Today’s guest post comes from Richard Martin, an adjunct communications professor at George Mason University and proud Millennial. Thanks for the post, Richard!
“I think the lie we’ve told people in the marketplace is that a degree gets you a job. A degree doesn’t get you a job. What gets you a job is the ability to carry yourself into that room and shake a hand and look someone in the eye and have people skills. These are the things that cause someone to become successful.” –Dave Ramsey, author and radio host
As a recent graduate with two degrees, few truer words have been spoken about the state of the current job market for young professionals. The days of being assured a job straight out of college are over. We must set ourselves apart from the masses by demonstrating a unique set of skills.
One asset we do have is our knowledge and familiarity with the digital aspect of communication and business. Now, take it one step further and use the innovative tools at your fingertips.
Here are the most profitable skills for young professionals we can learn FOR FREE online:
1. Coding & Computer Science
2. Language Studies
One of the biggest failings of the American educational system is the lack of secondary language education in schools. That’s why bi or multi-lingual young adults are hot commodities. People pay hundreds of dollars for language programs like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, but forget all of those and check out Duolingo.com, a free online database that teaches multiple languages through the use of games. The site even has an app for learning on the go:
3. Financial Investment
Did you skip all of those business classes in college? Don’t know the difference between an IRA and a CD? Investopedia.com has you covered as you can learn the basics of budgeting, daytrading and credits & loans:
4. Interpersonal Skills
Face it. You’re going to have to talk to people. Networking and communication skills are the most vital regardless of your job. The blog Dating 101 by dating coach Nick Notas, might focus on relationships but has stellar advice on how to approach strangers, hold an actual conversation and develop business contacts. When searching for a career, you will quickly find out that your online Rolodex will be more effective than blindly sending out your résumé:
5. Make Hobbies Work For You
Most importantly, always make time and effort for the things that interest you. Do you love film? Take up video production and camera work. Are you an Instagram sensation? Study professional photography and Photoshop. Whatever your passion, find how those skills can translate into your actual career and you will be much happier for it.
Richard Martin is an adjunct professor in the Communications department at George Mason University. Follow Richard at @rj_martin.
Featured photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight (Flickr)