What is the best way to gain practical experience in college?

The field I want to go into requires a lot of technical skills. Because of the rigor of my degree program getting an internship or a job isn't really an option.

What is the best way to gain practical experience with sql, excel, power bi, and other technical skills?

Asked by EmilyGreen River Community College

1 Answer


It sounds like you're trying to get into the field of business analysis + intelligence given the skills you said you're looking to learn. As you mentioned, going out and getting an internship or job would be a great way to get experience, particularly in this field, but if you can't do that, you should be training up on those skills as much as possible, and ideally in a way that you can show off to employers.

https://community.modeanalytics.com/sql/ is a great place to learn SQL. From there you can develop basic skills, but to take it a step further, maybe you can try to aggregate a dataset that's interesting to you and create your own database. Then from there you can try to find a way to expose that dataset to the world with some interesting charts, graphs and analysis. Add in some narrative story telling to the analysis and you got yourself some awesome portfolio items! Check out https://pudding.cool/ for inspiration!

I emphasize building something because it'll be the only way you really internalize the skills you're trying to learn, and employers will LOVE to see the initiative you've taken to build something on your own (and it'll demonstrate that you really know what you say you know)! Happy building!

Answered by MitchellUniversity of Maryland-College Park