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NextGen Magazine


Four Skills to Hone in College for a Successful Career

Jason Wong
Published Date:
Dec 18, 2015

Throwing Graduation HatsThere’s more to a successful career in accounting than learning the technical skills of tax and audit. Yesterday a committee was convened at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington to look into non-traditional ways that students’ success is influenced by; in essence, examining what the Academy calls “intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities.” What does that mean? According to Forbes, students who want every advantage they can get out of college need to focus on other skills besides what they get from their textbooks.

Be ready for different environments. According to the Academy’s data, 96% of employers are looking for students to “develop problem-solving skills in diverse settings.” Use your time in college to get to know people you didn’t grow up with, whether they’re professors, exchange students, or just out-of-state.

Work on your oral communication skills. If you want to go the distance, you’ll need to be able to lead meetings, woo clients, and possibly deliver public speeches. According to the data, 85% of employers agree that college students should have these skills, regardless of field.

Don’t neglect your writing skills. Oral communication skills are important, but so is writing skill. You don’t have to be the next Shakespeare, but you definitely don’t want to be the person in the office who’s notorious for difficult to understand emails and memos.

Learn to work on a team. Whether it’s a group project or an extracurricular, there’s plenty of opportunities in college to get comfortable working with others. By the time you’re in the working world, you don’t want to be shy about asking for help from a colleague.