How Students can Secure a Successful Career: 5 Hybrid Skills
December 19, 2017
For the past few years, we’ve been witnessing drastic changes in the labor market. A lot of new professions have come in sight – the natural course of things. It surprises how popular these new occupations have become among young people. Now they sound pretty routine. When today SMM or SEO specialists, app developers, data analysts started their studying in a college 7-10 year ago they couldn’t guess what they would be doing now. Such career paths didn’t even exist. To catch the progress of a market, students shouldn’t just stick to their major and limit themselves by a narrow field of competence. There is no guarantee that after graduation they won’t need to master new, more demanded profession.
To make sure you won’t be on the sidelines of a market headway, you should backup your academic qualification by a set of hybrid skills that will secure the success of your future career.
- Coding skills
By saying this, I don’t mean you need to learn how to program another robot citizen of Saudi Arabia. What I’m talking about is an elementary awareness of what is going on in this mysterious world of coding. Basic algorithms, semantics, at least the very beginning of HTML, a structure of the web and mobile apps – you definitely should know how all these things work. Bits of knowledge of HTML will be considered as a huge plus in the resume of journalists, copywriters, digital marketers, designers and lots of other people who work with any aspect of a web business.
- Learning languages of Asia
It’s obvious already, but the trend keeps gaining its momentum. The U.S. is up to expand the cooperation with an Asian market even further so learning Arabic, Chinese or Japanese would be a smart move for everybody who cares about career prospects. These languages are famous for their complexity. However, there are various online resources and offline courses aiming to make these languages accessible and learnable.
- Writing and research skills
From all the competencies I’m telling you about, these are the only college-grown skills. Don’t neglect your essay tasks in college even if assigned topics seems for you irrelevant or not interesting. Make them relevant.
Even in the age of the images omnipresence, textual content remains to be essential. Blogs, social media posts, vlog scripts, emails, headlines, commercial texts, and even reports – every piece of copy you create shows your ability to think strategically and structurally. So you should learn writing, starting from longreads. Don’t think about how long your essays should be. Instead, focus on the comprehensive unfolding of the main idea of your paper. Don’t get upset if at first writing of long texts seems to you a true torment. The pleasure comes with practice. For a start, if you need to make your essay look longer you can opt for some popular techniques like words flooding. But the next level is to make your writing naturally longer with a clear and detailed structure, corresponding to the key points and supported by essential facts and examples. If you can write a copy like this one, it means you also have advanced research skills. Both research and writing skills build a massive advantage for candidates on most of the non-technical positions.
- Fixer’s skills
No matter what exactly you are going to do professionally after college, problem-solving should be your most wanted ability. How to train it? There are some specific ways, but if you like overprotective conditions, you won’t like any of them. The only way to learn how to solve problems is to… have problems. Go volunteering abroad, take part in student government, try fundraising for some local project. Be initiative, get out of your comfort zone. You need to be Donna Paulsen of your life: know what you want and how to get it, and, at the same time, remain sensitive and empathic.
- Divergent thinking: badly needed
All the articles with closely-themed topics tell you about the importance of time-management proficiency, so-called soft skills, and speed-learning abilities. I won’t talk about them because you’ve already heard enough. What I’d like to underline is a necessity of training your divergent thinking. In short, it’s ability to find multiple solutions for the same problem. People with developed divergent thinking do not just merely follow the pattern, but can come up with non-trivial solutions. It’s not a surprise that kids manage such thinking better than adults. They are not limited by the ways they’ve learned as iconical ones. At every school level and in a college we are taught to do things by the same algorithms, and it’s hard to go beyond them to find a fourth-rate way to handle the problem. But in the world of fast-changing everything, you cannot count on standard decisions. Employers highly value people who can suggest alternative perspectives on challenging tasks.
Even if you are lucky to study at the Ivy League university, you should be ready for the fact that skills you’ve mastered only by doing your academic tasks won’t be enough. So you need to extend your competencies by various extracurriculars. While planning your student life, leave a blank space for learning coding, languages, writing practices, for volunteering, and, if there is still any time, – for your social life.
As Bob Newby Superhero would say, easy-peasy.