There are countless college majors out there, and some degree programs even allow students to design their own majors. While there are majors that have traditionally been associated with a wide job market (like nursing), many majors help prepare students to work in various fields. Majors like economics, mathematics, and business are often well received by employers; liberal arts degrees also help give students the communication skills they need to succeed in a variety of disciplines.
But within the different majors, there are some classes that each undergraduate should try to take if possible, because certain courses are useful when finding a job. Some of the best and most marketable courses are often included as core requirements, but they aren’t always, so be sure to include these five courses if you want to boost your transcript and resume.
1. Writing courses
Despite the fact that liberal arts degrees often unfairly get a bad rap, many of those specific majors focus on skills that are necessary once you start a full-time job. Writing courses are particularly important, and you don’t have to major in English to take one. Many colleges include composition courses in their core required classes, but you should take at least one additional writing course if you are able to. You will need to be able to properly write in any career field, and many college graduates leave while still being horrible spellers; sometimes, students are unable to even properly compose an email or memo.
If you can’t spell, you may have your resume and cover letter rejected before the reviewer even looks at your qualifications — plus, your cover letter needs to be effective in order to get you the interview. Correspondence is also a regular part of most careers. If possible, take a professional writing course, which should focus on resumes, cover letters, proposals, grants, projects, etc.
2. Public speaking courses
Many jobs require that the person holding the position give presentations, reports, or just interact regularly with other coworkers at all different levels within a company. Public speaking classes can help undergraduates learn how to organize their thoughts into a coherent progression of ideas, as well as teach students to have more confidence in their work and in their ability to share it.
The practice of giving speeches in front of a teacher and also peers is great preparation for work after college, as well. Many students fear public speaking and these courses are often not required, so many students steer clear from them. However, taking them can really help boost a resume and even help the student to be more confident in an interview.
3. Business courses
While some classes teach you important skills, they can be hard to market to potential employers if you are not looking for a job related to the class itself. Business classes, on the other hand, look good on almost any transcript, and will often help boost your cover letter. Understanding the way that the business world works will be important in most careers, so consider taking a business class even if you are not majoring in business.
Business classes can also help prepare you for the future, when you might change careers or start your own business. They can also teach you valuable leadership qualities. Best of all, business courses appeal to many employers because they want someone who is coming in with some business knowledge, even if they are transitioning straight from college into the workplace.
4. Computer courses
Computer skills will be necessary in almost any job you will consider. Whether you are writing emails, typing up reports, completing research, or if you work in a more computer-intensive job like IT, you will need to use a computer at some point. Hopefully you had basic computer courses in high school, and college is a great time to invest at least one semester taking computer programming courses.
The ability to do basic computer programming will be necessary in many jobs, and more advanced computer programming might help you advance, as well. Many people end up taking programming classes while working because they realize that these courses will help them in their career, so if possible, save yourself some time and take one or more before you start your full-time job.
5. Internship courses
Some schools require internships while others don’t, but if your school offers credit for internships, you should definitely take a course that allows you to receive credit. Sometimes the instructor helps set up and prepare you for an internship, and other times you simply get credit for completing an internship. Internships in general function in several ways: they give you real-world experience in a position that hopefully aligns with your future career goals, open networking opportunities, and can also help you to see if a certain career is really right for you.
There are many other courses that are important, but these five courses are extremely applicable to almost any job. If you have more free time in your schedule, consider taking a class about becoming an entrepreneur, or even a psychology class, which will help you understand the people you work with.