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What classes can you take in college that would teach you life skills, as in not relating to a major?

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Marwan’s Answer

I would highly recommend classes in psychology. I have degrees in psychology and economics, and I use what I have learned in psychology far more often--in nearly every aspect of my day. Understanding why people think the way that they do, how they got there, how to best communicate--all elements of empathy--are real, tangible life skills that help out at work and in every one of your relationships with the people around you.

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Alison’s Answer

This is a great question! Unfortunately, many colleges do not offer enough of these classes. I would look into your college's accounting program. My school offered a personal finances course that was extremely helpful for learning how to budget you money, pay taxes, manage loans, etc. Even though this course was listed under the accounting program, it was for non-accounting majors. I would suggest reaching out to your college advisors and professors for specific courses offered at your school.

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Megan’s Answer

Hi Amber, I would recommend taking a basic finance class. Many colleges will offer an introductory Personal Finance class. This can help you understand budgeting, how to save money, and different ways to utilize banking and investment companies. The class I took was very helpful, we even created a budget for ourselves and had a challenge to stick to it. Good luck!

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Michael’s Answer

Hello Amber,

Great question! Some of the classes that seemed least related to my major have been the most useful throughout school and my professional career.

I started university in political science and public administration. At the time, it didn't seem practical enough to me; I wanted concrete solutions to real-world problems, not abstract concepts rooted in the dense language of academia. After three years, I dropped it in favour of my career (running out of funding helped the decision), and eventually ended up in commerce and accounting. At some point, I realized that I used my background in political science all of the time - at work, in everyday conversation, and in my new degree. Philosophers and political economists were suddenly directly relevant to discussions about ethics, organizational behaviour, controls, and performance management. Classic ethical dilemmas were incredibly useful when delivering training about ethics and values. Topics in international relations and political discourse translated into background knowledge of media theory and marketing. In short: what I thought was useless at the time has proved to be profoundly meaningful in almost everything I do.

Pragmatism is great when looking at your options - narrowing your focus will help you prioritize and make decisions. However, I would strongly encourage you to consider also building a strong base of general knowledge in arts and the humanities. You might be surprised at how often you use it.

Best regards,


Michael recommends the following next steps:

Think about the profound questions that have always interested you - are they about people, concepts, things?
Look at the academic calendar. Do any of those classes speak to those questions?
Consider your academic and career paths. Do you have flexibility in enrolling in or auditing electives? Can you take a minor?

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Chirag R.’s Answer

Dont mean to be cheesy but some things cannot be learnt in a class and LIFE skills is definitely on top of the list. You acquire this skills as you grow up within a family or even if you did not have one. You will learn life lessons (some good and some bad) at every step of your life .. at school, at job whatever it is .. try and learn from a leader or mentor, keep your eyes open, observe and learn as well .. and put it into practice

You will be amazed at how much you will learn !

Good Luck !

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Richard’s Answer

Personal finance.
So many students graduate without any knowledge of managing their expenses or the basics of saving and investing

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Tracey’s Answer

Hi Amber.

Great questions. Most colleges/universities have a class that freshman are required to take that teaches them how to get acclimated to college life. It would best to ask an advisor at the school of your choice if such classes exist. Another route is check out youtube videos that talk about the subject or even books that you can read at leisure.

There are a ton of great resources out there.

Best of luck to you.

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Tamara M.’s Answer

I would highly recommend taking Communication Studies courses. Industries, jobs and technologies are constantly changing. In a globally connected world, communication has become an increasingly complex and valuable skill, particularly when we intersect constantly with cultures and perspectives that radically differ from our own.

These courses help you develop a wide knowledge base and empowers you to focus broadly. The disciplines that you learn can be applied to solve everyday problems in public, professional, and private lives through learning how to relate, advocate, and negotiate. Since it's a soft skill that continues to evolve, it'll make you more well-rounded and valuable to any type of organization.

I was undecided for a few semesters while in college, but because of how much I enjoyed these courses, I chose to make it my major. It's led me to a successful career in sales across a variety of industries, and now working for a fast growing, cloud start up in San Francisco, CA.

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Rachel’s Answer

Conversational Spanish. This was the best "life-skill" class that I took in college and it has helped me for the last 15 years.