Gaining Marketable Skills in College

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Most students go to college in order to improve their earning potential and job prospects. With rising tuition costs at public and private institutions, learning for the sake of learning just isn’t enough. Unfortunately, many students graduate without useful skills that allow them to be competitive in the job market. But by taking strategic steps to obtain the knowledge employers need from today’s workers, you can graduate with excellent job prospects minus the crippling debt.

Choose the Right  Major

No major is completely useless, but some are definitely more practical than others. Before settling on a major, look at jobs that relate to each major and the employment projections for each job. Some liberal arts majors promote potential jobs with good salaries but fail to tell students that these are the very best case scenarios and not typical jobs held by graduates. It’s best to get a technical major that directly relates to a career. If you have an interest in a liberal arts field, you can minor in that subject or double major. You may also choose a liberal arts major with a technical minor. Check out some great minors for a liberal arts major.

 Get an Internship

Work experience is expected of today’s entry-level employees. Don’t be caught in the job catch-22 that so many graduates experience. The best way to gain relevant work experience before graduation is through internships. Your campus career center should have information on companies that recruit on campus and a schedule of when representatives will be conducting interviews. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get internship experience, because most of your competition will have it. Also, an internship may lead to a job after graduation, since entry-level jobs at many companies are filled almost exclusively with former interns.

Take Practical Courses

Colleges encourage a liberal arts foundation, but there are practical courses every student should take. No matter what your chosen profession, knowledge of common computer software and proficiency in a foreign language will put you at an advantage over other candidates.

College tuition is expensive (even at public universities), so it’s imperative to take advantage of every opportunity to gain relevant skills that will allow you to realize a return on your investment of time and money.  Always have your future career in mind when making decisions, and you’ll enjoy the benefits for years to come.

Wondering what to do with your liberal arts degree? Visit the Online Resources page for career ideas for liberal arts graduates.

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