comment by casebash ·
2014-12-04T02:07:10.056Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I think that learning some basic programming is a skill that can be useful in a variety of occupations. My brother works in procurement, but he has programmed some basic macros that have allowed him to complete his tasks much more efficiently and this helped him gain a promotion.
One of the best courses I ever took was art history. Art is everywhere, in restaurants, in hotel lobbies and scattered around the city. Having an opportunity to discuss various works within a classroom setting was very valuable for improving my ability to analyse art, which furthers my appreciation and allows me to start interesting conversations. I want to try to also take a class in film studies to see if it deepens my appreciation of film.
Statistics are extremely useful and are used everywhere. From the sciences, to business and to sport (see moneyball) it is worth having at least an introduction so that you can at least attempt to understand the evidence behind a theory. Many subjects like business, psychology or the life sciences will force you to take a statistics course anyway.
First year psychology is one of the most interesting and useful courses I've covered too. Psychology covers everything from improving your memory, maintaining motivation, convincing people and understanding happiness.
I haven't taken a course on micro-economics, but I've read articles online. I agree with Joel Spotsky - (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CollegeAdvice.html), that economics is heavily frontloaded with useful ideas that allow you to understand not only how the business world works, but how to make better decisions in general (arbitrage, Pareto-optimality, time-discounting, specialisation, supply and demand).
Philosophy is valuable because it teaches you to question everything, even your most basic assumptions. Again, this is worth taking in college because of the discussions that you'll (hopefully) have in class. My uni has a course on practical philosophy that I'm planning to do next year.
Don't forget about extra curricula's. You can try to become an exec on a club to gain leadership experience. You can try to find a new hobby. I'll note debating as a particularly interesting activity. Debating calls on knowledge from all different areas - from international relations, economics, law, psychology and philosophy. It improves your ability to think on the fly and to articulate your thoughts. Further, there is a tight feedback loop, adjudicators are usually willing to provide feedback.