5 Important Skills That Colleges Don't Teach & How Can You Still Learn Them

What Indian colleges don't teach, and where can you learn them.

Written by: Isha

College provides you with a degree, which may help you knock the door of the professional world, but it surely does not teach you the essential skills you need to survive there. More or less, colleges get us a good command over bookish knowledge and theories; but when it comes to training with some practical skills you need, they lack a lot behind.

Although, there are a list of skills that colleges don’t necessarily teach, this article primarily mentions 5 of them and also lets you know how you can still learn them.

#1: Money Management – Savings and Investment

Once you begin to earn and handle your own money, it gets tricky to manage as your college most likely would have provided you with zero knowledge about the same. As a decision-maker of your own finances, you require a strong understanding of money management skills; like budgeting, savings and investments from your early salary days. Also, there are other financial requirements like insurance, mutual fund, etc. which may seem complex when you first hear about them. A poor knowledge of this subject holds you back from taking smart financial moves.

How can you learn this?

  1. Develop a basic understanding of Budgeting, saving and investing before your first salary. Seek for guidance from the person you believe knows well of the subject. However, you should drag out some basic knowledge from good sources on the internet.

  2. Follow sources like Economic Times and MoneyControl for better understanding of the economy.

  3. Read books which may help. A few of my personal favourites would be Rich Dad, Pood Dad and Think and Grow Rich.

#2: Tax Planning

Understanding different kinds of taxes, how they work and how you can save money on them are some things you don’t learn in school. As a student, you probably never felt the need to understand these subjects and our parents also never make us realise the complexities of money matters (with good intentions, of course).

But, as you step into the professional world, suddenly you feel the urgency to learn about this subject.

How can you learn this?

  1. Follow trusted websites which write about tax planning. Basics of income tax, Beginners guide to tax planning are two articles that I'd highly recommend you to read.

  2. Read books to develop better understanding. The link here will give a complete list of books you that need to read to understand the subject matter in detail.

#3: Networking

One skill which reflects in your personal and professional life both, is networking. Networking is about building a mutual beneficial relationship with a person you meet. Being able to build good networks with different people can be very beneficial, as you reach out to the right person for help at the right time.

This may further help you in your career and personal development, save on your money, time and resources, with right advice and support. However, this may become overwhelming to many new comers.

How can you learn this?

  1. To build meaningful networks, you need to interact with people. Attending events, conferences, seminars, and contacting people over social medias in your niche is a good way to begin.

  2. Listen to the actual journey of people similar to your field and how they made it. A good podcast or a good book may help a lot here.

  3. They are many sources online, like blog posts, YouTube videos and even online courses on Edx that talk about this matter.

#4: Dealing with Failure, Rejection and Mental Beakdowns

Rejections and failures are certain in life’s race, but you must always learn to fight it strong and train yourself for the next battle. Failing to handle life in the backdrop of rejections may lead to mental breakdowns and emotional roller coasters. But, surprisingly enough, colleges fail to train their students to cope with these odds.

How can you make yourself go strong?

  1. Journaling – It helps you to know yourself better, analyse where you are going strong and keep track of where you have been lacking behind.

  2. Recalling your dreams every day. It works like those video games, where we lose on loop but keep trying again, just to cross that particular level.

  3. Read or listen to life stories of people who faced multiple rejects but eventually made a way through it. Spotify can be a good source of finding Podcasts run by people who share a lot of their journeys online.

#5: Rational Thinking

Schools and colleges train you only to think on complex mathematics problems, which is critical thinking. But, when it comes to rational thinking; i.e. thinking logically before responding, the education system falls behind. The system focuses on intelligence quotient (IQ) rather than emotional quotient (EQ), which is about controlling the inner emotion, taking a moment, analysing and finally reacting in best suited way at the moment. This is why people are generally unsure about the best way to react at a given situation.

How can you train yourself?

  1. Rational thinking primarily deals with patience. It is about responding rather than reacting. Read books about developing patience as an important life-skill.

  2. Meditation is a way out to help you think more rationally. This talk may help you understand better.

  3. Take your time to become a better listener and observer. This is key, because most people tend to talk more than they want to listen.

  4. Don't be harsh on yourself. Changing how you naturally think and react is not a day’s job. It will take you years of practice to master that.

You can always ace the skills where you didn’t acquire a professional training, by getting down to train yourself. A college degree is not enough, you need to work a lot more on yourself after that as well. I hope this article helped you identify five of those skills, and gave you enough food for thought to look for others skills! 😊

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