Bridging the skills gap
You've taken that first essential step in landing your dream job and have decided to pursue a college education. However, many students today face a timely difficulty: the economy. A recent article by student journalist Marissa Cetin in USA Today revealed that the unemployment rate has been the top talking point during the 2012 election cycle, citing industry data that showed the national unemployment rate in September to be at 7.8 percent.
However, instead of focusing on the lack of jobs, students would be wise to ruminate on how they can gain essential skills and education to make themselves prime candidates for jobs that are available.
"Innovating education and linking companies to the schools of all kinds - university, community and trade - may be the key in bridging this skills gap," wrote Cetin.
Skill sets to master to boost your value to potential employers
In another recent article in USA Today, author Sara Aisenberg discussed some essential skill sets that should be pursued to put yourself in a better position to land your dream job.
"It's no secret that college prepares us for the real world of employment," Aisenberg wrote. "Whether you're a current college student, a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, there are skills you can learn and perfect - in your studies, an internship, a job or even on your own - to improve your aptitude and ability to land a killer job in the future."
Skills that can make you an attractive candidate in most fields of work include writing, research, social media, HTML, design and time-management skills.
Your college courses are sure to incorporate some, if not all, of these skills, but it is up to you as an individual to pursue the mastery of these various skill sets. Even if you don't have future plans to enter into journalism, developing your writing skills so that you have a thorough understanding of proper grammar is essential for communicating clearly across all professions. Knowing how to develop cohesive sentences can make your typo-free, grammatically correct resume stand out all the more against your future competition.
Research skills can be essential and tied closely with writing skills. Aisenberg recommends familiarizing yourself with different facets of research, including those found exclusively on the Internet, literary and surveys.
Social media skills may seem like second nature to today's younger, tech-driven college classes. Hold on to those skills and nurture them throughout your studies, tying in HTML skills whenever possible to get a leg up on generations above you who may not be as tech-savvy.