10 Useful Skills to Learn as a Student

If you’re a student, you probably find yourself wondering what you should learn next to get a leg up on your competition. While we cannot provide you with an exhaustive list of all useful skills to learn as a student, we’ve compiled a list of some skills that you may want to consider, depending on your line of study or career goals. (If you’re not a student, then you can probably still get some ideas for your own life.)

1. Study Skills

We’ve all been there before: you just submitted your final essay of the semester/year, and now you have nothing to do. You could start studying for exams or working on papers you’ll write in the future, but instead, you find yourself staring at a blank Word document, wishing you’d had some type of study skills training as a student.

A common complaint among students is that they lack focus in class or struggle to maintain their concentration for long periods of time. As a result, they are unable to learn as much as they are capable of learning. However, mastering study skills can easily solve this issue. A simple method to master these skills is to break tasks into smaller, achievable tasks.

By doing this, you can focus on the current goals without being concerned about other tasks that need to be finished. The end result is you can absorb more information than you would otherwise. For more study skills and strategies, check out our dedicated blog here.

2. Time Management Skills

When you have a tight study schedule and a lot of assignments, it can be hard to find the time to finish them all. Your study schedule should include time for breaks, as well as time for socializing and spending time with family and friends.

However, most students don’t always manage their time well. It’s common for students to spend too much time on social media sites and get distracted by the temptation to procrastinate.

Having good time management skills is a useful skill to learn as a student, as it will allow you to better plan your time, thus resulting in better grades, more time for activities that you enjoy, and better overall success in your life.

However, good time management skills do not come naturally to everyone; some people find it easier than others to plan out their day, and listen to their inner clock, and others find that they struggle with being able to stay on track with their time management.

3. Communication Skills

Learning how to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills you can learn as a student and in life. Communication is a two-way street, and involves listening to what others have to say as much as it involves talking, writing, or other forms of expression.

Effective communication can help improve your relationships, whether with friends, family, or coworkers. Think of how many arguments could be avoided if people talked it out instead of staying silent?

If you’re a student, chances are you will have to write a lot of essays, participate in group discussions and present your project to the class. In such situations, poor communication skills can make the difference between a pass and a fail grade.

This is why, in many schools, you are taught the basics of good communication from the very first year. As a student, you must be able to communicate well in order to succeed, both in the academic world and beyond.

Listening Skills

While it may seem like common sense that listening skills are just as much a part of communication as speaking skills, you may be surprised to learn how few people can truly listen and speak, at the same time. Even when we’re not trying to listen, we’re still listening to survival instincts.

Learning to listen to someone else on a deeper level and paying them real attention is not something that comes naturally to most people.

As a student, you are required to listen to your teachers, fellow students, and more. This can be important for a variety of reasons. Teachers can give you important information about an assignment or about the course material. They can also help you develop study skills and time management skills.

Public Speaking

If you’re a student, then chances are you’ll have to give a talk at some point during your degree. This can be daunting for the majority of students, but once you get over the fear of public speaking, you’ll realize that it’s a useful and fun skill to learn. 

Public speaking is a skill that can be learned, but in order for this to happen, you must realize that fear of public speaking is normal, and that it is perfectly OK to be afraid.

4. Organisational Skills

Learning organisational skills as a student is an important skill to have in life. Most students will never use a lot of the material they learn in their degree.

However, most jobs will require some level of organisation and communication skill. Being organised helps you to manage your time more effectively and ensures that you are as productive as possible.

Life after college can be stressful. We all know that a good college experience leads to a good job, but just what does that entail? You definitely need to know how to balance your checkbook, cook and do laundry, but you also need to be ready to jump head-first into your career.

If you don’t know how to organize your time and manage your tasks, you might find yourself behind on assignments, or worse, failing exams! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to build your organizational skills as a student.

5. Soft Skills

Soft skills are skills which are not taught at school, but are still useful to have in the workplace. Examples of soft skills that can be learned in school include the ability to work with others, the ability to work under pressure, and making a good first impression when you meet new people.

These are all essential skills for a worker to have in order to succeed in life and in the job market.

6. Transferable Skills

Transferable skills is a term that means a skill you can use in more than one context. It can be from the job you are currently doing and can be used in a new job, or from one job to another. If you are a student, and you intend to move from college to college, or from college to the workplace, you should learn transferable skills. 

Employers want people who can demonstrate that they can use their skills in different situations. This is where the idea of transferable skills come into play. Transferable skills refer to the skills you learn in school that you can use in a variety of different jobs and different fields.

If your job requires you to be creative or to work with numbers, you may think that the job is the only place where you have to use those skills. However, the skills you use in your job can easily be used in other areas of your life.

7. Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the skills that you use when you interact with other people. These include communication, leadership, teamwork, assertiveness and more. Interpersonal skills are very useful to learn as a student because life is full of people and you will need to interact with other people at some point. 

If you’re like most people, you likely grew up thinking interpersonal skills were those qualities that made you agreeable, likeable, and friendly. Today, experts think of interpersonal skills as the abilities to understand and interact effectively with others, and to handle conflicts and disagreements in a positive way.

8. Lifelong Learning Skills

Learning should be a continuous process, but most of us tend to focus on our formal education during our teen and early adult years. The skills we learn in school are meant to be applied in our everyday lives, but few of us develop the lifelong learning habits that allow us to constantly improve.

Take steps to build lifelong learning skills into your daily routine: have a growth mindset, prioritize learning new skills, and develop the habits of a lifelong learner. 

While it is important to be able to read and write, as well as do math, there are many other skills that are useful for students, such as time management, organization, and critical thinking, to name a few.

There are also many skills that can be used outside of the classroom, such as communication, public speaking, and even cooking. And then there are the “soft skills”, such as finding a job or being an effective team member.

Learning is a lifelong process and if you can learn to learn, then you will always be in a good position. 

9. Photography Skills

Many people benefit from photography, whether you are a student or not, it is a skill that is useful to learn, and can be used professionally or just a hobby. As a student, photography is a great way to earn extra income as a side hustle. 

As a student, photography can also be used to create pieces of art that can be put on display to show off your skills and creativity.

10. Programming Skills

Computer programming is an invaluable skill to learn as a student because it teaches you not only one, but multiple skills at the same time. Programming requires you to think logically and solve problems, but it also requires you to be comfortable with abstract thought and learning new concepts.

Most importantly, it requires you to be able to see a problem and find a solution, which is a skill that can be used in any field.