Dean College students working in the Berensen Center with a faculty member to build skills that help them grow their careers

Did you know that most college students end up changing their major several times throughout their four-year programs? This why general education courses are so important. Choosing to attend a program from a liberal arts college means that you’ll spend quite a bit of time taking general courses on top of those that apply to your major. What does this mean? Well, that you’ll end up with a number of important skills that you can use in your future career, no matter how many times you change your major. Here are some of those crucial skills.

Time Management

From the first day of college onward, you have plenty of things to balance. Classes, coursework, sports, events and extracurricular activities all take up a good chunk of your time. You’ll learn good time management skills fairly quickly, and they are definitely something that your future employers will look for.


How organized are you? Do you use a paper planner or a digital one? Do you prefer long lists of things to do? No matter what, college students need to stay organized. Otherwise, they end up turning in assignments late and forgetting about various appointments. Just like time management, you’ll learn how to get and stay organized while in college.


On top of simple organizational skills, there are also planning skills that college courses teach. Those long, multi-month assignments that are due at the end of the semester? You’ll need to plan those out well in order to avoid doing it all at the last minute. In addition, things like planning your course schedule out fit into this category as well.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is something that’s important in the workforce. You’ll need to be able to solve problems and look at possible issues from a number of different perspectives. No matter what industry or field you end up working in, having the ability to work your way through a problem is crucial.


Doing research requires much more than just reaching for Google and typing in some keywords. You’ll need to dive into the subject and examine it from multiple perspectives. Your general education courses will require a number of research papers, all of which help you hone your skills.


Communication is considered a soft skill that many employers look for in their workers. Having the ability to communicate in numerous ways, whether spoken or in writing, is important. Workers may find themselves doing everything from speaking to customers to writing up reports. Where can these skills be gained? College, of course.

Public Speaking

Whether you’re completely afraid of giving presentations in front of people or have a lot of confidence in front of the class, you’ll need to take a public speaking course or two while in college. These classes teach you not only how to present, but also how to put together a presentation. Both are very useful in the workforce, especially if you get a job where you’ll be leading meetings.

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