How College Prepares You For an Insurance Career
Some of the most important skills learned in college are things you learn in the process of getting an education. They’re transferable skills like time management and research abilities, which can make a person widely employable.
More than that, college life -- from extracurricular activities to participating in class and adhering to deadlines -- help you demonstrate you have those skills on a job application. And with a closer look at how these types of skills prepare graduates for success in the insurance industry, you can get a wider sense of how college helps prepare you for a career.
What Skills Do You Learn in College?
Regardless of your chosen career path, college prepares people for their careers in ways that extend far beyond academics. College offers an opportunity to develop many of the “soft skills” that are critical to success in any endeavor. Here are just a few:
Communication - Effective communication is essential to the health of any relationship, personal or professional. It’s not enough to have the best idea -- you also need to be able to convince someone you’re right. Communication skills learned in college can be especially important for Business Operations Careers and similar careers where communication can facilitate leadership and teamwork.
- Working with Others - People can get more done when they work together, which is why one of the skills you learn in college helps teach people to work professionally within the structure of a team. Teamwork is essential to almost any profession, especially if you hope to take on large scale projects.
- Writing Skills - Clear written communication is in constant demand by employers, and is a necessity for a variety of different careers. It’s especially important for careers where you have to choose your words carefully, like with Marketing Careers. It’s no coincidence marketing is also where you can find some of the best examples of written communication backfiring horribly.
- Research Skills - Among the many skills learned in college, few are as important as the ability to conduct research. Someone with the ability for research doesn’t only know how to search for information, they know how to ask the right questions. Research skills give you the ability to keep up to speed with a changing world, and are increasingly essential for almost all forms of career employment. This is especially true for people who work in data analysis, like those involved in Actuarial Careers. The ability to perform key research is one of the more crucial skills for the insurance industry.
- Time Management - Time management is one-part staying on task, and one-part prioritization. It might be one of the less widely recognized skills a person gains from college, but it allows you to undertake jobs that require you to manage your own time. Time management is also one of the most common skills for college graduates, and prepares you to adhere to deadlines and manage your time. Being able to prioritize between several tasks means never losing sight of the bigger picture, which can be critical for underwriting careers, and similar careers where it’s easy to get lost in the weeds.
Think you have the skills for the insurance industry? Check out MyPath’s Career Wizard Quiz to see which job path could be best suited for your skillset.
Most Important Skills Needed for College Graduates
There are certain things you can’t formally teach. However, college nurtures critical thinking and gives students an opportunity to stand out. These are all valuable skills to develop and continue to apply in the workforce. Here are a few of the key skills to hone and help steer you down your own career path:
- Problem solving - Problem solving is about analyzing a problem to determine an efficient way of solving it. If your career means you’ll be facing new challenges every day, problem solving is what lets you thrive. The skills for an insurance job also widely revolve around problem solving capabilities, and is important to keep in mind when applying.
- Leadership - Just because you’re not applying for a leadership position doesn’t mean your prospective employer isn’t looking for leadership qualities among potential candidates. Trustworthiness, a positive attitude, proven ability to manage and delegate tasks when needed, self-motivation and the ability to motivate teammates are all valued leadership skills gained in college.
While you may not have had much work experience, demonstrating leadership in extracurricular activities, clubs, sports, or organizations can help you stand out. Job-seekers can use their skills gained from college to help better the people around them, and guide everyone along to help achieve greater goals. Those types of skills are valuable in any organization.
- Strong Work Ethic - An old adage tells us, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” A good work ethic is about a willingness to work hard, seeing it not as an obstacle to be avoided, but as a rewarding challenge. It’s about going the extra mile, or otherwise taking some pride in the work you do
Employers know anyone can claim they have a great work ethic, problem solving abilities, or leadership skills. Your goal is to demonstrate these skills learned in college as clearly as possible in your resume, cover letter, or portfolio. Among the many things you need to know to get a job after college, being able to demonstrate your skills almost as important as having the skills to begin with.
How Does College Help You Get an Insurance Job?
In addition to giving you the knowledge and skills you need to get a job in your chosen career path, most colleges and universities have dedicated resources on-campus to help students find a job after graduating.
- Career Services - Does college help you get a job? Their continued existence largely depends on it. It’s no mystery why colleges operate career service centers to help students in the transition to employment. Access to these centers can serve as a useful hub for a variety of career information and networking opportunities, especially through career fairs.
- Networking and Career Fairs - There are always companies interested in snatching-up the best and the brightest students as they graduate from universities. Colleges are just as eager to help these companies connect with their students. Attending networking events and career fairs can help you make the connections necessary to get your career moving in the direction you want, as well as build up networking capabilities, which is an important skill learned in college.
- Use professors as personal references - Professors aren’t just teachers, they’re professionals who you’ve worked with closely. They’ve examined your work; you’ve probably even had a conversation or two. They’re capable of speaking about your traits in a way that could be meaningful to employers, which makes them an excellent professional reference.
- Groups and sororities/fraternities - College gives you the chance to join a variety of different groups or associations, like fraternities and sororities. You’re thrust into situations where you’re constantly meeting new people, which allows you to develop relationships that can be valuable both personally and professionally.
Skills Useful for Everyone
How does college help you in life? How college prepares you for a career also depends on how much you apply yourself to learning. But with the right approach to your education, the skills gained in college can prepare you for a lifetime of learning, and a lifetime of gainful employment.