Five Courses Every Student Should Take in College

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‘Tis the season for graduation.

Many folks will be pursuing a baccalaureate or master’s degree in the fall.

Here are a few courses everyone should sign up for regardless of major or specialization.

In no particular order…..

Social Psychology:  Not only will you be introduced to the many biases and idiosyncrasies that govern human behavior, you will be given plenty of opportunity to learn sound critical thinking practices. Moving past the surface appearance of a person or idea to examine its underlying processes is an under-developed  skill in the world today. Many of the most commercially successful advertisement and product campaigns have their roots in the field of Social Psychology. An in-depth knowledge of Social Psychology provides the tools for exploring, understanding and influencing the people you encounter everyday.

Introductory Macroeconomics: A basic understanding of macroeconomics is essential for evaluating many of the political and financial proposals brought to your attention everyday. Armed with even a rudimentary knowledge of macroeconomics, you will be able to point out the benefits and drawbacks of a new healthcare plan or explain why you are against a newly-instituted government program. Macroeconomics adds to your foundation for sound decision making all areas of your life.

Public Speaking: The sooner you conquer your fear of presenting to a group of people, the better. The ability to articulate your views and ideas to a crowded room is of great importance if you ever aspire to a leadership position. Even if you don’t’ have visions of public grandeur, it always helps to be able to clearly communicate your ideas when the occasion arises.

Negotiation: Not all negotiation occurs at a bargaining table. Life is comprised of dozens of negotiation situations everyday. You negotiate with your parents to use their, car, or you negotiate with your co-workers to help you with an assignment. A basic knowledge of negotiation theory and tactics will only increase the chances you will accomplish your objectives throughout the course of your life.

Introduction to Behavioral Economics: Fusing elements from psychology, economics and game theory, this course features practical applications of what you learn in the class room. Instructions on how to maximize profit when bidding in an auction or setting an ideal price for your widget can be found in any behavioral economics class.

**Bonus**

Introduction to Business Law:  A great course for a peek into the basic principles of the legal system. You will learn what constitutes a business/legal relationship (privity of contract) between parties in the eyes of the law. You will understand the level of moral and fiduciary responsibility expected by the legal system from each and every American citizen. This course also provides ample opportunity  to expand your problem solving abilities.

You may have noticed the central theme linking these courses is their focus on human interaction.

“People skills” are critical for getting much of what you want out of life. These courses provide a good cross-section of information for developing creative problem solving and reasoning abilities. If you can learn to examine problems without succumbing to “knee-jerk” reactionary logic or craft solutions based on comprehensive understanding of the human psyche, than you will be wayahead of the game.

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