Graduate With Skills, Not Just a Degree

The Wall Street Journal

By Heather R. Huhman

Not long ago, earning a college degree could almost guarantee you would land a great job much faster than those who were not college-educated. Today, however, it’s important to have relevant skills, not just a degree. In fact, a degree has started to become the minimum requirement to even be considered for many openings—meaning most of the people you will be competing with have a degree, too.

What are these sought-after skills? According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2010 survey:

  1. Communication Skills
  2. Analytical Skills
  3. Teamwork Skills
  4. Technical Skills
  5. Strong Work Ethic
“These are the skills that employers believe are important to on-the-job success,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director

Read the rest of this article at Wall Street Journal.
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I notice reports like this regularily. It's no secret but it still makes the news for the Wall Street Journal - communications skills are critical to success.

Below is the comment that I added to this article...


As a communication skills expert who regularly coaches executives on communication skills in general and presentation skills in particular, I agree on the importance of communication skills for career success.

Here are tips on how to develop three types of communication skills.

Develop Your Writing
Blogging is an excellent way to get published as a writer. Students can also write for their school publications, association newsletter and community papers. The easiest way to get published is by writing letters to the editor. Another simple way is to submit an op ed piece.

Develop Your Speaking
Volunteer in leadership roles in your student organizations. Volunteer with charities. Volunteer to train others. Volunteer to speak at high schools, community events and fund raisers.

Develop Your Questioning and Listening
Volunteer to be a reporter for the school paper. Volunteer with the local community radio or TV station. Survey community or business leaders on an issue and write a report.

List all of those results on your resume. Academics do that, so why not students?


George Torok

Speech Coach for Executives

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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives
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