Key Transferable Skills University Students Must Develop

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Learn why it is important to develop transferable skills when you are still at university.

I’m sure you’ve hearn many people, from professors, to alumni, to counselors, talk about the need to develop transferable skills during your time at university. Why do so many people put so much importance on this matter? 

When we are studying at university, not only is it important to focus on learning and acquiring knowledge related to the field we are studying, but it is also essential to develop many skills that prepare us for the real world and to compete in the workforce. These transferable skills are essential to secure internships and jobs once we graduate college.

What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are a set of skills that are typically non-technical or subject knowledge related. They can generally be developed in one setting but be transferable to other settings, meaning that they can be useful in a wide range of roles and industries.

This means that, if you develop these demanded transferable skills, you will not only have great job opportunities within your field of study, but also across many other industries, which will give you job security.

In general, transferable skills can be both soft skills and hard skills. 

Soft skills are a set of traits that are related to how we work and interact with those around us, such as communication, time management, leadership, creativity, teamwork, critical and analytical thinking, problem solving, adaptability, among others. 

Hard skills are easier to quantify than soft skills. They may include technical skills, computer skills, marketing skills, presentation skills, project management skills, among many others. In general, hard skills are the ones related to the field we are studying.

Combined, these skills set any student for success, because, as stated previously, they are highly transferable across a wide range of industries and careers. They are highly sought after by employers because they can be used in many different ways in the workplace.

Transferable Skills University Students Must Acquire

Apart from the subject-related skills you will develop during your journey through university, you need to develop the following transferable skills to stand out from the crowd and have a wide range of job options:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Decisiveness
  • Flexibility
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Responsibility
  • Self-motivation
  • Leadership
  • Time management

Developing these skills during your time as a university student will prepare you to compete in the workforce even before you graduate. Once you start looking for a job, make sure you highlight these skills in your application documents, your résumé, and during your interview, as they can go a long way to persuading employers and convincing them you are the right fit for the job. 

On top of that, these skills will not only come in handy when looking for a job and when putting them into practice in your job, but also during your studies. Being able to manage your time efficiently, being responsible, communicating effectively with your peers, studying under pressure, being self-motivated, among all the previously mentioned skills will enable you to succeed in your studies as well. 

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