Even before the pandemic, the unemployment of recent graduates had increased rapidly. Now, with the challenges arising for the coronavirus menace, job opportunities for graduates are dwindling even further. Current data shows that unemployment among recent graduates in the United States currently stands at 6.2 percent.
This means that college students need to start working on their skills as early as possible. They have to find ways to make themselves stand out among the pool of job candidates in the market. Employees can develop transferable skills in many different ways.
College is the ideal place to transform yourself into a candidate that most recruiters would consider desirable. This article looks at some important lessons students can learn and perfect before graduation to shape their future careers.
Oral Communication Skills
Communication is crucial in the classroom as successful teaching requires 50% knowledge and 50% communication skills. To learn, students and teachers should master all four modes of communication, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. In addition, advancements in digital media, changing work environments, and greater competition for limited jobs mean that improving student communication skills is now mandatory.
Please note that cramming interview tips the night before an important interview will not be enough for effective communication. In futuristic workplaces that demand collaboration, candidates need to master several communication components, both verbal and nonverbal.
Here are some communication skills that students can learn which are critical for the future workplace:
- Proper body language — Things like eye contact and matching the tone when communicating with others are crucial;
- Using the suitable medium — Students should use the appropriate medium according to the context of communication;
- Being confident — Confidence is essential when communicating as it improves credibility;
- Respecting others’ opinions — Pay attention to what others say and make them feel appreciated;
- Listening with attention — Good communication means paying attention during a conversation;
- Speaking less but effectively — Students can also learn to be concise with their speeches, choosing precision and clarity.
Students need to learn that communication entails more than just speaking. It is also concerned with active listening. This type of listening requires learners to pay attention to understand instead of looking to respond.
In essence, practical communication skills are crucial for your future work because they assist you in understanding others and work in teams. With the proper skills, you will be able to understand others and to articulate your opinions clearly. This way, you will have better chances of advancing quickly in your career.
Another set of skills that students can learn when in college, which will be valuable when they enter the job market, is writing skills. Unfortunately, recent evidence shows that writing skills have steadily eroded over the years, mainly because students are increasingly dependent on autocorrect and text editing tools.
Writing remains one of the essential soft skills that many employers consider during the recruitment process. Candidates are expected to create good resumes, write clear and concise reports, and create unique cover letters. In other words, excellent written communication can benefit both your company and your career progression.
Ultimately, the quality of your writing can make an excellent first impression during the recruitment process. More importantly, however, efficient writing skills are critical for good business communication. Candidates with strong writing skills can connect with other workers and convey information comprehensively and with more clarity.
Practical writing skills can also demonstrate a candidate’s understanding. As a college student, your writing skills are mainly used to judge your knowledge of course concepts and reason logically. In the workplace, however, effective writing is often seen as an indicator of intelligence. Of course, it should be noted that not every job demands tons of writing.
Although creating documents with flawless grammar and jargon may not be one of the prerequisites of your job, you ought to ensure that the papers you make don’t look like a third-grader created them. Your readers will likely notice small things like typos and grammar mistakes. Poor writing, in the end, can lead to colleagues and subordinates second-guessing you.
To master your writing skills, read widely and create several documents as a student. Also, make sure to avoid spelling errors and abide by basic rules of grammar and syntax.
Collaborating With Others in Teams
Another crucial skill that students can learn when in college is teamwork. Of course, some prefer to work on projects alone because student group work often comes with challenges. However, despite problems like social loafing, talented students learn to collaborate with their peers successfully.
Part of being a good student is motivating those in your group, improving overall team outcomes. Collaboration skills require more than just accepting that you need to work in groups. It entails going a step further to assume a position of leadership within the team. Students who hold a leadership position, whether in the classroom or student organizations, learn valuable skills that prepare them for the future workplace.
Employers understand that teams cannot thrive without effective teamwork. In other words, teamwork and leadership are crucial skills needed for the success of any business. Therefore, students looking to improve their employment prospects ought to learn how to work well with others.
Here are some reasons why teamwork is a crucial skill for most employers:
- It generates new ideas;
- Collaboration helps to solve complex problems;
- It creates a supportive environment that ensures timeliness of projects;
- It builds morale for the entire workforce.
Another essential value to master as a college student is the importance of time management. According to research, students who master effective time management also tend to report the best academic performance. These learners know how to juggle multiple responsibilities and finalize projects with different deadlines.
Employers across industries want workers who can complete tasks in a timely fashion. This means that one of the most important skills you can develop to improve your future career prospects is time management.
The good news is that college offers the ideal platform to start learning how to manage time. In college, students are left to organize their schedules and plan their days. Also, college students work with heavy workloads and multiple responsibilities. To ensure that all your assignments are finalized on time and avoid the stress that often accompanies working on projects at the last minute works on your organization skills. Of course, students can always benefit from a professional MBA essay editing service online.
Efficient time management allows students to complete more work in less time. As a result, they focus their attention on specific jobs and don’t waste valuable time on distractions. Also, those who perfect time management benefit from reduced stress. In addition, such learners can enjoy the benefits that come with the joy of having fulfilled some goals. For instance, you can use your free time to interact with friends and have fun.
In the same way that effective time management is crucial for students, the skill is also vital in the workplace. The best employees understand the improving one’s time management allows them to enhance their performance and improve productivity. Such workers achieve desired goals with less effort using more effective strategies.
In the workplace, practical time-management skills benefit your professional career and improve your personal life. If you can keep your professional life under control, you will enjoy a better ability to focus on your relationships and responsibilities. In this sense, time management creates a better work-life balance.
Creativity is one of the most sought-after leadership skills in the modern employment market. As times keep changing, creativity is also one of the most valuable skills a person can have. The good news is that students can learn creativity while still in college by embracing the creative problem-solving approach when dealing with issues.
To learn creativity, one needs to have a genuine curiosity. It would help if you also brainstormed activities, especially when working on assignments. Ask questions freely and use insight to solve real-world problems.
The right mix of creativity and appropriate curricula helps college students to become innovative and encourages them to try out new things. These students become better communicators in addition to enhancing their social and emotional skills. Employers seek creative talent because they have a better problem-solving capacity. Creativity also supports teamwork and bonding as it inspires employees to work with each other.
Final Thoughts on Skills to Learn in College
The main goal of college is to prepare students for professional life after graduation. The good habits and skills that one develops as a student, whether through extracurriculars or coursework, will be beneficial in improving your grades. However, they are also crucial for your career once you leave college.