When you’re studying for an undergraduate or career qualification you will become an expert in your chosen subject. Whatever course you choose to study, you’ll also find that you develop a wealth of transferable skills – this is even true of online courses where you study in your own time at home.
These oft-forgotten ‘bonus’ skills make you a better student while you’re still studying, and equip you for work in almost any industry or profession. You don’t have to actually attend a University or College to develop these additional skills and qualities, and they’ll be with you for life too.
1. Time management
Perhaps the most obvious skill you’ll develop as a part-time student. After you’ve been juggling work, family, deadlines and research for a few years, a few home-learning projects and targets are a piece of cake.
Closely linked to time management, organisation skills are essential for all part-time students. If you can prove that you can handle the pressure of working on several tasks at the same time, you’ll get ahead in any career. Make sure your CV lists both Organisation and Time Management as key skills too – don’t be modest, make sure you’re claiming credit for your new abilities!
A highly-valued skill across many professions; if you know how to find sources of accurate and reliable information to use in projects and reports, you’ll quickly become a valuable team member.
4. Presenting ideas
In almost every job, there comes a time when a presentation or report is required. If you’re already a pro at disseminating ideas into an easily-digestible format (like a written assignment or report) then you’re already there.
This is one skill that you’ll naturally develop whatever subject you’re studying, whether you’re evaluating a resource or researching a topic. The ability to weigh up the pros and cons of a project, client or product are invaluable in any workplace.
You might not realise it, but every assignment is the product of hundreds of small decisions, e.g. your choice of words, argument, resources etc. After you’ve ‘practised’ with your latest essay, it’s easy to apply this skill to larger workplace decisions.
You don’t have to pursue a career in sales or business to need persuasion skills; they’re important in many day-to-day workplace meetings. As a student you’ll naturally develop them as you build your case in essays and discussions.
8. Overcoming obstacles
There’s probably not a single student out there that hasn’t encountered an obstacle along the way, be it a bad grade, a dull topic or confusion around a subject. It might seem hard at the time but the skills you develop as you overcome each obstacle are invaluable.
One of the most obvious skills a part-time student gains; choosing to give up some of your free time to gain a valuable qualification shows any future or current employer that you’re passionate and committed to your own development.
The ability to keep your passion and motivation going after several years of part-time study is a really difficult skill, and not one that should be underestimated. A potential employer looking at your CV is sure to value this.
Part-time study is often a personal journey, with students growing in confidence the more they conquer difficult topics and learn to express themselves in discussions and reports. It might not be a quantifiable skill, but it’ll shine through in interviews.
12. Problem solving
This skill features on many CVs, but it’s a difficult one to prove. Part-time students can often cite a number of problems they had to overcome while they studied e.g. a difficult topic, a hard-to-meet deadline or a confusing module.
An underappreciated skill, students will develop this naturally as they listen to their one-on-one time with tutors and support. This is a great skill for managing others, or just for working as part of a team.
Next time you’re updating your CV, make sure you’ve included all of the above as your key skills – after all, your successful studying is living proof that you’ve earned the right to claim those skills, so why not make use of them!