College is about trying to learn as much as you can so can go on to succeed after you graduate. With that being said, it’s important to take courses, particularly electives, that actually help you in real life. Don’t just settle for the easiest courses offered — find courses you can actually learn valuable life skills from, or ones that at least help you get a different perspective on things. Here is our list of eight courses that can help you get the most bang for your college education buck:
- English or Writing and Composition. Let’s face it, few things are worse than butchering your native language, especially in writing. Taking a college-level writing course can help you polish skills like grammar and arranging your thoughts. In addition, and most courses usually touch on the finer points of business writing, which can really help out when it comes to writing the all-important cover letter and resume.
- Public Speaking. This one is a biggie. While most high schools require some sort of speech course before you graduate, taking it in college is a much bigger challenge. The class sizes (ie. your audience) will be larger, the speeches will be longer, and your professor will likely provide a lot more "constructive criticism." While it may be terrifying at first, the course can pay big dividends by helping you learn to make clear points, even when you are feeling the pressure. This can be a valuable skill when it comes to interview for jobs.
- Accounting or Economics. While you may have a much easier time passing underwater basket weaving or pottery, an accounting or economics course can provide you with some actual life skills. Accounting courses can help you better manage your income and expenses in college and after you graduate, while economics courses help break down the basics of supply and demand, inflation, and insight into how the world’s economy works.
- College Algebra. You may be an aspiring novelist, artist, or something else that never, ever has you reaching for a calculator, but there is a reason you should still take this course. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to use basic algebra in your day-to-day life. Whether it’s figuring out how much to tip, which store has the better deal, or just splitting a check with friends, you’re going to be using math. Learning how to do it efficiently and accurately can save you plenty of headaches later on.
- U.S. History. You don’t want to end up like one of those people on David Letterman who get questions like "Who was our first president?" wrong, do you? Taking an in-depth look at our nation’s history will not only give you a better appreciation your country’s roots, but it can also be pretty inspiring.
- Any Phys-Ed Elective. Taking a physical education elective is a great idea for several reasons. They can be a great way to blow off steam, meet people, and even learn a new skill. They also can help reinforce good habits when it comes to regular excise. Also, don’t just settle for a sport you played in high school — try something new.
- Computer Literacy. Serious computer skills are becoming more important every single day. In fact, there are very few jobs out there that don’t require the use of a computer at some point during the day. Taking any kind of computer course can go a long way when it comes to being a bit handier with computers, and can make learning new software platforms less intimidating as well. Learning more advanced skills, or taking courses to teach you a software program specific to your field of study, can also make you a more attractive candidate to employers.
- Foreign Language. Each year, the world’s job market and economy becomes more and more global. Because of this, learning and using a foreign language can be an asset when it comes to applying for jobs. They can even open up career possibilities in foreign countries. Plus, learning a foreign language can help tremendously if you plan on studying abroad.
- Internships. While these don’t technically count as classes, internships usually count for class credit. Plus, there isn’t a better way to determine if you will actually enjoy working in your field of study other than doing it for little or no pay. Also, internships can help you network. This can be crucial when it comes to finding a job in your field of study.
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