When you’re studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification you quickly become an expert in your chosen subject. But whatever course you choose to study, you’ll also find that you develop a wealth of transferable skills.
These oft-forgotten ‘bonus’ skills make you a better student while you’re still studying, and equip you for work in almost any industry or profession.
Here’s a quick run-down of the valuable qualities you’re sure to develop when you choose to study online or on campus:
1. Time management
Perhaps the most obvious skill you’ll develop as a part-time student. After you’ve been juggling work, family, deadlines and research for a few years, a few workplace projects and targets are a piece of cake.
Closely linked to time management, organisation skills are essential for all part-time students. If you can prove that you can handle the pressure of working on several tasks at the same time, you’ll get ahead in any career.
A highly-valued skill in a great many professions; if you know how to find sources of accurate and reliable information to use in projects and reports, you’ll quickly become an irreplaceable team member.
4. Social networking
An often overlooked skill, social networking skills developed through study group discussions and more can help to make a workplace meeting run more smoothly, build client relationships or just improve colleague and office relations.
5. Presenting ideas
In almost every job, there comes a time when a presentation or report is required. If you’re already a pro at dissimilating ideas into an easily-digestible format (like an assignment!) then you’re already half-way there.
This is one skill that you’ll naturally develop whatever subject you’re studying, whether you’re evaluating a resource or researching a topic. The ability to weigh up the pros and cons of a project, client or product are invaluable in any workplace.
You might not realise it, but every assignment is the product of hundreds of small decisions, e.g. your choice of words, argument, resources etc. After you’ve ‘practised’ with your latest essay, it’s easy to apply this skill to larger workplace decisions.
You don’t have to pursue a career in sales or business to need persuasion skills; they’re important in many day-to-day workplace meetings. As a student you’ll naturally develop them as you build your case in essays and discussions.
9. Overcoming obstacles
There’s probably not a single student out there that hasn’t encountered an obstacle along the way, be it a bad grade, a dull topic or confusion around a subject. It might seem hard at the time but the skills you develop as you overcome each obstacle are invaluable.
One of the most obvious skills a part-time student gains; choosing to give up some of your free time to gain a valuable qualification shows any future or current employee that you’re passionate and committed to your own development.
The ability to keep your passion and motivation going after several years of part-time study is a really difficult skill, and not one that should be underestimated. A potential employer looking at your CV is sure to value this.
Part-time study is often a personal journey, with students growing in confidence the more they conquer difficult topics and learn to express themselves in discussions and reports. It might not be a quantifiable skill, but it’ll shine through in interviews.
13. Problem solving
This skill features on many CVs, but it’s a difficult one to prove. Part-time students can often cite a number of problems they had to overcome while they studied e.g. a difficult topic, a hard-to-meet deadline or a confusing module.
An underappreciated skill, students will develop this naturally as they listen to lectures or have one-on-one time with tutors and support. This is a great skill for managing others, or just working as part of a team.
A skill that comes in handy in the home and also the workplace. Managing a household budget while working and studying part-time is an impressive feat and one you should be shouting about on your CV (if you aren’t already!).
If you’re currently studying, get these skills added to your CV as soon as possible. And if you’re not currently studying, why not? Download a prospectus.