Employers seek candidates who can show they know how to get things done in the workplace.

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In a sea of applicants who all have college credentials, employers seek candidates who can show they know how to get things done in the workplace. Job offers don’t just appear. They’re earned through the right mix of knowledge and experience.

When choosing a college or university, consider how well it equips you to stand out in a competitive job market.

Seek opportunities for research and creative activity

Scholarly research builds your knowledge and understanding of a field through experimentation and active observation. Creative activity hones your ability to stir thought and emotion through modes of expression. Choose a university that lets you participate in these activities regardless of your major.

Mechanical engineering student Victor Charoonsophonsak got an early start in research at Washington State University. In his freshman year, he reached out to a faculty adviser, who invited him into his fuel cell research lab. Victor spent two semesters shadowing graduate researchers, and then his adviser connected him with a new faculty mentor who had an open space in his research team. Victor helped the team explore new ways to generate hydrogen for clean energy use – and technology he helped design is now being brought to market by Protium Innovations, a WSU startup company.

Victor is now a senior at WSU. His research experience showed potential employers that he could apply classroom knowledge to solve real-world problems. He landed two great job offers, and accepted one that is a perfect fit for his goals.

Gain hands-on experience

Research is just one of many ways to learn by doing. You can also gain experience through practicum courses, internships, student organizations, industry-sponsored projects and other activities.

These hands-on, active learning opportunities bring classroom lessons to life. They deepen your understanding and help you gain practical experience that you can use in the real world.

For instance, dozens of WSU students across multiple disciplines rolled up their sleeves to help launch Protium Innovations. While Victor worked directly with the lab team, other students contributed to the project through a hands-on course in mechanical component analysis and design. Entrepreneurship students developed and pitched a business plan that charted a course for the company’s foray into the marketplace. (The plan also won a $10,000 prize in the annual WSU Business Plan Competition.)

Pursue a degree that transforms your future

When searching for the right college, look for one that includes practical, hands-on learning experiences in its degree programs. These opportunities will enrich your education and help launch you into the career of your choice.

Washington State University integrates practical experience into each of its 200+ academic programs. Students earn degrees in five locations across the state – Pullman, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Spokane and Everett. The Global Campus delivers WSU degrees to you through online programs.