Tips for Gaining Transferable Skills in College

No matter what major you choose, gaining transferable skills should be a key goal in your college career. Transferable skills differ from technical skills in that they are useful in any industry or job. Examples of transferable skills include communication, organization, leadership, research and time management. By demonstrating these skills, you’ll experience a wider variety of opportunities and prove a stronger job candidate for any position.


At some point in your career, you’ll need to oversee people. You may be managing a department or a group of people for project. Develop leadership skills in college by running for officer of a club or organization. An academic or career-based organization is preferable, but leadership skills can be gained anywhere. Confidence is an important part of being a good leader, and the more leadership experiences you have, the more comfortable you’ll feel in a leadership role. If you’ve never held a leadership role, start small by leading a group class project or heading a club fundraiser.

Time Management

Good time management skills are necessary if you have to balance school, work, and extracurricular activities. Get a part-time job, join an organization, or volunteer. As you add responsibilities, prioritization and scheduling become more important. Throughout your career, you’ll need to rely on these skills to get work done accurately and on time.


Employers in every industry screen for soft skills like communication. It’s important to be able to communicate with a variety of people in different settings. If business communications class and speech classes aren’t required, take them as electives. Employers obtain first impressions of job candidates through resumes, cover letters, and phone interviews which all rely on strong communication skills.

Transferable skills are as important as industry-specific skills when looking for a job. Make the most of your time in college by following the tips above to gain skills that will help throughout your career no matter your chosen industry.