10 Marketable Skills You Should Develop While in College

You'll gain all sorts of knowledge and skills while in college, but which are going to follow you into the workplace or be useful in your daily life? The ten skills outlined in this article are extremely valuable beyond classroom application.

learning life skills

Skills For Life

College is a time to learn about your major and prepare for your career, but there are other things you should be developing during this time - skills. Certain abilities can help you in life and at your job. By developing some of the following skills you can earn promotions, keep your life stress free and do anything you put your mind to.

Writing

Whether you join the college newspaper, write for the literary magazine or just practice on class essays, writing is an essential tool you'll need after graduation. No matter what occupation you'll get into, you'll need to know how to write properly. This skill will help you in writing careers, such as journalism, but you'll also be able to write proposals, memos and letters in an office setting. Even scientists need writing skills to communicate their ideas and research findings. Bad grammar and poor written English could make you the brunt of jokes or cost you your job.

Research

Throughout your college career, you'll learn research skills naturally. If you don't feel that you've learned enough, spend some time in the library (maybe doing work study). Research skills benefit you in nearly every professional field, especially those where research is required. Even for occupations where research isn't used daily, you'll need to keep up with trends and knowledge in your field. Knowing where to go and how to find it makes life much easier.

Pedagogy

You must learn how to use pedagogy in life, not just in school. By reading pedagogy books, such as Pedagogy of the Oppressed or The Inner Game of Tennis, you'll understand how you should learn by doing. Consider reading these in your free time or incorporating them into an independent study. This will be important in all real world situations. When you are confronted with a new task, you'll know that your mind will process it better if you do it instead of being told how to do it.

Communication

If you intend to work with people, communication will be a big part of your job. Whether you want to be a public figure or want to work behind the scenes, you need to sound as educated as you are. You'll want to express your opinions and views clearly without rambling. Consider joining the debate team to build communication and quick thinking.

Social Skills

Similar to communication, you must express yourself clearly. More importantly, you'll want to be comfortable in awkward social situations. Every person has a different type of personality and you'll want to be comfortable speaking with anyone. Attend as many college events as possible to familiarize yourself with people and social situations. This will be especially helpful when you interview for jobs.

Stress Management

Okay, we all get overwhelmed at times - and freak out a little. This is part of the college experience (particularly during exams). Stress not only affects the way you think and act, but it physically harms you and lowers your immunity. Spend time in the fitness center to find ways to release some of this stress. Meditation and exercise can help you release tension pent up in your body. Attend church services to find spiritual peace.

Leadership

One of the essential skills you should learn while in school is how to lead. Begin your own club, organize a fundraiser or join student services to take charge of an upcoming event. Leadership skills help you climb the ladder at work - earning higher pay and responsibility. Having leadership skills can also get you hired (it's a skill many employers look for).

Time Management

Take a course or workshop in time management. Many colleges offer these to help students better their college experience. It's best to learn time management through practice, too. Time management will aid you at work, because you'll be able to meet deadlines and function when things become rushed.

Listening

Attending visiting lectures can establish your listening skills. This is vital for life after college. You should be able to pick up key points in a lengthy conversation. By learning how to listen, you'll learn how to process information. Also, employers don't like to repeat themselves. By having strong listening skills, you can avoid disappointing your boss.

Organization

Vital for any career, organization can be learned through workshops, classes or experience. Having an organized life and desk keeps you from missing appointments and deadlines, losing important paperwork or items, buying things you already own and repeating tasks. An organized desk can improve your stress levels and work performance.

There are also work study skills that can help improve your marketability.

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