Skills Every College Student Should Have


Studying is hard but trying to find that first job out of college is even harder. So we decided to list a few skills that studying should have taught you which will help you get that sought after initial position.


In college students will go through many different learning curves, each one of them equipping undergraduates with competences that can help in your first professional job. Here are some examples of college experiences and what they teach us.



Lectures and seminars are classes where specialists in an area teach scholars in that field the key facts. These classes are places where students can ask questions and talk in groups about the practical application of knowledge that they are learning.


Skills that you learn in lectures and seminars include:

  • Time Management – To get to class (relatively) on-time
  • Self- motivation – To do prior research and attend classes
  • Listening – Taking the lecturers points into consideration
  • Record Taking – Taking notes for further study/assignments later on
  • Organisation – Planning ahead so that research and work is done before attending classes
  • Thinking on your Feet – Seminars tend to be more rigorous, where lecturers will look to students to answer questions



Every course has a marking system that includes assignments and/or exams. These test a student’s knowledge to devise whether a person has a good enough understanding of a subject to progress to another more complex module.


To pass assignments/exams with grades high enough to pass comfortably student should possess skills like:

  • Computer Skills – To present an assignment in an acceptable manner
  • Research – Using previous notes and primary and secondary research to argue the points in an assignment/exam
  • Communication – Using clear and concise findings to portray your argument in a manner that others can understand quickly and fully
  • Deadline Management – To finish an assignment or exam on time is a hard to do but by achieving this the ability to manage deadlines is clearly a skill that you have mastered
  • Rationalising a Point – Drawing on research and communication this skill shows the ability to stick to a perspective on a subject and explain your understanding of it to influence an audience to accept it



These are necessary evils in most courses in college. Getting up in front of dozens of people can be daunting but the act itself teaches students a lot more than confidence.

  • Teamwork – Most presentations are done in teams where the grade is divided out equally among members so everyone must pull their weight
  • Negotiation – Influencing people to take your point of view is not an easy thing to do but when you work in teams a common goal must be achieved and negotiation is key to this
  • Delegation – Someone needs to be willing to share out the work load so that the presentation is ready to go on the day. Practice beforehand is imperative and every member contributing to the work load is essential so delegation is an important part of team work
  • Planning – It is important to ensure that everything will go as scheduled and everyone knows their part so a timetable needs to be devised and followed by everyone
  • Conflict Resolution – Within groups there may be conflicts of character or a problem personality. The ability to resolve issues like this shows the skills of conflict resolution and problem solving
  • Leadership – Every team needs a leader and depending on the person you are you could have been that leader. Did you motivate people to do their work? Did you manage the schedule and keep people focused? Did people look to you for guidance and standards?


College teaches life lessons from independence to networking, to problem solving and beyond. When looking for that first job outside of college keep in mind that these skills are transferable, all you need is the confidence to know that your college experience was a learning curve.


“You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 30 November 2017

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