For many students, picking a major can be a difficult choice, as we’re increasingly told that certain areas of study can lead to higher paying and more secure jobs.
Regardless of what you end up studying in college, there are specific courses that every student should take — from science and maths to the humanities.
Here are nine courses will help you both personally and professionally:
“I took a class on presentational speaking and I found this to be the most useful class I have taken. It focused on the idea of ‘invitational rhetoric’ which is being able to discuss issues (often conflicting viewpoints) and being able to chew on it and toss the idea/viewpoint around without having to change your own. Basically, it moved away from the typical Roman logical debate where each side has a position backed with facts and they fight until one is deemed superior. It really helped me learn how to take a step back and analyse WHY people might hold the views that they do and not jump straight to criticism or attack their position.” — Reddit User TheDapperYank
“If you understand chemistry at a basic level you will also understand atomic physics, the basic building blocks of all matter and therefore life, pharmaceuticals, air pollution and climate change, etc etc. Understanding the physical world around us at a very basic level allows you to have an informed opinion about which others simply speculate or believe on faith.” — Reddit User eran76
“I think more college aged people need to take a personal finance class – how to write checks, how to balance a checkbook by hand, how credit cards work, how APR works, how student loans work, how a mortgage works, how to create and maintain a budget, the consequences of filing for bankruptcy (and how 99% of the time student loans won’t be forgiven if it’s filed), how credit works, etc.” — Reddit User invinoveritas
“This class was offered in our philosophy department. At first I thought it was going to be bs, but actually turned out to be very interesting.
Philosophy majors I came across were sharp thinkers and excellent writers. I have a lot more respect for them than what I had before.” — Reddit User deathcabscutie
“The first day of class the professor said ‘no matter what you do in life this course will help you because you will learn to break large complex problems into smaller and smaller pieces. Even if you are a criminal you will be better at it because you will be able to plan crimes in a systematic manner.’ Turns out that is true, I rarely use calculus itself but daily use the principal of breaking a daunting problem into discrete solvable parts.” — Reddit User Dylan_Ram_Brick
“The first semester of calculus lays out clearly the concepts of level, rate of change and change in the rate of change. One key lesson is that some things can be quickly estimated, then the estimate made as precise as needed by further calculations. Just that one concept is worth the tuition.” — Bill Conerly, Forbes Contributor
“While PR brings up images of flashy publicists or press conferences, it’s also something that students in any discipline have to employ within the workplace as they represent themselves, their departments, their organisations, and their products. Likewise, clear writing is essential in managing relationships in and out of the office.” — Mike Emery, University of Houston
“Good communication and writing skills are critical in any environment where you’re working with others to get things done — in other words, all jobs. And it won’t just help in the office. Getting a foot in the door for interviews most often comes down to a written resume and cover letter.” — Kristyn Schiavone, Chicago Tribune
Computer Hardware and Science:
“[I took] Introduction to Computer Architecture … It really helped me understand exactly how computers work, and gain an appreciation for the amount of effort and the amount of build-up involved in computers these days. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants … Taking a class which ties together coding and assembly like this will help you understand what’s actually going on.” — Reddit User Skerrako
“Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well.
Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary.” — Anne Merritt, The Telegraph
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