General Required Courses

“Why do I have to take general required courses?” is a common question asked among college students. “I will never use this information.”

Not necessarily.

Attending a college or a university is a privilege, and by signing enrollment papers, you agree to accept the curriculum of your chosen school. The goal of colleges and universities is to graduate well-rounded students who know how to think, not just students who can perform a set of skills with no outside knowledge.

Some technical and vocational programs allow you to just study what you want to study, which is great, but there is a strong argument for a core.

First of all, knowledge really is power. Social media and blogging sites create a greater need for critical thinking skills. There is a vast amount of misinformation on the Internet, and a well-educated mind will be able to discern truth from ignorant calumny or propaganda.

Secondly, it is important to know how to think. Sure, you may never use the Pythagorean Theorem in your life, but the problem-solving, logical, and abstract reasoning skills developed through the study of math are the same ones you may need in to run a business or manage your money.

Why take English or composition classes? There is a surprising difference between an employee who can convey and argue their viewpoint clearly and concisely in a written format and someone whose discursive, emails, articles, and memos leave coworkers frustrated and confused. Also, it can help in your personal life, as written communication skills can help relationships with friends and family members. If you can read a passage or book and clearly analyze it in the written form, then you are a step closer to being a great communicator.

Also, in the professional world you will come across people who will discuss current events, politics, economics, and perhaps even religion. It would be quite embarrassing to be the only person who doesn’t understand what’s going on, or, worse, rattles off misinformation in an attempt to impress those around you.

Successful people want to surround themselves with intellectual people who vehemently aspire to improve themselves through education of some sort, whether they are workshops or classes at a community college. By having an open mind regarding general education courses, and by keeping in mind that knowing more may help you impress associates and potential employers, might make taking classes outside of a specific course of study more appealing.

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