While a college degree is an excellent tool to help you get the job of your dreams, showcasing your expertise in the “hard” skills, like mathematics, writing, and science, it’s not all you need. Employers also want employees who are responsible, creative, good at communicating, and work well on a team. These abilities, referred to as soft skills, can be what separates the good employees from great ones, making them highly desirable to employers and, in turn, extremely important for job seekers.
In fact, CareerBuilder reports that 77% of employers rank soft skills as just as important in hiring as hard skills and 16% say they are actually more important. Essentially, it’s not just your proficiency in your subject area that will matter—you’ll need the right attitude and interpersonal aptitudes, too.
Luckily, your college courses, even those online, provide plenty of opportunities for you to build these skills before graduation. Here, you’ll learn about some of the most in-demand soft skills and find tips and ideas on how you can turn your online education into a soft skills training ground.
While flashcards and notes can be really great study tools, they’re actually not the most important resource in your academic toolbelt when it comes to getting the maximum return on investment for your study time. Research shows that in many cases, sleep, or lack thereof, can have a bigger impact on your academic success than extra hours spent studying.
Don’t get too excited though– you can’t just replace your study sessions with sleep and expect to earn straight A’s—you still have to study. But you may not realize just how much being well rested matters when it comes time to recall the information you covered while studying or listening to a lecture. Read on to learn why sleep is such an important part of learning new information and why you shouldn’t skimp on it if you want to do well in your courses.
COD gives online students access to an amazing amount of digital resources, but if you’re looking for something more, the Internet will not disappoint. There are dozens of amazing digital archives out there that you can browse, download from, and share, many from highly respected institutions with access to some of the rarest, best, and most extensive collections anywhere in the world.
Here are a few you can’t miss if you’re looking to find awe-inspiring historical photos, documents, books, and maps to flesh out your research or just want to spend an afternoon browsing through cool historical stuff.
While COD offers many online courses to help you learn to code (check out our online course catalog), sometimes you just want a little outside practice or the flexibility to tackle learning a difficult new skill on your own time. That’s where the plethora of free educational programming resources on the web can be incredibly useful.
Whether you’re looking for a full course or just some short tutorials, there are plenty of resources to choose from, available for nearly every programming language, level of ability, and type of media. Here are a few of the most tried and true coding resources out there to help you learn valuable skills like developing a website or an app or maintaining a database.
Can’t afford a fancy set of virtual reality goggles? These days, you don’t need them to have virtual reality experience. Using Cardboard, an inexpensive (ranging from $5 to $25 depending on the model) cardboard shell with attached lenses, you can turn almost any cell phone into a virtual reality viewer.
What really makes Cardboard cool is the amazing array of apps that have been designed to work with it. Some of them are just for fun (there’s no shortage of games) but many are also full of highly educational content, allowing you to learn about people, places, and events, past and present, in a completely immersive environment. Here are a few apps you can try out to enrich your educational experience while trying out some seriously cool tech.
Summer’s here! Time to hit the beach, take a vacation, and set aside the books until the fall, right? Well, maybe not. While you should definitely have fun over your summer vacation, failing to give your brain a workout for months on end will mean that you’ll be coming back in the fall with an out-of-shape brain that will have to work a lot harder to learn new material (think the mental equivalent of huffing and puffing while climbing stairs). In fact, you may have to spend significant time relearning things you already covered last year. No one wants that. So how can you prevent summer brain drain?
Not to worry; you don’t have to stay a full-time student to keep your brain in shape over break. There are lots of free, easy, and even really fun ways to get your brain up and active.
Do you know how to get the most out of COD’s library as an online student? Online librarian and faculty member Jennifer Kelley shares what you need to know to access the resources the library has to offer and to get help when you need it, whether you’re on campus or off.
Accelerated courses allow students to complete a course in anywhere from 10 to 5 weeks rather than the usual 16. For many students, they can be a great way to earn college credits quickly, but they can also be incredibly intense, especially if you’re trying to take one while balancing your usual responsibilities at work and at home.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t enroll in an accelerated online course if you believe it’s the right fit for you, but you will need to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are some tips that can ensure that you’re ready to take on any of the challenges an accelerated course may pose.
While staying up all night to study has long been a staple of the study methods employed by college students, it’s neither particularly effective (you won’t remember much of what you study) nor a particularly good use of time. A far better way to tackle studying is to set up a study schedule, which will allow you to slowly, but much more effectively, review and learn the material from your course.
It might sound like a lot of work but creating and keeping to a study schedule isn’t as hard as you might think. Here are some tips to help you stay on track in your online courses and ensure you won’t have to pull and all-nighter before a big exam.
Isolation is often cited as a knock against online courses, but it doesn’t have to be part of the experience. There are many ways to stay socially engaged with both your peers and your professors as an online student. Sure, it may not be as easy as just walking into class, but on the upside you have the flexibility of communicating at time and place that’s most convenient to you. And, bonus, you can even do it in your PJs.
So how can you make sure that you’re staying connected and getting the social experience you need from your course? Here are some tips to keep you on track.