College Advice Blog

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Jan 13, 2011

6 Electives that will Impact any Professional Career

As you advance through your college career, course selection will make a critical impact on your education. Once you decide on a major, most of your courses will be preselected. However, you do have the choice on a few electives each year.

Selecting the right electives will provide you with a well-rounded education. Having communication, problem solving and general business skills will help separate successful professionals from the rest of the pack.

You will be a more attractive job candidate and better prepared for the workforce with these six elective courses:

1)   Public Speaking/Introductory Acting: Being comfortable speaking in front of others is one of the top skills needed to perform successfully in your career outside of your major. You may not be delivering a presentation to the CEO in your first few years, but learning how to communicate effectively will also enhance your relationship with your manager and co-workers. Public speaking and introductory acting classes typically grade on structure and not solely on your performance, which could increase your grades.  

    2)     Writing: You will be hard-pressed to find a career that does not utilize basic writing skills on a daily basis. A class in writing will ensure that everything from your emails to research reports are grammatically accurate and structured well. An overwhelming number of professionals do not write well and your skills could help you climb the corporate ladder.
    
    3)     General Business: Understanding the basics of economics and how to run a business will prepare you for important company decisions and how you fit into the overall company goal. If you are patient and strike at the right time, suggesting a new business concept to help the company could lead to the promotion of your dreams.
    
    4)     Marketing: The knowledge of marketing practices will benefit you in many different ways. Not only will you have a better understanding of what those marketing people do in the corner of the office, but you will also have the ability to market yourself as an employee during your job search. If you think of your talents and skills as a product and can market it, you will be sure to land the job.
    
    5)     Foreign Language: The United States is partnering and doing business with foreign countries more than ever before. Learning a foreign language can give you an edge over your co-workers if someone is needed to conduct business with another country. Spanish is always a popular choice to study, but there is recent business booms in China, Japan and India.
    
    6)     Math: Maybe one of the most feared subjects to learn in school, math can be a difficult elective to choose. A good reason to take a math elective is that departments can always use a team member who is good with numbers. Brushing up on your general math skills could make you the go-to person for yearly budgets or any financial need. It will also help you personally when it comes time to pay the bills.

Choosing electives wisely can impact your professional career tremendously. It also can provide you with a well-rounded education that employers love to see. Sign-up for these electives now and you will thank yourself in a few years!

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About The Author:
Jeff Bender is a writer and creator of www.guerrillaeducation.net, a site about finding unconventional ways to supplement traditional education, and letting us help you achieve by sharing the mistakes we have made. Whether you are currently attending college, have kids in college, or are starting life after college, Guerrilla Education will be a useful resource to refine your educational experience.

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