Far too many people spend all that time and money on a college education, only to graduate without many of the important digital skills that would add a whole other dimension to their post-graduation CV. Your major should certainly be your primary focus, but there are other competencies you can and should pick up on your own to really make yourself employable after you graduate. Below are the 3 best digital skills to leave college with.
Intermediate to Advanced Excel Skills
So much of the modern workplace runs off Microsoft Excel and Excel-based programs that not having at least a basic understanding of Excel functionality when applying for many white-collar jobs is immediately disqualifying. Having superior excel skills, however, will help push your resume to the top of the pile.
If you have an advanced understanding of many of the more sophisticated functions that help synthesize, integrate and transform both data and text, you bring a unique skill set to the table that employers find valuable. Consider investing in an Excel foundational skills course to help turn your run-of-the-mill excel experience into a real asset.
If you are already studying in a business, and particularly a marketing-specific discipline, then you likely have quite a bit of exposure to SEO, one of the foundational elements of digital marketing. If you aren’t in one of these programs, this is a digital skill that you should definitely look into.
The web is awash in useful information and free training on SEO, which includes things like link building, keyword optimization, and metadata. The marketing side of every successful online organization makes effective use of, among other things, SEO techniques and knowing how to contribute value here is very attractive on a resume.
Adobe Creative Suite
If you are looking to fill an elective in college and are unsure about what to take, consider that creativity is the most important soft skill that employers are currently searching for. If you take a graphic design elective you are not only learning transferable skills with industry-leading software, but you get to build a portfolio of work that you can include in your job applications after you graduate, showcasing your creative side.
Learning Adobe skills allows you to contribute to marketing and sales efforts, internal communication and promotional material, and press releases and PR content. Even if you aren’t hired directly for these roles, having an employee who can effectively communicate and collaborate across departments is always a major plus.
As many recent graduates can attest to, a mere diploma–even one in an in-demand discipline or industry–is often not enough to secure you fast, meaningful post-college employment. The diploma is all well and good, but to stand out above the rest, you need to demonstrate competency with a number of in-demand digital skills. The above 3 are a solid foundation upon which to build.