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10 critical skills college doesn’t teach you

I loved going to university. I thoroughly enjoyed both my bachelor’s and master’s studies! I feel like university expanded my horizons and gave me a lot of valuable skills and knowledge. It helped me grow personally, and connect and share experiences with a diverse group of amazing people.

As I was starting my job search and first work experiences, I realized that there are certain skills that we were not taught in university and that are difficult to even acquire in school. They include skills that become critical for getting you through your job search as well as developing your career. While researching what the web says about this, it become obvious from the number of articles on the topic that many other people have made the same observation. So, let’s consider which skills and abilities are critical for your career and personal development but university doesn’t teach you.



Of course, during university education you meet a lot of interesting people and find opportunities to exchange ideas and interests. You might also get a chance to connect with companies that will allow you to do research for your assignments. However, the broader importance of networking for your career development is not sufficiently addressed.

Many jobs are not advertised, and they can only be learned about through recommendations. There are so many sources of information and leads for your profession and possible career paths that it might be hard to navigate through all these resources and find the right opportunity for you. Engaging in networking can help you obtain information that you need. Check out our amazing tips for how to become a networking star while you are still in university.


How do you negotiate?

How do I negotiate a salary or a raise? How do I ask my boss for a couple of free days? How do I get a promotion or a better position? All of these questions are rarely addressed during our college education, and it is not common for you to learn negotiation skills while in university. It is good to ask your working friends and family, as well as the university career center, for some advice on these topics.


Setting goals, prioritizing tasks, and managing time

During your studies, of course you get to practice goal-setting, and task and time management. However, when you are working and adult life gets you caught in a network of tasks that are constantly changing, setting goals and time management will take on new meaning. You can find interesting lectures on the web, so just search for topics on time management and prepare to learn useful tips!


How to market yourself?

When you are stepping out into the job market, it becomes crucial for you to market your skills and knowledge. You can be the best at something, but if you can’t show it or create a buzz around yourself, you may go unnoticed alongside massive competition. Marketing doesn’t stop with job hunting. During your employment, the ways in which you present your ideas, work, and approach to problems will be crucial for your career development.


Being proactive

Research studies are usually formed according to certain plans and processes. You can always start something new by your own initiative, but there isn’t a lot of emphasis on that in college. In life, it is often necessary to take charge, and to demonstrate drive and creativity to get a job done without waiting for somebody else to give you a command.


Planning your career

There aren’t a lot of chances to learn about how to plan your career. Which positions should you look for? What kind of jobs will lead you to your dream job? According to Laurence Bradford's article in Forbes magazine, it is a good idea to think about where you want to be and what you want to be doing in five years. When you have a clear vision of that, it becomes easier to see the smaller steps you need to take in order to get to where you want to be. If you want to be an HR manager for a large tech company in Asia, learning an Asian language, getting an HR internship, and obtaining experience with a tech company are all steps that can send you in the right direction and provide you with some motivation as you are making decisions about your career.


How to do taxes

If you are dealing with taxes, welcome to adulthood! Taxes will cause you confusion, headaches and a lot of phone calls to your parents and other knowledgeable adults in your life, but you’ll soon become proficient with taxes on your own!


Business writing

During studies, you will learn advanced forms of writing. Then, one day, the need for business writing will hit you on the head and you have to learn how to write all over again. Although, you will learn fast, there are still things that you will need to practice and master, like report writing and crafting professional emails.


Sitting at a desk and being productive the entire day

Student life allows you to be flexible with your tasks. You can do them at 7:00 AM if you are an early bird, or you may prefer to work on your tasks deep into the night with coffee cups and snack wrappers piling up around you. In your workplace, you will need to develop more discipline and you will usually spend large amounts of time sitting at your desk and producing. This is a valuable habit that is worth developing before you even start your full-time job. If you are a student, I suggest trying to develop a routine that mimics regular working hours. It will be easier when you transition into working life.



You get a task, you start working on it, and after you have spent several days on it your colleague comes and says that you need to change a large portion of the task. You start making that change, and then another change happens, and then another, and then another. In school, you usually get a task and then you work on it and not a lot of changes happen. However, workplaces are more dynamic and things can change quickly. You really need to develop an appreciation for and comfort with flexibility in the workplace so that you can quickly switch from one thing to another.


University is important but there are certain skills that are harder to develop only through your university education. That is why it is crucial for you to seek out advice from more experienced people, network with professionals from fields you are interested in, and find opportunities that will help you acquire these skills. You can seek out internships, volunteer programs, training, and other amazing opportunities that can expand your skills and networks so that you are more appealing to future employers. You can search for dozens of thousands of these opportunities on





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