The reasons for taking a directed studies course vary from student to student. If you are considering graduate school, for example, a directed studies course is a great way to experience the pressures and rewards of independent scholarship and the intensity of the full research process. If your interests lie elsewhere—outside of academia—the benefits of undertaking a directed studies will set you apart from your competitors in the job market. Broadly speaking, students undertaking directed studies courses can expect to strengthen and develop a number of personal and inter-personal skills, including:
- Critical thinking, creativity, and intellectual independence
- Management and assessment of large quantities of information
- Communication skills (both oral and written)
- Punctuality and organization
Regardless of whether your future career lies in academia, government, industry, or the non-governmental sector, the relationship you build with your faculty supervisor is important in terms of skill development, career choices, and potential reference letters. Also, by taking directed studies courses you have the opportunity to win awards and grants for your hard work! See the important Other Helpful Links section for more information.