Are you boggled down by the strict courses required for your major, or undecided on what you should major in and don’t know what classes to take? Well, here are some key courses that are great for every college student regardless of your major. These classes will give you valuable, professional and personal skills to use in real life.  

Public Speaking 

Yes, public speaking strikes fear into the hearts of many, but this is normal. However, a lack of skills in public speaking can impair wages by 10 percent and impair promotion to management by 15 percent according to Columbia University. Taking classes in verbal communication will better prepare you to develop strategies and confidence to share your voice.  

Personal Finance 

As you become more financially independent, your financial literacy becomes crucial in managing everyday budgeting decisions. The United States ranked #14 with a financial literacy rate of 57 percent in a global study conducted by S&P Global. This means that many Americans have trouble understanding financial risks that ultimately lead to financial issues. Taking a personal finance course will help you grasp a better understanding of finances to make more informed decisions for a better financial future.  

Critical Thinking 

You may be wondering why there is a class for critical thinking, however, this course can be helpful in introducing fundamental skills for strategic thinking with a philosophical mindset. Critical thinking will challenge you to tackle logic and reasoning for problem solving which can be widely applied in the real world. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2017 Survey, 77.3 percent of managers want to see the soft skill of critical thinking and problem solving from job candidates.  

Professional Writing 

Before heaving a sign over more writing, remember that most jobs incorporate writing into everyday job tasks whether through emails, reports or other means. Articulately explaining through written communication can be crucial in getting your point across correctly. According to NACE research, 75 percent of managers feel that writing proficiency is one of the most desirable hard skills.  

Foreign Language 

Having an extra language up your sleeve can really spark interest in the hiring process. New American Economy found that demand for bilingual workers is on the rise with about 630,000 job advertisements seeking bilingual employees in 2015. Also, knowing a second (or third) language can truly help emerge you into the culture, especially when travelling.  

Taking these courses will provide you with a basic understanding of these skills, but before signing up for these classes, be sure that you have time to fit in all your core requirements from your college first and know that you can use some of your general education elective requirements to take these key courses. Learning these practical skills will push you further in your education, career and life, so take advantage of these classes.  

Author: Candace Harada, NSCS Marketing Intern