University Students: Make Sure You Develop These Skills

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Find out why developing these transferable skills is so important while you are still at university. 

It’s pretty common to hear many people talk about the importance of developing transferable skills, from professors, to classmates, to counselors. Why is it that so many people put such an emphasis on these skills?

During our time at university, it is essential not only to learn about our field of studies, but also to develop a wide range of skills that aren’t related to any specific field. These skills, called transferable skills, are extremely important and students should focus on developing them while at university, as they prepare us for the real world and to compete in the workforce. Not only will they help you when looking for internships, but they will also come in handy when competing for a job in the future, as well as in fields of study other than your own.

Transferable Skills: What are these skills?

Transferable skills include skills that, typically, aren’t technical or subject-knowledge related. This means that they aren’t necessarily related to a single area and can be transferable to other settings and fields. These skills are especially important because they can be applied in a wide range of roles and industries.

Developing transferable skills goes a long way in helping you succeed not only in your field, but also across other industries and job options. As these skills can be applied to almost any job, those who develop these, the more, the better, skills enjoy job security.

Transferable skills include both soft skills and hard skills

Soft skills are related to how we work and interact with those around us, such as communication, time management, leadership, creativity, teamwork, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, among others. 

Hard skills are easier to quantify than soft skills. They include technical skills, computer skills, marketing skills, presentation skills, project management skills, among many others. In general, hard skills are the ones related to the field we are studying, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be applied to other fields. 

Combined, these skills set any student for success. As stated previously, they are highly transferable across a wide range of industries and careers, which makes them highly sought after by employers, as they can be used in many different ways in the workplace.

Main Transferable Skills University Students Must Acquire

In addition to the subject-related skills you will develop during your journey through university, you must develop the following transferable skills if you want to have a wide spectrum of job options:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Decisiveness
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Responsibility
  • Self-motivation
  • Leadership
  • Time management

Developing these skills during your time as a university student will prepare you to compete in the workforce even before you graduate. Once you start looking for a job, make sure you highlight these skills in your application documents, your résumé, and during your interview, as they can go a long way in persuading employers and convincing them you are the right fit for the job. 

On top of that, these skills will not only come in handy when looking for a job and when putting them into practice in your job, but also during your studies. Being able to manage your time efficiently, being responsible, communicating effectively with your peers, studying under pressure, being self-motivated, among all the previously mentioned skills will enable you to succeed in your studies as well. 

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