Beyond your major: Consider classes that complement major, build unique skills

Collectively, DePaul students are all familiar with Campus Connection, DePaul’s main portal, which enables students to check grades, degree progress and pick and choose courses for the quarter. The fouryear program requires students to enroll in “The Common Core” with six distinct learning domains. Along with Chicago Experience, Experiential Learning and seminars – DePaul does a rather decent job at ensuring that their alumni will be versatile after graduation. But with electives still left over, some students wonder about the best courses to take to fulfill their credit completion.

While students typically would prefer to get on with their major, graduate and obtain a silver plaque with inscribed proof of graduation (are degrees that fancy?), it might not be a horrific idea to enroll in courses that complement or otherwise polarize a student’s decided major.

For example, it might be wise for a computer science major to enroll in a public speaking class to enhance their interpersonal skills if they wish to work at Google. Engaging outside of comfort zones could lead to a substantial discovery that maybe one would prefer to act at”Second City” than crunch numbers in an accounting firm. Or not. But at least they tried, right?

Jesse Renteria III, a freshman at DePaul majoring in business administration, picks out his courses wisely – and for justifiable reasons, too.

“I took Photoshop workshop last quarter because I am interested in going into marketing,” Renteria said.

“The more I know about graphic design, the more it will open doors for me, knowing that graphic design knowledge.”

Had he not taken a course in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, Rentiera would not have had the ability to create posters, postcards and banners for the DePaul Residence Counsel, a campus group of which he is a member.

“Plus, (Adobe workshop courses) are two-credit classes, so I figure it could boost my GPA,” Renteria said.

Junior advertising major Miti Kotak wishes she had known earlier about the two-credit courses offered at DePaul.

“We’re already paying for our 18 credit hours, so we might as well take advantage of them,” Kotak said of her enrollment in a two-credit InDesign course.

Most DePaul students take four four-credit courses per quarter to remain on track, though they are allowed to take up to 18 credits. Two-credit classes can be beneficial for students to get a little more ahead; however, the workload of a twocredit class is less than that of a four-credit class so students will not have too much on their plate, but will still be receiving a substantial education. Kotak and Renteria both take advantage of two-credit courses in the graphic design department – though there are more offered in various colleges. Here is a list of recommended two-credit (or four-credit) courses that will both complement and benefit certain majors.

GD 150, 151, and 152 – Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign Workshop

These three courses offer cut-and-dry lessons on particular Adobe suites. For someone going into marketing or even business conferences, which often require adept visual presentations, learning graphic design can indeed be helpful for this. (2 credits)

SW 361 – Intro to Computer Productivity

Communication majors, who are excellent verbal and written communicators sometimes seek out jobs by flopping their resume around like the desperate applicants on “The Wolf of Wall Street.” What’s even more impressive than a resume is a self-designed online portfolio, which presents the works that a communicator has done through classes, clubs and internships. Taking this course will freshen up Microsoft skills, along with learning about web design. Knowing both creative and technical aspects to basic computer skills is what employers would like to see in a tech-savvy Y-generation. (2 credits)

For a more in-depth curriculum, try Web Design (4 credits)

AI 153 – The Art of Speechmaking

The purpose of this course is not for students to shiver at the podium while the rest of the class is camping out on their phones or drooling on their desks. It teaches students imaginative approaches to public speaking. It is a perfect combination of theatre and communication – you are using your voice, body and moving your audience emotionally. This class would be especially great for CDM students who are not required to take courses on interpersonal skills, even though they are every bit as important as deciphering SQL injections. (2 credits)

ECE 298 – Child Health, Safety and Nutrition

Whether or not you plan on having children, this course has information about common illnesses and how to prevent them. If you do not have a child to take care of, you will at least want to take care of yourself when mom, dad or the college clinic is not around anymore. (4 credits)

FIN 290 – Finance for Non-Business Majors

Whether or not you have actually done your taxes, it might be wise to learn a thing or two about gross income, exclusions, deductions, exemptions and credits – are you still with me? If not, then my point is proven. At any rate, this is one thing you are going to need to know to be on your own two feet. (4 credits)

ECO 315 – Introduction to Money and Banking

This course explores the systems in banking and how money is regulated. How many of you really know what goes on in our banks? Or how to use a credit score effectively? (4 credits)

AI 170 – Creativity and Entrepreneurship

A course on entrepreneurship can offer the skills needed to present yourself in applications and interviews in a way no one else would. What are we most trying to sell? Ourselves. So this course can teach student to walk in and present a colorful side to them that will impress employers. (2 credits)

LAT 101 – Basic Latin I

And lastly, Latin. Why Latin? Why a dead language? Because it is the best possible way to augment your vocabulary. A plethora of words in the English language are rooted in Latin. As a matter of fact, this class would be excellent for any biology students’ vocabulary since most of the prefixes and suffixes in the sciences come from Latin words. This is also excellent for writers. Why cram the entire Webster’s dictionary in your attic when you can ascertain a few Latin roots?

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