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College Students

Benefit From Choosing Better Electives

Next time you get the chance, take a look at the list of classes your school has to offer. They list all of the available core classes, required classes and electives. While the first two types of classes are important, more students tend to focus their attention on the latter. That’s why I chose to talk about them, as there are quite a few pit-falls students tend to fall into when choosing electives.

There’s a sense of irony in the fact that while the basic mission of college is to help educate and foster growth amongst the youth, at the same time, colleges are offering classes such as “Philosophy of Star Wars,” “Bowling,” “Klingon,” or “Twilight: A Literal Analysis.” While they might act as a novelty class for certain niche audiences, what value are they actually adding to your education? What skills or life lessons are they really teaching you?

I’m not saying don’t take fun classes. I’m merely suggesting that it may be a better idea to pick up an extra skill or two instead of basking in your beloved Star Wars joy. When I was in college, I started studying communications as well as political science. I took public speaking, business and professional communication and small group communication. All of these classes taught a skill I felt would be important to have going into the working field. My point here is that, in order to gain the competitive edge as well as the ability to demonstrate it, make sure you’re taking the time to pick up something new, or enforce what you already know.

Again, my advice is next time you’re scheduling classes, look for something that can teach you an actual skill, like an extra writing course. You’ll thank me later when you land your dream job because you know how to communicate with employers professionally without using OMG and LOL.

Questions? Ideas or suggestions? Follow me on twitter @ChrisComella or email me at ccomella@sparkhire.com

Christopher Comella

Christopher earned his BA in Political Science from DePaul University in 2011, and is no stranger to writing and deadlines. One of his greatest assets is to add humor to even the driest of subjects, which is why half of his professors love him and the other half hated his work.