Ah, college enrollment season. So many options. A recent reading of my alma mater’s course catalog revealed some tempting options: the history of philosophy I: the pre-Socratics to Augustine; the literary history of the atrocity; the games people play: the psychology of strategic decision making, to name a few.
Lately I’ve been thinking maybe I should have traded all those psychology and English classes for machine learning, digital media, and microbiology – classes that can provide in-demand skills and a wealth of knowledge. that employers are looking for new employees.
“A structured academic approach to learning a new skill or introducing yourself to a new field is one of the best ways to understand how you want to progress in your career,” said Joe Flanagan, senior employment advisor at VelvetJobs, a career match that connects jobs to candidates around the world.
“Colleges are the perfect hub for absorbing as much knowledge as possible, without having to worry about goals, salary, or milestones. What you study in detail can help you dramatically increase your chances of success in the future.
Here, experts evaluate the key courses to add to your enrollment list. And if you’re a mid-career professional, you might want to consider auditing these courses to get a head start in the workplace or the workforce. Plato may not conquer everything, but programming certainly does.
Computer Science: Introduction to Programming
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but yes, you should take a coding class.
“Just because you don’t work in IT doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from this course,” said Grant Aldrich, Founder and CEO of Online Degrees.
“Understanding the principles of programming allows you to better converse with real developers and better understand what you are looking at under the user interface. Computer science is all about logic; you can improve your thinking skills just by gaining an understanding of the skill.
Marketing / Branding
Social media has created a world in which everyone can essentially be their own brand. Getting the formal setup of the pitch can be a big boon to your potential career, even if you just want to convert your TikTok followers into shoppers of silky-haired gummy vitamins. (OK, please don’t do that.)
“Understanding the fundamentals of how marketing, promotion and branding works go a long way in building a successful career, making the most of opportunities and building a personal brand,” said Flanagan. “Working professionals can attest to the fact that self-promotion is essential for success in the business world and that mastery of marketing is the perfect starting point for the same. “
Yes, you should also learn Photoshop.
“Having specific design expertise sets candidates apart as design skills are required for content creation, all digital and print communication and marketing channels, as well as external and internal communications,” said said Amanda Ponzar, Head of Communications and Head of Recruitment at CHCimpact.org. “This valuable skill is still needed.”
Introduction to statistics
Over the past year, we have seen the importance of statistics and balancing risks enter our daily lives. Do yourself and your future a favor and take a statistics class.
“[We] are inundated with data. We see percentages on food items, bar charts on news and tables of data in doctor’s offices, ”said Lindsey Wander, Founder and CEO of WorldWise Tutoring. “Not only does understanding the implications of statistics give you a better understanding of how our world works, it forces you to explore beyond the surface to draw more informed conclusions. Employers want to know that you are not quick to accept information blindly and that you are not easily fooled by information presented in a certain way.
She also noted that learning statistics helps students develop essential skills such as inquiry, analysis and deduction.
Much like Yale’s famous “Happiness” course, this program aims to improve your life, with an emphasis on unlocking, making decisions, unleashing your creativity, building a better future and more. A popular class taught at Stanford, it has now been translated into a book and an online course.
“This is the # 1 course that I recommend to any student,” said Joyce Bao, goals strategist and career transformation coach who hosts the “Permission to Become” podcast. She suggests this course to people of all ages, whether you’re a college graduate, transitioning your career, or someone who wants more balance in life.
“What I like about this course is how it distilled key design principles, such as curiosity, penchant for action, and integrating chess into practical tools,” a- she declared.
“Anyone who has no design experience can design their own life. By prototyping several paths before embarking on a particular path, the process presents the possibilities of an effervescent life.
It is therefore not a course in itself, but valuable advice for the future workforce all the same.
“Go long and deep into any subject that relates to [your chosen] career, ”said Baron Christopher Hanson, owner of RedBaronUSA, a specialist recruiting company. “For example, don’t just take Accounting 101 and think you’re done. Take forensic accounting 201, corporate financial reporting 301, and advanced 401 valuation and strategy to master being able to detect fraud, respond to boards of directors, or be able to sell a business.
Why? Employers want to hire students who are committed to their educational journey. The course selection shows how dedicated a student will apply. If you can, try to take these courses in a row.
“What I’m looking for as a career coach and hiring manager are students who have taken the Finance I, II and III courses; Chinese I, II and III; business law I, II and III, etc. Students who just skate and take the bare minimum are immediately at a disadvantage.
“Whatever career a student wishes to pursue, the most important thing they can study is English,” said Bruce Hurwitz, Ph.D., President and CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. “Without being able to communicate well both orally and in writing, they will not advance in their careers, let alone get a job offer.”
“It was one of the most valuable courses I took in college,” Bao said. “Learning the basics of saving, investing, credit cards and taxes is important in order to be set up for financial stability and independence in real life. “