While it is important for college students to focus on their academics and graduate with excellent grades, it is also important that they develop skills that will be useful to their careers. In this blog post, I have curated a list of 6 skill development activities for college students to gain relevant abilities that are essential for job success.
College degrees don’t exactly focus on equipping students with softcore skills, however, college gives students the opportunity to develop the skill through group project work, group assignments, interactive classroom sessions, and social events organized by the college. Through these activities, students are open to opportunities that will allow them to develop essential skills such as leadership, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, etc. that will prepare them for job success.
In today’s workforce, employers and clients seek to employ graduates with these soft skills because they know how well it contributes to the growth of a company. Acquiring soft skills also helps you grow as an individual and better prepares you for whatever life may throw at you.
In this blog post, I have curated a list of 6 skill development activities for college students to carry out. If you are a college professor, it is important that you encourage your students to gain soft skills and even introduce skill development activities that will help them gain these skills in a fun and exciting manner.
College professors can help students gain any soft skills of their choice by introducing them to the skill development activities discussed here. But before we get into it, let’s see why it is important to gain soft skills as a college student and the types of skills that would be best for you to get.
Why is Skill Development Important for College Students
The following are important skill development for college students:
- It presents an opportunity for college students to develop self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills.
- College students are able to build problem-solving and critical thinking skills and collaboration.
- Skill development in college students instills emotional maturity.
- Helps students become independent thinkers and encourages them to plan for their future
- Allows college students to gain qualities that are relevant to effective workplace performance.
- Helps students in school and future career success.
- Makes students learn faster and promotes independence
- Students are better prepared for the demands of the workforce.
What Type of Skills Should College Students Lookout For?
The type of skills college students should look out for include:
- Self-management skills
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Time management
- Presenting and public speaking
- Empathy, decisiveness, and optimism
- Effective oral and verbal communication skills
- Agility and adaptability skills
Developing these skills can help you begin your path toward personal development which can help you maximize your potential and achieve your career goals.
Skill Development Activities for College Students
Here, you will find a list of activities that college students can try out to gain relevant skills that promotes job success. College professors and lecturers can also try out some of the activities with their students to help them gain employable skills.
The skill development activities for college students are:
- Online Video Session Debate
- Complimenting Others
- Emotion Charades
- Collaborative Concept Mapping
- Drawing Activity
- Brainstorming Activity
1. Online Video Session Debate
Debates are a fun way to promote critical thinking, communication, research, and problem-solving skills among individuals, whether you are one of the debaters or a member. The online video session debate is one of the skill development activities for college students and it is no different from a traditional debate but in this case, rather than a face-to-face debate it will be done via an online video call platform such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype.
This way, students will gain hands-on skills on how to hold meetings using a video call session which is common in today’s workforce. Aside from having a debate, students can use this model to have a class-to-class exchange, interview each other and experts who could be one of their professors, and engage in other conversations.
2. Complimenting Others
This may seem “cheap” but complimenting others is an activity you can start doing to develop your communication and empathy skills. When you get compliments, you feel good about yourself, don’t you? It is also the same when you compliment others. They feel good about themselves and you could kick off a friendly conversation from there.
If you are a college professor, compliment your students as this will help boost their confidence and public speaking skills which are essential for employability. You may also encourage your students to compliment each other by practicing with the Compliment Share Circle, where students give and receive compliments from each other. This activity is best to use during the first day of class or at a meeting.
3. Emotion Charades
If you are a college student looking to gain decision-making and empathy skills then you should get involved in playing the emotional charades game which can be played with other students or members of the family. It is a game that involves recognizing emotions and acting with empathy. You may play this game using pictures or a real representation.
4. Collaborative Concept Mapping
This is a skill development activity for college students to learn new things and refresh their prior knowledge. The activity involves learning about new subjects and improving mental models and this can be done individually and in groups.
Carrying out this activity promotes students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities as well as decision-making skills. It also helps to develop new understanding and prevents disjointed thinking and fragmented ideas.
5. Drawing Activity
This activity may seem childish but it is for kids as well as it is for adults and it helps in skill development for college students you can either practice on your own or with a small group of students. Studies show that drawing is a great way to improve your self-esteem and by doing this activity, you will gain other skills such as creativity and critical thinking which are essential skills that employers are looking for in an employee.
And aside from the workforce, they are relevant skills that will help you in life.
6. Brainstorming Activity
This is an activity you should constantly practice if you want to gain critical thinking and creativity skills. Brainstorming is an activity that involves generating as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. When you practice brainstorming with other students, you will gain additional teamwork and cooperation skills which are essential skills for employment.
These skill development activities bring value to college students to develop them academically and professionally. College professors may also think up other activities that will promote skill development among students but you have to explain the value of the tasks and how they will benefit those who participate.