Sometimes, at first glance, it can appear that required courses have nothing to do with your major, especially when you’re hoping to jump into a new profession and want to learn the ins and outs right away. For example, if you’re majoring in health administration, English classes might seem irrelevant.
The truth is these classes are very important. The goal of general education classes is to provide background and core skills you can later use in your specialty.
Even if you’re not a math major odds are you’ll have to take at least one math class in college. Don’t let it throw you for a loop. It’s easy to adopt a negative attitude and ask, “Why do I have to take a math class as an English major?” In fact, it’s a question I hear quite often.
Try looking at it this way. Math skills will help you in future classes. You will learn critical thinking skills that help you solve problems. These skills can then be carried over into your specialized professional coursework.
Likewise, English classes teach you to structure and organize your thoughts, even if you’re not all that interested in the humanities. More importantly, writing skills are necessary in nearly every profession. Whether you have to type up notes, letters or reports, improving your writing ability can benefit your career.
In other words, learning a broad skillset keeps you well-rounded. No matter what industry you ultimately end up in, your colleagues and superiors will expect that you can tackle a wide range of work and conduct yourself professionally. General education classes help develop this sense of balance. They also help discipline you for the rigors of more challenging specialized coursework.
So next time you feel like you’re wasting away in a general education class, think about what you can learn from it. Look at these classes as an opportunity to hone your academic prowess. Soak up as much information as possible so you can access it later. Remember, every class is designed to help you on your educational journey. Keep a positive attitude and appreciate the chance to learn new skills.
Kara Silvers has been with Herzing University for over five years. She came on with over 12 years of experience in the field of billing and coding. She teaches medical billing and coding courses for the University.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.