The Skills Book

Used by tens of thousands of high school and college students to obtain the skills they need to have a successful career and make a better world. Award-winning college professor and student adviser Bill Coplin has helped students get great jobs. Here, he lays down the essential skills you need to survive and succeed in today's job market based on his extensive interviews with employers, recruiters, human resource specialists, and employed college grads.

Jobs are skills, not majors.
Karen M. McGee, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs,S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Coplin's theories are brilliant and dead on. I can't remember the last time someone asked me my GPA or major, but I use parts of these ten skill groups every day in my job at Disney.
Jim Gallagher, Senior Vice-President of Creative Advertising, The Walt Disney Company

Meet Bill Coplin

Bill Coplin

Bill Coplin is currently a full time professor at Syracuse University. He has published more than 110 books and articles in the fields of international relations, public policy, political risk analysis, social science education, citizenship and “doing good.”  His first priority has been helping high school and college students develop the skills they need to do well and do good. 

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The WebsiteSkills Win!

This website serves as a gateway to the writings and educational materials that Coplin, with the help of his students and colleagues, have developed over the past 50 years; in addition, it introduces you to the Skills Win! Database, all of which can be used on a trial basis, free of charge.  All materials on this site can be used free of charge. The only thing he asks in return is that you send your praise and suggestions on how to improve the materials on this site.

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10 Things Employers Want You to Learn In College

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Building on the reactions of readers and audiences to the first edition of 10 Things, Bill Coplin’s revised edition adds new material to help college students find a solid career path once they graduate college.  His emphasis on skills and career exploration, both inside and outside the classroom, is even more crucial than when he first wrote this widely used book in 2003. The new edition recognizes changes in technology and the job market over the past ten years that will help college graduates launch themselves into successful careers. 

New Features of 10 Things:

  • The Skills for Success College Planner— an appendix that will allow students to develop and adjust plans
  • A new chapter on networking 
  • A new chapter on branding
  • Updated facts and figures on careers and career development activities

What people are saying about the book:

“While this book may be most useful for those just beginning college, it would be smart for juniors or seniors to read (for it’s never too late to start) as well as a good idea for motivated high school students. The book can confirm if a student is on track or serve as a wake-up call so they won’t be left at the station when it comes to having a strong set of skills that would be highly valued by employers.”  Read Book Review by Dr. David P. Helfand on first edition of 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College

Downloadable Forms from the Book

The five forms listed below are linked to a clear copy of the forms which can be downloaded on your hard drive.  Instructions for completing the forms are provided on pages --- to ---in 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College Revised Edition 2012

  1. NETWORKING PROSPECTS FORM: A form where you can list and continuously update contacts that you want to be part of your network. Click here
  2. FOUR-YEAR CALENDAR OF THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AFTER COLLEGE:  This calendar has dates throughout your four years and things you should do to be on a successful career path once your graduate college.  Click here
  3. SKILLS SELF- ASSESSMENT FORMS:  Two different forms are provided.  The first is to be used to complete your initial skills assessment and the second is a form to record your progress throughout your four years of college.
    - Click here for form #1
    - Click here for form #2
  4. SEMIANNUAL BUDGET FORM:  This form helps you create a simple balance sheet between the money you receive and the money you will spend for each academic year. This form will automaticall calculate totals based on the information you enter. Click here
  5. PERSONAL BUDGET FOR FIRST YEAR AFTER COLLEGE:  This form allows you to project your income and your expenses the first year after graduating. This form will automaticall calculate totals based on the information you enter. Click here