(Moneywatch) Graduating from college and finding your first job has never been easy. Hopefully you accept your diploma and start your search with a few internships under your belt, a contact or two and a little bit of luck. While your resume is probably a little green, some college courses can prepare you to excel on the job interview circuit right away. Others can even act as keywords to an employer, signaling that you have certain skills that will help you on the job. Here are four college courses students should consider adding to their fall roster:
Business and marketing
In college, your tests and papers speak for themselves. But in the job market and later in an office environment, you have to be somewhat of a salesperson, no matter what your job title. "Job seekers must sell themselves not only to potential employers during their search for a new job, but also after they've landed a job -- particularly when vying for promotions or presenting new ideas," notes Heather R. Huhman, founder of Come Recommended.
There are few courses that will help you more at job interviews or in a meeting situation than public speaking, says Huhman. If your liberal arts school doesn't offer such a course, check out the theatre department offerings. "Theatre is another class that can be useful on the job search. It teaches you skills like controlling emotions and capturing your audience's attention, all while learning how to communicate for different audiences," says Huhman.
The best paying jobs for Generation Y are generally in engineering -- petroleum engineering, software engineering, IT management, hardware design, and software product management, according to a new survey from Payscale and Millennial Branding. If you're interested in engineering, think about your desired locale for employment and tailor your coursework to it. "For example, take Maine, a state whose economy focuses heavily on wood products and the shipbuilding industry. [It would be] wise to focus on courses that delve into the use of advanced polymers, wood fibers, and applications to new and ongoing industries that reply upon related products as part of an engineering, business or forestry focus," says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit organization created to mobilize the "Millennial" generation in the workforce.
In an uncertain economy, being able to start your own small, profitable business or bring fresh ideas to a start-up is an invaluable skill. That's why Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, suggests courses like Technology Entrepreneurship, offered at Stanford Online. "Stanford's course on technology entrepreneurship will help students learn how to work in a team, gather resources, figure out how to market an idea and actually work on a startup. Employers are looking for entrepreneurial minded students who think creativity, can problem solve and make change happen," says Schawbel.