About the Blog

This blog and its resources are here to assist all students throughout their college years and into their careers. Blog is moderated by a Certified Professional Career Coach and Master Tutor Trainer. Site moderator, Neil O'Donnell, is an EOP graduate of Buffalo State College and can be reached at odonnenp@buffalostate.edu.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Picking Courses for Your Future

As students get ready to register for Spring 2018, in is important that students and their advisors
consider the importance of both major-required classes as well as the importance of Major electives and Free Electives. Electives are often seen as an obstacle by students and advisors... something that just has to be done to get the total required credits (usually 120) with which to graduate. However, careful selection of Major and Free electives could provide students with skill sets that will be advantageous for the student later on in their career (and look good to potential employers when listed on a résumé). As an Anthropology major seeking to pursue work in field archaeology, I took an Anthropology elective (an Archaeological field school) so I had the fundamental skill sets for completed field excavations and lab analyses. However, knowing the importance of map making and the use of aerial photography in archaeological research, I took a Free Elective in "Map and Air Photo Interpretation." That mapping class was offered through the Geography Department, and it provided me with a great skill set which ultimately turned into a factor in helping me attain work in field archaeology AND get promotions.

Students need to seek out such coursework, which will give them usable skills and unique training that will set them apart from other graduates. Advisors, meanwhile, should be looking to free electives as the critical training they can be.  That said, students need to ask advisors in their major about classes in other departments they can take, which will provide long-term benefits professionally speaking.