Is Going to College Your Best Choice?
You’re either in college now or you are about to go to college in the Fall. If you’re in college now, then your mind is probably preoccupied with a never-ending to-do list such as
- completing course requirements,
- pursuing potential internships,
- seeking summer jobs,
- increasing your GPA,
- selecting a major and so on.
And if you just got accepted, then your mindset is probably totally cluttered with all the excitement that goes along with starting a new life chapter.
In either case, you need to STOP and give some thought as to how you’re going to make college or your alternative choice really work for you. Many of you are at the beginning of your adult life experience.
That means you are now the primary “quarterback” of your own college and career success game plan.
And, as such, you need to be aware of the essential skills you’ll need to manage the lifelong learning challenges that you’re certainly going to encounter as you pursue your degree or your work alternative.
For example, a recent study commissioned by the Business Higher Education Forum examined approximately 56 million resumes and 150 million unique U.S. job postings to determine the essential skills required to function effectively in today’s digital economy and workplace.
The Burning Glass Technologies study group’s analysis identified 14 specific skills distributed within a spectrum consisting of the following areas– Human Skills, Digital Building Block Skills, and Business Enabler Skills.
They found that these 14 skills were in high demand not only within the digital sectors, but also across our broad-based economy.
Those possessing these skills earned higher salaries and experience greater job mobility. That’s what you’re aiming for, right?!
The Burning Glass study group also acknowledged that college students needed to recognize and engage these foundational skills in preparing for future careers.
They recommended that college students:
- Value the importance of these skills for landing jobs and advancing careers.
- Build a mindset to become a continuous learner.
- Seek out opportunities to acquire New Foundational Skills through curricular and co-curricular activities and hands-on learning.
- Signal possession of New Foundational Skills by including them in one’s resume or by acquiring certifications that have currency with employers.
- Develop and learn by doing: supplement coursework with volunteer work, internships, or work-based learning opportunities.
- Continuously seek out information about the evolving skill requirements in the labor market; learn to identify how these skills manifest in new fields.
So you’re thinking, “what does this have to do with me?” Well, you’re the quarterback…right? Then you’re going to need a team. For those of you deciding that college is going to be your first choice, the study’s recommendations lay out a great college and career success game plan template. Now all you have to do is select your team members.
Attending New Student Orientation offers you multiple opportunities to recruit potential candidates, such as peer advisers, academic advisers, student support personnel, and faculty members.
Or if you’re currently enrolled, then you are a bit more familiar with campus staff and personnel. You can consider folks from athletics, career services, financial aid, and/or academic librarians.
You do have a spectrum of on and off campus team member choices.
And a host of free resources available to help you with your planning.
You just have to do your homework and recruit members who will work in your best interest and advise you accordingly.
If you’re really serious about achieving college and career success, then do yourself a favor…
Be pro-active, establish your team, and interact with them when issues and/or challenges warrant that you do so.
And remember, you are your team’s quarterback…you call the plays and they provide you with support.
They’ll get you to the Super Bowl = Your Graduation… if you continually network and connect.
That’s the whole point of this experience in the first place, now isn’t it!
And if, by some chance you’ve decided to delay pursuing college, then incorporate as many of the study’s recommendations in your temporary work plans until you’re ready to pursue the college of your choice.
A Word to the Wise…
Whenever a student faces an academic and or social challenge, they often seek advice from a peer or a friend first. And sometimes, that’s okay…
However, resolving the issue to your best advantage usually requires also consulting with an academic adviser.
Academic advisers know the campus academically, administratively, and socially. And what they don’t know, they can point you to the person who does know. Include this strategy in your plan for college success.
Disclaimer Reminder: A college student’s first line of inquiry should always be with their campus academic adviser. College Success Life Advising Sessions provide additional problem-solving options to undergraduate and graduate students for further exploration on their individual campuses. Students should always consult their assigned adviser not only during the course selection process but periodically to keep apprised of programmatic changes, testing requirements, course additions/deletions, GPA modifications, etc.
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