With today’s economy and techs in rapid flux, students understand they need to work hard to outcompete peers in a bid for cushy jobs. Hard skills are all well and good, and they are too evident to get in college or university. But they alone will not do the job:
Employers don’t look for book knowledge and theoretical skills anymore. Yes, they matter; but extra skills students can get in college beyond regular classes matter yet more. Today’s job market needs team players, creative leaders, problem-solvers, and specialists with a strong work ethic and analytical skills. According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2019, those able to communicate both in speech and writing will run the show at recruitment.
With that in mind, students might want to focus on developing more skills while in college to have more opportunities and be competitive for getting hired after graduation. Any kind of accomplishments in college (academics, internships, sports, volunteering, social work) can help to gain the skills that will be helpful for a future career if a student takes education seriously and understands how this or that activity transforms him for the best.
So, before they start a career, college students need to foster the following:
Communication is key to career success. The ability to express ideas, explain concepts clearly and effectively to colleagues and outside of organisations, network at community events or be a speaker there, present projects to investors, or, at least, impress recruiters at job interviews—all this is not going to work out with any speaking skills in a pocket.
To develop them in college, students can join public-speaking clubs and practice it in groups. Speaking up in class and leading group presentations could be effective tactics too. Online courses on how to create engaging presentations, how to prepare for a public speech, body language and dealing with stress while speaking might come in handy, as well. The last but not least option would be reading books by professionals like Chris Anderson, curator of TED, or Scott Berkun, a professional writer and speaker.
With tons of writing assignments in college or university, many smart students apply for side hustles like write my essay to help their international classmates with studying, thus growing their writing skills and creative thinking. That helps a lot in job search (cover letters and efficient resumes won’t appear per se) and business communication (emails, phone calls, meetings) with colleagues and clients.
Writing skills are not about literacy only. They are about critical thinking, the ability to provide argumentation and express thoughts in a concise and logical way. All this will help in career. When it comes to business writing and online communication with partners and clients, poor writing makes a sender look less professional in the eyes of the audience.
Students can’t avoid research in college; they need it one way or another: for academic papers, lab reports, reviews, or any other projects. Research skills will serve them well in job search and climbing the ranks.
Employers look for candidates able to seek perspective, assess all kinds of situations, find alternative information, and identify key points and issues to address. Research skills help to gather and evaluate facts, stay updated, think analytically, and apply the gathered information to work.
To develop research skills yet more, students can choose courses that include research assignments, use research resources and tools, and master the art of Googling, as far from everything online is worth trust today.
College is a perfect place to develop it: students are busy with tons of assignments, they often combine work and study, take part in social projects, and have to deal with deadlines all the time. Such multitasking makes them gurus of time management, which will serve them well when they enter the workforce. Today’s employers seek for specialists who would deal with several projects at once and demonstrate the result on time.
In college, students learn to manage time effectively, make the best use if it because of heavy workload, and prioritize tasks. Also, they master the art of delegating and breaking down the tasks into smaller parts to manage them successfully. The skill of struggling with procrastination will come in handy, either.
It relates to time management too, one way or another, but is more about managing multiple projects and keeping track of all tasks, duties, and responsibilities that every specialist faces during the work life. When entering the workforce, college students need to know what organisational scheme works better to them and be able to implement it into a working process.
They can use to-do lists, planners, or any other existing digital technologies to organise projects, complete tasks, and solve problems. The skill to effectively adapt to emerging techs is valued by recruiters and employers, too. They look for those able to keep work organised as well adjust to a company’s structure and culture quickly.
Employers expect their workers to be team players, regardless of the niche. The teamwork skills include communication (the ability to convey information both in writing and speech), listening, conflict management, reliability, respectfulness, and cooperation.
All they are not that hard for college students to develop, as they often work in teams on labs, tests, and other projects. Yes, some prefer working alone, but it won’t help their teamwork in the future. Introversion is okay, and yet individualists need to do their best and work on developing the above skills in college. Volunteering for leadership positions, accepting the group work, asking for help and advice when needed – these are tactics to try here.
It stands to reason that employers want their new hires, especially graduates, to be productive. With the common misconception about Millennials being lazy and more sensitive to work, recruiters pay attention to personal productivity of every candidate when hiring. Millennials are not lazy; they just try to find a balance between work and other aspects of life, so they develop productivity by implementing alternative techniques to the process.
While in college, they measure productivity by academic accomplishments and high grades. It’s okay because it motivates them to work hard and accomplish more, making them more productive as the result. College students track time, plan ahead, set deadlines, deal with stresses, and try different approaches to study. This all will help to grow their personal productivity for better work and career.
Critical and creative thinking
Creative thinking means the ability to see patterns in a new way. Many call it “thinking outside the box.” This skill is a must in today’s fast-changing world where people, overwhelmed with information and competition, need to find new ways to meet challenges or solve problems. In search of fresh perspectives to work, employers ask for critical yet creative decisions for their organisations to move “further, faster, stronger.”
Creative thinking is possible to develop, and college students do that successfully when deal with tons of seemingly hopeless projects, considering them deeper and incisively.
All the above has its influence on the problem-solving skill of college students too, which is also helpful to develop for a successful career. But whatever skills they mention in resumes to sound impressive, they need to understand they’ll have to demonstrate and prove those skills during interviews and, then, at work.