Why Does a Well-Balanced Course Load Matter?

By | February 18, 2014

Choosing a major is one of the most important decisions a college-bound student will make in their life. The thing is, choosing a major is meant as a guide only –not as a means of closing off your college life from other academic pursuits. While your major will serve to focus your studies throughout your college career, choosing a well-balanced selection of courses is absolutely vital if you want to get the most out of your higher education. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

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Start with the Basics

Most colleges have a set of required courses that make up their “core curriculum.”No matter your major, these core classes will cover a lot of ground: mathematics, science, English, foreign languages, and more. It’s clear, then, that most colleges want to create well-balanced students, and they get you started in that pursuit by requiring a great selection of varied courses.

Where you take it from there is up to you. Your experience with your school’s core curriculum might reveal some interests or aptitudes that you didn’t know you had.

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Your Career

Most of the reason we go to college is to make ourselves as attractive as possible to employers. Choosing a major associated with your career path is great, but when it comes to fine-tuning your resume, you’re probably going to find that job recruiters will choose a well-rounded individual every time.

Why? It’s simple, actually. Immersing yourself in a variety of courses, whether you’re attending a traditional college or an online college, indicates that you’re a driven individual, willing and able to pursue a variety of interests. It demonstrates that you have wide-ranging interests and a drive to learn all you can, whenever you can. A well-rounded college student is a big get for companies looking to hire fresh graduates; after all, every type of career will call upon a great many skills –not just the ones your major covered.

Talk with Your Faculty Advisor

Most colleges will pair you with a faculty advisor: typically someone who teaches within your field of study. Make the most of your meetings with your advisor; they can be a great resource to help guide you towards making informed choices about your course load.

Ask them about the classes they wish they’d taken when they were your age, or about which unlikely classes might have some unforeseen practical application in your given field. Just because you’re majoring in biology, for example, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from an English class or two; the ability to express oneself well is a skill that everybody can stand to benefit from.

A Matter of Practicality

These days, online college courses have become as varied as those offered by more “traditional”schools, and in both types of college, the liberal arts are proving more popular than ever. These can include the visual arts, creative writing, music, and more. Choosing an artistic major is great, and pursuing your love of creation is to be applauded, but a well-rounded selection of classes will help to ensure that you have a variety of practical skills to call upon while you –for example –work on the next Great American Novel.

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