How General Education Requirements Prepare You for Your New Career

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You weren’t born yesterday, and this certainly isn’t your first time around the block. You have professional experience, but your recent job just wasn’t for you and now it’s time for a new career.

Like you, many adults are choosing to go back to school to gain the knowledge and skills they need to step into a new career field. Upon your decision to go back to school I’m sure you’ve notice the majority of your courses will focus on the programmatic area you chose to study; such as business, technology or criminal justice. And while these courses often receive the most attention during your time in school, you will also need to complete the necessary general education requirements in order to earn your degree.

While for some adults going back to school the thought of taking general education courses such as communication, math or humanities may seem like a waste of time, these required courses are actually essential to prepare you for your new career.

How General Education Courses Impact Your Career

As you begin your journey back to school you can expect to learn a variety of different things that will impact your ability to complete your career change. In addition to what you will learn in your core courses, you cannot ignore these “gen ed” classes because there are many significant skills you will acquire or hone that you may not be aware of.

“Ask any employer and they will tell you there is nothing they value more than general education,” said Brooks Doherty, General Education Dean at Rasmussen College and former General Education Course Instructor. “And while many new or returning college students just want to focus on the core skills, they soon realize, just as employers do, the skills taught in general education required courses are the ones that prepare you for advancing steadily in your field.”

Without a doubt, employers are looking to add professionals that possess not only the career-focused knowledge, but also the intangible skills necessary to do the job well.

Significant Skills Everyone Should Have

Throughout your completion of the general education requirements you will develop soft skills that can help you stand out in the crowd of job seekers. By understanding the value in completing these courses you will build up your skills in several key areas that employers look for, including:

  • Critical Thinking Skills – The ability to evaluate a problem with the information given and determine an appropriate course of action.
  • Written and Oral Communication Skills – The ability to convey information effectively to others.
  • Problem Solving Skills – Being able to identify problems and determine appropriate solutions.
  • Global Awareness – A proper amount of knowledge of global issues, cultures and perspectives.

It may be hard to immediately recognize it, but the sooner you realize the need to further develop these skills, the better off you will be. Expanding your depth of knowledge through required general education courses will prepare you to successfully transition into a new career field.

Skills that General Education Classes Develop

The following will help you understand exactly how these general education courses help you develop your skills.

  • English

Courses in this area of study teach you the essential communications skills for organizing and communicating information in the proper forms of written communication.

  • Communications

In these courses you learn about the processes and strategies within communications to further develop your written and oral communications skills in order to use language effectively.

  • Social Science

In this area of course work you’ll typically learn the disciplines within society and human behaviors while developing your problem solving skills, in addition to becoming more globally aware of how the population as a whole may be impacted.

  • Math

These courses help you develop a necessary comprehension level of arithmetic, while also expanding of your key critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • Humanities

Courses in this area of study will expand your understanding of the creative side of humanity in order to build up your critical thinking and global awareness skills.

While general education requirements may not be why you decided to go back to school and earn your degree, they certainly are a major part of your degree that can directly impact your ability to succeed in your new career. Understanding these courses are critical and not just general is your first step in getting yourself prepared for a bright future.

About the author

Grant Tilus

Grant works for Collegis Education and writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. He aims to inspire, motivate and inform current and prospective students.

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