Senior Summer: Learn a (Relevant) Skill

When faced with the questions “What should I do with my free time?” or “How can boost up my resume?”, one of the answers, inevitably will be “Learn a skill!” I agree except when the next words out of consist of some coding language I should take up. No. Just no…or rather, not yet.

I’m all for learning how to code and becoming familiar with what’s behind the monitor rather than frustrated with the the front of it. But before you run off with Girls who Code or Codecademy, doesn’t it make sense to learn something relevant to your intended career first?

If you feel at home in a lab, shouldn’t you being fully proficient in Excel in order to deliver your findings? If you have dreams of filmmaking, shouldn’t you learn how to frame a shot and use video editing software?

(Screenshot of today’s Audacity tutorial)

I have no doubt that there are some of you that need to learn your Java, C++, Python, HTML, but most of us are destined for other industries and hopefully not in want of a The Internshiptype career makeover. So talk to professors, alumni, and other professionals in the industry you want to be in–pick their brains about what skills they learned before breaking into their career, skills they picked from experience, and where they think the field is headed.

So Where Can You Pick Up These Skills?

  • Online Courses (see previous post for free course engines)
  • Free Classes at Community Centers near You- Not much in the way of software editing, but definitely helpful for hands-on learning such as photography.
  • YouTube videos– Short tutorials are literally a search button away
  • Lynda.com tutorials– Normally you have to pay for a Lynda.com subscription, but they do offer free trials and many schools across the country are partnering with them in order to provide free subscriptions to students. They have hundreds of thorough tutorials, including those for video, blog, and audio editing software. (See screenshot above)

If, after nailing your relevant skills (or at least, starting to nail them), you find yourself itching for your fancy acronyms (you know–your CSS and HTML), by all means, go ahead. Just make sure you’re preparing yourself for your future as well.

[InsertCleverPhraseHere],

Ash M. Monty

[Imported from http://www.montysmayhem.blogspot.com ]

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3 thoughts on “Senior Summer: Learn a (Relevant) Skill

  1. Pingback: Senior Summer: Summer Break (End of Summer Blog Series) | Monty's Mayhem

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