Four Skills That Put You Ahead Of The Crowd

Four Skills That Put You Ahead of Crowd

Think a college degree is all it takes to get ahead? Think again.

Only 14 per cent of employers believe a diploma prepares new grads for the workplace, according to a report from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. And get this–85 per cent say it’s not important for grads to have the knowledge and skills that apply to a specific field or position.

Not important?! No, because employers feel they can teach you those specific skills on the job. What they want from job applicants, instead, are skills that can be applied across the board to many different areas, and internships.

Here are four skills high on employer wish lists that will put you way ahead of the crowd, with suggestions for how to get them:

Information Technology, including proficiency in office applications like Microsoft Word, Excel, HTML, Access, and PowerPoint. If you didn’t acquire these skills in high school or on your own, check out the tutorials on YouTube, or take a course at your local community college.

Digital Media skills are increasingly sought after, with website design and video-making at the top of the list. Check out the free WordPress tutorials to learn website design, or pay about $15 for the easy, step-by-step instruction at WordPress for Beginners. For video-making, try the free Digital Film School at I-Tunes.

Foreign language proficiency. In our increasingly global work environment, it’s a tragedy that 75 per cent of Americans speak only English. You increase your value to employers if you know another language.

I recommend Spanish. After all, the U.S. is the third-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and many of us took Spanish in high school. There’s the free Duolingo, the cheap Fluent in Three Months, and the economical intensive summer Spanish course near the U.S. border in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Entrpreneurship. For real-world experience that goes beyond internships, two places stand out. Praxis is a 10-month program that places you in paid positions at cutting-edge companies and includes after-hours courses in entrepreneurship. College Works provides free training during the academic school year to run a lucrative house-painting business in summer. Students are highly sought after by employers at the end of the program.

By doing college the Dream Degree way, you have the opportunity to acquire the skills employers want most. That’s because you can earn a debt-free degree in half the time and for one-fourth the cost (or less) than the rest of the crowd.

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