The 10 College Classes to Take Even if Not in Your Major

Published: March 17, 2014

Guidance Counselors and Advisors help us get into the classes we need to get all the credits and experience necessary for that precious degree that will get us a better place in the world. But I wouldn't count on them to know every single class that will help you in the real world; having completed 3 (almost 4) majors in college with a 4.0, I began to find something interesting after going into the workplace and real world living; many of the classes I thought were only core specific were handy in everyday situations or in situations that they might not seem to have fit! So if I have any advice for this next generation, it's that no matter what major you take, please take these classes for your benefit and the world's!

  1. Management/Supervision

    This class is meant for Businsess Administration and Marketing Management majors, but trust me when I say the principles here are more helpful than anything you can get in group therapy! The purpose of management and supervision is to learn how to get along with people in a workplace and get work done with them and through them. It teaches principles of leadership as well as teamwork making it more practical than the company retreat that has the 'blanket of trust' exercise! I found this class's material was useful even as an entry level employee in getting my fellow employees either pysched or calmed down about situations in the workplace and that went for issues in my community as well.

  2. Consumer Math, Economics, or Accounting

    In an economy going pear-shaped, it's just practical to take a class in how to budget, what to look for in signing financial or legal documents, and advice in how to invest and harvest from investments. Need I say more?

  3. Accounting I or 101

    Getting a CPA is a difficult task to undertake, but generalized accounting is a lifesaver in many ways. Not only will you fill out your own takes differently, take stock of your own assets and budget differently, but you'll look at your economics in your personal life and the world a little differently with perhaps more confidence and definitely more information!

  4. Anatomy and Physiology I or 101 (and II or 102)

     

     

    Not a medical student? Okay, but do you have an owner's manual for the most important piece of machinery there is . . . your body? Probably not. This class may not cover pathology or even treat you as cut and dry as the questionable WebMD site and others like it, but it tells you what makes you tick, why it makes you tick, and the components necessary for thriving. When you understand your physical composition, it's easier to make choices about exercise and what nutrients, versus what foods you're craving, to put into your body to get certain results. All in all, I think this class needs to start being mandatory at the elementary level, but until then, learn to be more body aware by learning about what bodies are, what they do, and where everything is located! This will also make you a more informed patient and that will be the best form of healthcare reform there is!

  5. Medical Terminology

    Who hasn't listened to their doctor speak some of the time and wondered 'Where did you learn that language?'? Medical terminology is its own language and is more widely usable by the average person than even legal jargon. Why? Because it pertains to our health and possibly the health of others. Again, this class will make you more body aware, but also aware of the medical system and able to ask intelligent questions and make informed decisions about treatments based upon what you know is available and what it will involve!

  6. Psychology and Social Psychology

    I would say that this one is a 'no brainer' siince most students are required to take it anyway, but if it is optional for you, opt to take it. Why? It's great to know how social structures work and how our minds and personalities form as well as the theories and thoughts of great minds who believe they are formed and behave in specific ways. Besides, this might also help you understand better how and why to get a date, wink wink.

  7. Technical and Digital Communications

    As our world relies more on technology, so does the business world no matter what profession you decide on! Digital comunications will help you put together presentations, learn to use video communications tools, and how to work in-office communications systems. This is helpful no matter where you work and can even be helpful in the home when trying to set up Skype meetings with the family!

    Technical Communications is more important as it will teach you the protocols for memos, reports, commands, resume's, cover letters, thank you letters, and even nettiquette which is in great need right now. If your reputation among your friends and family is one of being proper you might end up being ostracized for a short time, but in the end you'll find them appreciating your manners and employers impressed with your tact and propriety at all times. 

  8. Introduction to Microcomputers and Office Programs

    Used the demo options on your office programs? Great; so can anyone else. Classes in Microcomputers help you understand how computers work including their energy usage, processing, physical components, and language (binary). It also gives you an in-depth training session in office software that employers just love to have on hand. Once you're done with this class, it may actually surprise you how often people come to you for help with things that you once considered over your head. I know I was surprised and you'll enjoy being able to navigate shortcuts in office programs like a pro as well as perhaps make some small modifications to your system (to really build or help add on to a computer, that's a whole different class). 

  9. Advertising and Retail Management

    Not planning on working in advertising, retail, or business at all? That's alright, but you'll always be selling something in the professional world: yourself. By taking classes that teach you the process of making something look and seem appealing, distributing it, and gathering research and feedback, you're prepped to get your resume out there and start trying to get hired! That's right, these classes help you to sell your own talents and that is the most important aspect of the professional world! Also, retail and advertising principles make you a more informed consumer which helps you make intelligent decisions when buying products and weighing your options as a buyer!

  10. Public Speaking

    Glossophobia trumps thanatophobia; more people are afraid of using their voice publicly than they are of dying. This is from some deep-seeded fear of rejection, but that aside, a class in public speaking only adds to your skills in the workplace as a leader, as a good employee, as a good citizen in your community, and perhaps even as a good parent. Public Speaking doesn't just teach the way to get up on a pedastal and give a lecture on a subject, it teaches you how to verbally approach a subject, think while you are speaking, actively listen and prepare to respond, and even to see your voice as one of your most powerful tools as an individual. More people using their voices in their everyday lives to solve problems would not only lessen violence, it would also increase cooperation and meaningful change!

Once the cap and gown are on and then off and you're out into the rest of the world, you'll look back at many of the classes at first and laugh thinking 'Why did I even bother?' or 'Can you believe I lost sleep over that?'. In the long run, you'll find that something from each of your classes was helpful, even the core classes required that had nothing to do with your major. These classes listed above won't just help you as a professional no matter what profession that is, they'll help you as a human being with health needs, a consumer, and a citizen of a community!

Good luck and take good chances!