Add value to a College degree with an out-of-class project

The article on "The declining value of a college degree" by Greg IP in today's The Wall Street Journal notes that  a college dress is not a stepping stone to guaranteed success but a necessity in this globalized world where the college dress is now comoditized. "What employers want from workers nowadays is more narrow, more abstract and less easily learned in college." the rise of technology has created a need for further differentiation and even cohorts of the same graduating class can give them selves a leg up on demands of employers by

  • Engaging in an out-of-class project

The advantage of this is that a student can pursue this in the area of their interest and over the entire length of their education. It shows initiative out-of-class and passion for an area that may align with an employer's interest.

Get free software from DreamSpark offering to all students at

  • Taking part in student competitions

Especially those that are industry sponsored and involve group-work. As a bonus there is an opportunity meet other contestants from other countries and also earn cash prizes in the process.

See Imagine Cup as an example at

  • Internship

Can earn money while learning industry relevant skills and expertise. However, is dependent on finding such internship and may not be in the area of your eventual job.

  • Volunteer

Show case your skills by volunteering for the local non-profits. This is especially true if you have technology skills as many non-profits need help with their web sites, etc.

Just take an initiative that works for you that can enhance your resume, differentiate you from your cohorts and gain you valuable skills in the process. Taking part in an out-of-class activity in itself adds tremendous value and while the rewards may not be apparent immediately, the learnings can be of tremendous value. besides your experience in a project can help you guide the job-interview into something you are more familiar with and give you a leg-up.

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