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:
- Strong Work Ethic – Employers want employees who are reliable, responsible, and self-motivated..
- 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.
- Problem-Solving Skills – Virtually all employers look for employees who can identify a problem, develop solutions and implement them.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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
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.
- Choose high school courses carefully. Be sure you are familiar with high school course requirements for graduation and for college admissions. Check with your counselor or go to the Riverside High School website and click on the graduation requirements and college admissions links.
- Take the PSAT in October. This will serve as a practice for next year’s PSAT which may qualify you for National Merit recognition and possible scholarships. Your counselor should provide sign up information.
- Continue participation in extra curricular activities. Keep written records. Consider volunteer activities, and leadership positions.
- Find information regarding career choices and possibilities. Check with your counselor or visit the Riverside High School website.
- Register for your junior year courses carefully with the help of your counselor and teachers.
- Begin the college exploration process. Identify what you are looking for in a college. On a sheet of paper list your strengths and weaknesses, interests and needs. Consider the following when looking for a college: intended college major, city size, 2 or 4 year college, student body size, religious affiliation, special services, public or private, state, athletics, and disabilities. Several resources may help you find a college. Check out the Riverside High School website with direct links to college search engines.
- Continue career exploration. Interview, observe or volunteer in career fields you like the most.
Take the PSAT. This test is given only once each year in October. This preliminary exam to the SAT also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. National Merit Scholarship consideration is only given to juniors who take the PSAT. Your counselor will provide sign up procedures and deadlines. Juniors must pay to take the PSAT.
- Attend any College Fair available in your area.
- Meet with your counselor to come up with an initial list of colleges for further investigation.
- Begin writing colleges for general information and/or catalogs. You may also find a wealth of information on the individual college website. Refer to the Riverside High School website for direct links to individual college websites. Compare and contrast the similarities and differences in the colleges and chart your findings.
Make initial visits to colleges of interest. Make an appointment with the college first. Be sure to follow the Riverside High School procedures for taking a college day. Refer to the student handbook and check in the attendance office.
- In March or May take the SAT and or the ACT and request the scores be forwarded to at least three colleges. Registration bulletins are available in the guidance area. The bulletins provide the mail in registration form, test dates and registration deadlines. Students complete the registration form and mail it in directly along with the test fee. This information is also available on the Riverside High School website. Students may register online. Remember that Riverside’s High School code is 410951.
- Plan your senior year schedule carefully. Be sure that you are taking the courses needed for graduation and college admissions. Take challenging courses above the minimum requirements if possible. Allow your parents, teachers and counselor to help.
Continue extra curricular activities, maintaining accurate records. Keep a list of honors and awards you receive.
- Visit additional colleges during the summer vacation.
- Make a resume, which summarizes your extra curricular activities, honors and awards. Save this on your computer so you may add information during your senior year. You may need this information for your college and scholarship applications that you complete during the fall of your senior year.
- Prepare a personal essay summarizing your qualifications for college and scholarship consideration. Write about why a college should accept you or why you should be considered for a scholarship. Make this a generic essay that you may alter as needed when you begin the college and scholarship application process during your senior year.
- Finalize your list of colleges. Do not allow cost to prevent you from applying to any school in which you are interested. You may be surprised at the financial aid package the college may work up for you.
- Attend any College Fair available in your area.
- Make college visits to help narrow your choices. Be sure to make an appointment with the college, and make college day arrangements through the attendance office.
- Submit admissions applications to the colleges of your choice. (On average, students apply to three different schools.) You may secure an application by calling, writing, visiting the college website or asking your counselor. Many applications are also available online. Be sure to follow the procedures outlined by your counselor for submitting college applications. Many applications will require a list of activities, honors and awards. Use your resume that you prepared during your summer vacation. You may submit this list even if the college does not ask for it, unless there are specific instructions not to do so. You may also be required to submit an essay. Refine the essay that you began during the summer to adhere to the particular college requirements as noted in the college application.
- Retake the SAT or ACT if appropriate. Registration materials are available in the guidance area or you may register online.
- Apply for available scholarships. Ask your counselor for scholarship information. Visit the Riverside High School website for direct links to scholarship search engines. Remember that the best source of financial aid and scholarships is the college you plan to attend. Do not hesitate to contact the scholarship and financial aid office at the college of your choice.
- Attend financial aid workshops.
- If you are applying for financial aid, complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA forms may be completed online. FAFSA can not be submitted prior to January 1. By completing this one form, it will be determined if you qualify for any federal grant or loan program as well as the SC Tuition Grant for private schools or the SC Need Based Grant. Also complete any college financial aid form if required. Check all deadlines.
- Wait for admissions responses. Respond to offers of admission. Notify the college you plan to attend as well as those to which you were accepted but will not attend. Send in required deposits, housing contracts, medical forms or other requested information.
- Maintain a list of all financial aid and scholarship offers. This information is required for a School District of Greenville County scholarship report. Your counselor will request this information from you before you graduate.
- Arrange for a final transcript to be sent to the college of your choice. Follow the procedures as outlined by your guidance counselor.
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.
TWO (2) UNITS OF THE SAME FOREIGN LANGUAGE
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.
ONE (1) UNIT OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION OR ROTC
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.