Choose classes with your career in mind

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As a college student, you’ll face the decision of taking an “easy A” course or taking something more challenging, that you know will benefit you. Your first instinct will be to take the “easy A” course and I don’t blame you. College is hard. You will take several demanding courses at once, and sometimes, it’s nice to level the playing field. However, I’d like to challenge you to change this mentality.

When selecting a class, whether it’s a general education course or an elective for your major, consider the skills you will need to achieve your desired career. Take me for an example. My major is communication with a public relations emphasis. This semester, I decided to enroll in Communication 330- Social Media in PR because someday I’d love to work with social media. Makes sense, right? But my decision to enroll in this course as opposed to another was determined in many ways. Here are some steps you can take to ensure the course you’re enrolling in will be beneficial in the long run:

Ask around
A great way to determine whether the class will benefit you is to ask students who already took the course! As a new student, I would encourage you to get involved in student organizations to meet upperclassmen in your major. It was through Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) that I heard about this social media course. My friends in the organization encouraged me to enroll by explaining how much fun they had learning the ropes of social media.

Read up
Check out the course catalog to get a brief description of the class to help you understand its purpose. This is especially beneficial when selecting general education courses. You might not realize that a psychology course will help you better understand marketing or that a sociology class will help you get your foot in the door with non-profits. Do your research before blowing off a potentially useful course.

Use online sources
Rate My Professors is a great tool to learn more about the one who will be teaching the course. Simply enter the name of the professor and the site will show you a rating based on what other students thought of the course and professor. This will paint you a picture of the expected workload and difficulty of assignments. But remember: Don’t judge a book by its cover! Make sure you are looking through reviews from students who took the course you are considering. A student who took a 400-level course will obviously have a different perspective than one who took a 100-level.

UW-Stevens Point blogger Chloe Wiersma is a communication major with a public relations emphasis and a business administration minor from Beaver Dam, Wis.

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