Opinion | It’s not just about the degree

After graduating, students are on the job hunt. Writer Cammie Johnson says becoming more involved outside of your regular coursework can give you the upper hand when entering the job market. Graphic by Yara Al-Badri.

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Congratulations are in order to all of you who are in the process of getting your college degree; however, it might not be enough.

College is a glorious experience really anyone can take part in, but in the process of getting your degree, it is important to step back, look at the big picture and think if that piece of paper alone will be sufficient when it is time to enter the workforce.

Once you have finished your college years and are currently in the process of looking for a job in your desired field, it is safe to say we are all aware we will not automatically be guaranteed a job. Just like you, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who went to college and completed their degrees — quite possibly with an even higher overall GPA than you — so what exactly can one do to get the upper hand when it comes to landing their desired job?

The solution is simple: Become more involved outside of required coursework. I know the majority of us would much rather spend our time focusing solely on the coursework given; however, doing just the bare minimum will not make your resume stand out in future interviews.

“For the majority of college and university students, involvement in extracurricular activities plays an integral role in the collegiate experience,” Stateuniversity stated. “Students become involved in extracurricular activities not only for entertainment, social, and enjoyment purposes, but most important, to gain and improve skills.”

Now I am in no way discrediting a college degree or this significant accomplishment by any means, I am merely stating the importance of the activities you can take part in alongside your required course work which will only enhance your capabilities after college.

Alongside your required coursework, finding other classes as well as clubs and student organizations would be to your advantage. After all, college isn’t just about the courses one must take to obtain a degree but what you can do to ensure a far more sound future.

“When you’re signing up for courses next semester, be strategic. Seek out courses that center around student projects, case studies or service learning,” Wheelock College stated. “Some courses may even lead to an industry certification. Employers want to see these courses outlined on your resume.”

There are various groups right here at Dixie State University which allows students to get more involved, build useful connections, and expand their resume and skill set.

Take The Dixie Sun News for example. We are an organization located right here on campus and give the opportunity to students to get a hands-on learning experience in various forms of media production all while receiving class credit for our efforts.

If media production doesn’t suffice to your interests, we are only one of the numerous student organizations DSU has to offer. If you are an individual who may be at a loss for where to start getting more involved with such activities and courses, I advise you to reach out to your adviser for a helping hand while navigating through these college experiences.

As I have stressed previously, it is imperative each and every student makes a point throughout their college career to build a strong leading resume in which they are able to present when in search of employment. You want to stand out in this vast fish pool, and there is no better way of doing so than having a well-built resume.

“Your resume is a quick snapshot that contains all of your experience and accolades in your life,” a Peterson’s article stated. “You will continue to build your resume throughout your lifetime all the way until you retire.”

To all of you who have yet to start the expansion of your experiences, it is always the perfect time to start. After all, it’s never too late until it’s too late. With spring semester on the horizon, a fresh and new start awaits us all.

With that being said, every student needs to look further into the experiences they can accumulate in order to expand their resume. Best of luck Trailblazers, and here’s to making the most out of our time in college.