Developing a skill set while still in university is probably the best investment you can make for your future right now. In the last post, we discovered that the best skills to grow are those that will remain relevant for a long time.

The skills for building a career are often grouped into two- soft and hard skills. Both categories are important to successfully perform and advance in most jobs.

Soft skills are skills that are not measurable or easily evaluated, only proven. They are gradually developed over time and are not usually directly learnt in a class.

Adaptability, problem solving, time-management, creativity, emotional intelligence, leadership, teamwork, cooperation, verbal and written communication are all examples of the most important soft skills you should start developing now.

When there are opportunities to lead or work with a team, don’t be afraid to engage with others. Some of the most valuable soft skills are developed through interaction. You will learn to understand human psychology and achieve your common goals.

With soft skills, your innate tendencies contribute a lot. For example, if you naturally take initiative and responsibility, being a leader might come quite easy for you. However, skills like teamwork and cooperation may take more time for you to develop.

Hard skills, on the other hand, are more concrete, teachable abilities that are easy to quantify. They are usually specific to a job or career path and require increased levels of expertise.

These skills will often require training, work experience or a certificate to ascertain your knowledge. The hard skills you develop, however, don’t have to directly align with your university degree, especially if it’s only going to be a side gig.

A lot of hard skills are currently high in demand- coding, web development, graphic design, video production, project management, digital marketing, UX/UI design, (creative, content and copy) writing, photography, cloud computing etc.

If you’re set to prepare for the future and you’re wondering what to add to your CV, acquiring a set of hard skills is the best place to start. Find out what you want to do and start researching the best options for learning them.

You can always start with learning how to learn or even how to organise a small group. Go ahead and learn about personal finance, time management, psychology, organisation, negotiation, basic computer skills etc. There is always something to improve on.

Even your hobbies- drawing, writing, playing an instrument, fitness training, fashion design, hair styling, counselling etc. can turn into great bonuses for the future. So hone those skills; ask questions and improve your abilities.

And it’s never too late to take up a new skill too. If you’re interested in programming or video production, start today. Don’t procrastinate. Look for well-structured courses online or pay for tutorials and start learning already.

Dedicate your holidays to learning something useful or doing something productive. Even while you are in school, set apart some reasonable time to practise your skills. Remember if it is important to you, you will make time for it.

Because there are no immediate consequences like your school work, you may start to get lazy. So attach rewards to completing your courses. If you’re prone to loosing motivation, get some accountability for that extra push.

Whatever you do, don’t stop investing in yourself. Your future is worth the effort.

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2 Responses

  1. Cindy kuffour says:


  2. Yinka says:

    Thank you for this educative piece

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