Most every college or university in America has a number of required college courses that you have to take in order to graduate. I think that’s a good thing because many students discover a potential major in required freshman college courses. Plus, required courses certify that your education stands for something. When you start to look for a job after you graduate, potential employers know that you have certain competencies they can count on.
However…..I believe there are other courses – many not required in core college curriculums – that people ought to consider when they ask the question, “Which classes should I take in college?”. Here are just a few:
Take a sociology class. You’ll learn lots of interesting things. Why did people come together to found the city or town where you live, for example? Plus, sociology equips you to answer many critically important questions about marketing, advertising, retailing, nonprofit work, and business in general. So if a sociology class fulfills one of your course requirements, I’d urge you to take it. If not, I’d urge you to sign up anyway.
Take a psychology class. Psych is interesting. It helps you understand the motivations of people around you. If your boss is a control freak bully, you will understand that he or she is really insecure underneath it all. Psychology can make it a little easier to deal with the people in your life, but knowledge of psychology is also critically important if you are going to be involved in marketing. And if you’re going to be working for a living, marketing will be part of the picture.
Take the highest level math course you can. It doesn’t have to be multivariable calculus or anything that elevated – just climb as high as you can up the math ladder, given your time in college and your abilities. The more math you understand, the better equipped you are to analyze things, like the results of marketing campaigns or the profits your medical office is generating.
Take extra writing courses. Sure, you’ll have to take some kind of writing course in order to graduate, but a lot of those courses don’t really turn students into strong writers. It’s been my observation that strong writers do better in their careers. Whether you’re writing website copy or just dashing out a dozen emails a day, polished writing skills help you stand out as a person of ability.
Take a few classes in art history, philosophy or some other cultural subject. After you graduate, your success won’t all be built on hard skills. You also need to be able to hold your own in conversations with smart, sophisticated people. If they mention a topic like Impressionism or Mozart or Plato, you will be able to take part and not have your eyes glaze over.
Any other suggestions? Leave a comment.