12 Essential Real-World Skills To Learn in College

Competing in today’s job market often requires education and many skills that can be useful outside of school. Verbal communication, digital literacy and time management are just a few of the top skills employers may look for in new, entry-level hires. There are many opportunities to learn some valuable job skills in college, including studying abroad, working on cooperative projects and taking part in campus clubs. In this article, we outline 12 essential real-world skills to learn in college and how they can help you along your career path in many industries.

12 essential skills to learn in college

Here are 12 essential skills to learn in college:

1. Teamwork

Teamwork is an important skill in many roles. Team environments can foster creativity and increase productivity while still allowing each individual to focus on their unique talents. Good team members can accommodate different perspectives, backgrounds and personalities. In your college years, you may learn teamwork through group projects, participation in social groups, holding a board position in a student organization, playing a sport or making plans with peers.

Read more: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Global thinking

Employees with a global mindset can work with people from many backgrounds and cultures. College offers several unique opportunities to broaden your horizons, and you can take classes in different cultures and engage with students from different backgrounds. Many colleges also offer students the opportunity to study abroad. Study abroad programs can last up to a year and provide students the chance to work and live in different countries.

3. Time management

Effective management of your time can help you complete work on time and within budget. As a college student, you might learn to think of time as a resource to manage. Develop a system to balance schoolwork, social activities and personal time. Learn to use tools such as planners, task lists and phone reminders to keep you focused.

Read more: What Is Time Management? (Plus Useful Time Management Tips and Advice)

4. Digital literacy

Some job listings may ask for proof of digital literacy in their applications. Digital literacy refers to the ability to use a computer to its highest potential. Digital literacy skills include touch typing, effective use of keyboard shortcuts and email management. It also helps to be proficient in software used for online meetings and digital document storage software.

5. Verbal communication

Verbal communication is an important skill you can learn during your college years. Speaking skills may allow you to describe your ideas effectively, lead others in meetings and help create work relationships. You can enhance your verbal skills by taking on leadership roles, working on group projects or taking part in community events. You can also practice your communication skills during everyday interactions, such as going to the grocery store or bank. Verbal communication includes listening, speaking clearly, asking questions for clarification, providing constructive criticism and staying calm during discussions.

6. Written communication

Good written communication skills are useful to have for communicating across departments. Having good writing skills allows you to convey your ideas in writing directly and concisely. If your course schedule allows, you can take extra writing courses to improve your writing, editing and proofreading skills.

7. Creativity

Creativity is an essential part of the problem-solving process, making it a valuable skill in any profession. College classes can offer the opportunity to develop creative skills by brainstorming ideas, asking questions and solving problems with your peers. Taking classes that challenge your creativity, such as writing or art, can also help, and you may learn creativity outside of the classroom through club participation, volunteering and community groups.

Read more: How To Be More Creative: Why It’s Important and Steps To Boost Creativity

8. Networking

Also known as “relationship building,” networking happens every day in our interactions with others. Good networking skills can help you find a job and build strong interpersonal relationships with co-workers. Your college years can offer lots of opportunities to learn relationship-building skills. For example, you can:

  • Join a club or organization
  • Attend professional conferences
  • Interact with community leaders
  • Sign up for a study abroad program
  • Take part in a cooperative work program

Read more: The Benefits of Networking: 14 Reasons To Start Your Network

9. Leadership

Leadership ability comprises multiple skills, including patience, motivation, decisiveness and team-building. If your college offers leadership or management classes, try to include those in your schedule so you can improve your leadership ability. You can also learn leadership skills outside of the classroom. To build your skills, you can take on leadership roles in student government, community groups and social clubs. As a leader of a team, you may also teach, provide constructive criticism, delegate tasks and resolve conflicts.

Read more: Q&A: What Is Leadership?

10. Professionalism

Professionalism is a positive way to present yourself when applying for jobs or taking on leadership positions. Professionalism includes how you dress, how you speak to your co-workers and clients and how you present yourself in personal interactions. Professional behavior can build respect among colleagues, improve relationships with business partners and minimize conflict in the workplace. You can learn professionalism from mentors and co-workers, as well as from your college professors and classmates. Some colleges also provide services that help students learn interview skills, workplace etiquette and professional dress.

11. Project management

Managing projects effectively often involves using a lot of unique skills. Project management skills include planning, organization, scheduling, resource management, team building and adaptability. You use project management skills every time you complete a personal or team project for a class. You can also hone your management skills by organizing events with social clubs or campus groups.

12. Work ethic

Some companies look for dedicated and hardworking individuals when hiring for new positions. A good work ethic can help you find a job and also support your career advancement. Employees with a good work ethic may be professional, respectful to others, responsible, determined and hold themselves accountable for the work they complete. Achieving top grades in your college courses can show the level of your work ethic to potential employers.


Original Article Written By: Indeed Editorial Team

Original Article Link: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/skills-to-learn-in-college

Posted by Julia Hrynkiewicz
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