While doing your best to learn what your course has to offer you, and to better absorb your lessons is key, it’s also important to understand that there are skills beyond the classroom that you should learn, as well. In fact, the need for you to develop and hone your skills beyond what training or education you get in the classroom or workplace is an important one to understand. As such, here, we’re going to look at the skills, some hard, some soft, that you are likely to have to find beyond the classroom.

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Time Management

Your ability to effectively balance your workload is going to be vital in both college and beyond. Already, you are likely to have multiple tasks and deadlines to start juggling. Learning the time management skills to prioritize different tasks in order to meet your various goals is vital, and can also help you work much more productively. Most jobs require you to be able to juggle multiple responsibilities, and time management can ensure that you’re giving adequate attention to each of them.


As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. While the skills and education you have will definitely play a role in ensuring that you’re the right fit for the position you want to work in, your ability to make professional connections with others, and maintain relationships with others in your field can provide the stepping stones to all manner of career options and moves. Finding networking opportunities, even while you’re in education, can give you the advantage of stepping into a career that, simply put, most college students don’t get.

First Aid

Hard skills can be just as important for your future career, and few of them can be as valuable an addition to your resume as some first aid skills. Even if you’re in a career that has anything to do with healthcare, getting some hands on CPR training can allow you to help your potential employers tick off their own needs when it comes to their health and safety plans. It makes you a more valuable asset in the workplace beyond your ability to fulfill all of your core duties and responsibilities. The more boxes you tick, the more likely a hire you are.

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Communication Skills

In the vast majority of workplaces, you are not going to be working alone, but as part of a team. As such, you’re going to need the ability to communicate and collaborate with them. You may also have to represent your company to external contacts, be they clients or partners in business. This can include working on your writing skills to better complete professional emails and reports. Some public speaking training can help you deliver more effective presentations and speak more clearly and precisely in meetings. Good communication is what might help you stand out when it comes time to consider who is best suited for promotion to the management level.

Managerial Skills

Of course, if you’re considering the management level, then you also have to acknowledge that management skills training may be necessary in your career. Managers need to understand the work that their team does, and the technicalities of the industry, but they must also have additional abilities, such as leadership, the ability to delegate effectively, and to help ensure the productivity of their team members. Excellent interpersonal skills alongside project and labor management can be vital to help you stand out as a leader.

Computer Skills

Most people in college are already going to have some degree of computer skills, or at least will have to develop them, as the work will often require you to be able to submit pieces written in word processors, as well as to develop presentations. However, becoming comfortable with a range of different software can be vital. Beyond the general office software, such as spreadsheets and databases, showing an aptitude to learn new software with relative ease can make you a much more valuable member in most modern workplaces, where digital technology continues to reign supreme. This is even more true as more employers are concerned about the current growing generation’s seeming lack of digital skills compared to the millennials before them.


One issue that a lot of college students graduate with is that they have the ability to follow instructions and complete tasks as specified, but many have trouble doing much more beyond that. Being able to independently assess and address problems, and to apply critical thinking to challenges in your career is a vital skill to start learning. Data analysis skills can be considered an extrapolation of this basic skill, as well.

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Financial Literacy

Even if you’re not the one in control of the purse strings, being able to understand the financial needs and demands of running a business can be vital. Showing a degree of “business-mindedness” can help employers see that you’re more than just a worker, you’re someone who can put the needs of the business first. As such, learning to put together budgets, and financial statements, and to show an understanding of financial planning can make you a valuable asset in the workplace. What’s more, employers tend to look more favorably on those who are able to manage their own personal finances, to ensure that they don’t interfere with their work.


Even if you’re not in a marketing position, there is a very good chance that you might be asked to help with boosting a company’s brand. Whether you’re asked to make some posts on social media, to live-tweet an event, or to write content for the website, being able to understand the basics of marketing can help you a lot. Knowing your audience and how to appeal to their wants also shows that you have an understanding of the business and its relationship with its customers and clients.

If you have not taken the time to make independent learning a part of your life, now is the opportunity. No habit will serve your career better.

Aggie Aviso