How taking the hard road always leads to more choices in the future.

There have been many articles going around recently focused on providing advice for this summers graduating class. I want to go a step further and offer my two cents to the class of students who are going to start thinking about applying to university.

At first I believed that it was not what you learned that was important, but your ability to learn (which still holds true, but there are caveats).

The fast pace in which business is moving now, the most valuable employees are the ones who have both breadth and depth of knowledge to call upon, or in other words, a jack of all trades AND a master of some. So not your typical T- shaped employee but rather a pi shaped employee; which is actually an apt description as pi is infinite and so should be the capability of your employees.

To truly be a superstar employee from day one for any multinational or startup, you need hard skills. Skills which contribute directly to the profitability or productivity of the firm. Unfortunately your typical MBA does not fit that bill. We have BBA graduates doing MBA’s and at the end of it all they can do is theorize. Instead we need action oriented graduates who can start number crunching or developing applications, and then as they inference all aspects of the business and move into management roles start theorizing.

I challenge all current graduates right now to look at and examine your peers (not just the ones in your class, but every graduate in your year across every university. In s global world that’s who you are competing in the job market with. Ask yourself how many of them could do what you do, and if they cannot, how hard would it be for them to learn.

Your typical BBA marketing grad can’t build a database, and your typical MIS/CS grad can’t come up with a marketing plan or financial model. But I guarantee to you, your MIS/CS grad can far more easily learn how to create a marketing plan than your BBA student being able to create a database. This is because what a BBA student learns are primarily soft skills, while your MIS student learns hard skills, and there lies the difference.

Your typical businessman cannot become a doctor, but your typical doctor could a lot easily become a businessman.

Your typical business analyst cannot become a mathematician, but your typical mathematician could quite comfortably become an analyst.

If you hadn’t worked out by now, the primary focus of this article hasn’t been to guide you into a certain profession, but rather guide you into a path whereby you do not limit your options or choices. By having choices available to you at ask stages of your career, you are greatly expanding the possibility of your own happiness.

I feel this is important because I truly believe that in this day and age WHAT you study, in regards to the courses and major you choose, will have a lasting impact on your career progression.

This post was originally published on Trango