If you’re lucky, you’ll be required to do more than the freshman writing course and will have to take additional courses that enable you to develop those skills more fully.  You should not be able to graduate without knowing how to write well.  (Many do, but their career paths are affected.)  Effective communication is both written and verbal, and a worthwhile course also offers the chance to make presentations before others.  

Texting, e-mail, and twittering are informal subsets of communications skills.  They reflect back on you—your intelligence and your level of maturity.  Appearing sloppy or illiterate, even in e-mails, can tank your career.  This is a clear example of where there is a connection between courses, skills and careers. Take your writing classes seriously.


As noted, you will require some quantitative skills in life, whether when budgeting for home or business or helping your offspring with math homework.  While your calculator may do the computations, you need to understand the underlying concepts. The work life you encounter or embrace will usually require higher-level skills.  If you own a business you must calculate your profit-and-loss statements.  

As a marketer you may have to figure out market share ratios.  Certainly those in accounting or finance, and also in science, need strong quantitative skills.  Reasoning skills and accuracy are also key.                          

connecting courses, skills and careers

Click image to purchase

Colleges usually require you to take math at some level.  You may take a placement test, which determines your strengths and your best fit for courses.  Or your high school transcript, read by someone knowledgeable, helps determine where you belong in the early math class offerings.  Often math is a prerequisite for other courses such as chemistry, economics, or accounting.  

If you do not have the basic math skills, you cannot succeed in more advanced courses in these areas, which rely on concepts you should have mastered earlier. If you are thinking of a life in business or sciences math courses are a clear example of the connection between courses, skills and careers. Math is often considered a gateway subject because early failure in it can limit other options.  

If (as with me) it is not your strength, or your high school did not offer higher-level work in it, then you need to seek out the help available through tutors or faculty support.

Foreign Languages  

It is almost trite now to say that we are a global economy.  The path to the chief executive’s seat these days usually involves a stop in some foreign posting.  It is another area where you will connect courses, skills and your career path. International 

relations pervade every aspect of our lives.  Yet often in the U.S., unless you are a student for whom English is a second language, little or no effort to learn other languages is evident.  

Finish reading article on next page