College Preparation

7 Job Skills Students Should Develop

From the American Education Services' "Counselor's Corner" 

Students' future job prospects depend on the skills they offer to an employer. This is especially true in today's competitive job market. The skills that are in the most demand by employers include: 

  1. Strong Work Ethic – Employers want employees who are reliable, responsible, and self-motivated.. 
  2. Time Management Skills – Time management involves planning and following a schedule; listing what tasks need to be accomplished, estimating how long it will take, and in what sequence the tasks will be done. Good time management skills are needed in every profession. 
  3. Problem-Solving Skills – Virtually all employers look for employees who can identify a problem, develop solutions and implement them. 
  4. Verbal Communication Skills – Verbal communication skills include both speaking and listening skills. Communication is a two-way street; you must be able to listen to communicate effectively. 
  5. Written Communication Skills – The ability to write clearly and concisely is vital in the workplace. Writing in the work world often comes in response to a request for information or to brief others. 
  6. "People" Skills – The ability to work well with others and build good working relationships is important in any field. Good working relationships are built on trust and mutual respect and help employees work more efficiently and effectively. 
  7. Technical Skills – At minimum, technical skills include the use of a word processing program (like Microsoft Word) and a spreadsheet program (like Microsoft Excel). Spreadsheets are widely used to organize and analyze information. The ability to search the web to gather reliable information is also important, as are skills with work-specific tools and equipment. 

Parents must encourage their students to invest the time now to develop the skills they'll need to compete and succeed in the workplace.  Students must recognize how important these skills are to their future personal growth and employment opportunities, and work hard to develop them.

College Planning Timeline

Freshman Year

Choose high school courses carefully. Familiarize yourself with graduation and college admissions requirements. Become involved in extra curricular activities. Keep a written record of activities. Keep your grades up! You are beginning to compile a record that is called a transcript. A transcript is a record of all classes that you attempt in high school. The final grade is recorded on the transcript and a grade point average is calculated based on your performance in each class. This will begin your academic record that will be forwarded to colleges as you apply during your senior year.

Sophomore Year



Junior Year




Senior Year



College Admissions Requirements

FOUR (4) UNITS OF ENGLISH: At least two units must have strong grammar and composition components, at least one must be in English literature, and at least one must be in American literature. Completion of College Preparatory English 1, 2, 3, and 4 will meet this criterion.

FOUR (4) UNITS OF MATHEMATICS: These include Algebra 1 (for which Applied Mathematics 1  and 2 may count together as a substitute, if a student successfully completes Algebra 2), Algebra 2, and Geometry. A fourth higher-level mathematics course should be selected from among Algebra 3/trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, statistics, discrete mathematics, or a capstone mathematics course and should be taken during the senior year.

THREE (3) UNITS OF LABORATORY SCIENCE: Two units must be taken in two different fields of the physical or life sciences and selected from among biology, chemistry, or physics. The third unit may be from the same field as one of the first two units (biology, chemistry, or physics) or from any laboratory science for which biology and/or chemistry is a prerequisite. Courses in earth science, general physical science, or introductory or general environmental science for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite will not meet this requirement. It is strongly recommended that students take physical science (taught as a laboratory science) as a prerequisite to the three required units of laboratory science outlined in this section. It is also strongly recommended that students desiring to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering or technology take one course in all three fields.


THREE (3) UNITS OF SOCIAL SCIENCE: One unit of U.S. History is required; a half unit of Economics and a half unit in Government are strongly recommended.

ONE (1) UNIT OF FINE ARTS: One unit in Appreciation of, History of, or performance in one of the fine arts.

ONE (1) ELECTIVE: One unit must be taken as an elective. A college preparatory course in Computer Science (i.e., one involving significant programming content, not simply keyboarding) is strongly recommended for this elective. Other acceptable electives include college preparatory courses in English; fine arts; foreign languages; social science; humanities; laboratory science (excluding earth science, general physical science, general environmental science, or other introductory science courses for which biology and/or chemistry is not a prerequisite); or mathematics above the level of Algebra 2.


NOTE: These requirements are minimal requirements for four-year public college admission. Students should check early with colleges of their choice to plan to meet additional high school prerequisites that might be required for admission.