curve. Also consider enhancing your knowledge in Cybersecurity. This is a hot topic within the U.S. workforce; having web security understanding will serve you and your future company well.

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