Of all the skills that schools offer, business skills are the most transferable. For my undergrad degree I did a Bachelor of Computer Science with co-op, which gave me a great balance of technical training and real-world experience prior to landing my first full-time role. But in my final year I decided to take three entrepreneurship courses, and they rounded off my technical skills with incredibly valuable business acumen that helps me navigate the professional world as a new grad. Here are five ways that taking business classes can help you make a strong entrance into your career.
1. Learn financial terminology
The biggest shortcoming of the public school system is that it doesn’t teach us how to deal with money. We don’t learn about taxes and budgeting and all the different intricacies of managing our finances in high school, so when we’re thrust into the real world many of us can feel overwhelmed by money. Taking business courses doesn’t necessarily teach you about personal finances, but it teaches you financial terminology and how to be strategic with money. This knowledge will help you in the long term, no matter what career you choose.
2. Practice public speaking
Not everybody likes public speaking, but odds are you will at some point in your life find yourself in front of a crowd. Business classes are a great safe space to practice your public speaking skills. Presentations are often short, frequent, and done in groups, so it’s a great way to hone your speaking skills.
3. Learn from other people’s mistakes
A lot of business classes focus on case studies examining other people’s successes and failures in business. This is a great way to see the many possible outcomes of one’s decisions and help inform your own decisions down the line.
4. Grow a network of people from diverse backgrounds and fields
Another thing they don’t teach you in high school? How to network. In the professional world, it’s important to be able to network and form connections with other professionals in your field. Business classes are a great place to get practice with this and start building your network.
5. Discover new passions and opportunities
Even if you don’t see yourself as an entrepreneur or a businessperson, taking business classes gives you exposure to a whole realm of people and opportunities. Networking nights, startup weekends, and business plan or pitch competitions are just a few examples of the many opportunities offered that can help business students make strong connections and build their careers.
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