Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Degree Programs: Using That Extra Time Wisely

A typical college course is over in about two years, the goal being to connect you to a career faster. But there's a special sort of college program in existence for students who understand the advantage of taking the time to acquire a broader intellectual base along with their skills. Called College Degree Programs, they run for four years, and focus on adding theoretical training to the practical skills training commonly associated with a college program. While it does take a bit longer to get this sort of degree, there's things a student can do to make use of that time while they get their Toronto degree, specifically, prepping for the job market. After all, you'll need a job when all this is over, and while your education will open a path as directly as it can, it's up to you to take your own steps down that path. Here's what you can do to prepare.

Figure out the skills you need and the skills you have
Near the beginning of your program, do a bit of research on your ideal job or your ideal company to work at, and figure out what skills you'll need to have that job or work there. After that, focus on acquiring those skills, through classes or through independent study. Of course, college programs are all about ensuring you're equipped with skills, but in a four-year program you can do due diligence to make sure you have them all.

Really polish that resume
This includes making sure you have things to put on them, which links back into the skills training mentioned above. Spend that time studying how to make a good resume that really highlights what you do, and is unique enough to stand out, but not to the point of needless ornamentation. Fortunately, the career centre at your college will be able to help you out, and you should become well-acquainted with that place.

Build a portfolio, too
Speaking of a portfolio, you'd be surprised at how few applicants bother to create one. It's an excellent way to show a proof-of-concept of the work you can do, by showing the work you've done. A good portfolio is both a personal website, and something physical you can hand off to an employer in the middle of an interview. So, begin looking for assignments or achievements that are particularly noteworthy, and document them.

Don't be afraid to modify your plans
It may come to pass over those four years that you decide your specific goals don't necessarily fit you. There's a variety of reasons for this. Maybe you've done the research and found elements of your job that you don't care for, or a particular strand of career that suits you better. Or maybe you've realized you're good at something else entirely. Don't let this intimidate you. It's better to pick a career path you're happy and talented at, and the extra time afforded by a four-year degree program lets you figure yourself out before you graduate, with no need for hindsight.

No comments:

Post a Comment