I think the two most important skills that one must have by the time they graduate and before they start a job are technical writing and presentation skills. One can definitely gain a large breadth of knowledge on their majors/fields but that might not be enough to go out and  work in the real world. The traditional curriculum is all about teaching many different courses related to the subject matter but teaching “interpersonal and communication skills” have never been paid much attention. Having succeeded well with a 4.0 GPA doesn’t necessarily guarantee a successful career in life and these skills are equally valued.  Hence, I would like to see courses that teach technical/academic writing and presentation skills being included as mandatory courses in the curriculum for all disciplines.

The geotechnical engineering graduate program at Virginia Tech (the program I am enrolled in) requires you to take 2 semesters of mandatory “Seminar” course. The first semester is mainly focused at teaching students technical/academic writing skills and the second semester is aimed at teaching presentation skills. Students are required to write a paper at the end of first semester and give a presentation on a free topic at the end of second semester and both of these are critically evaluated by the faculty and feedback are provided. I think not all programs have mandatory courses like this and I think the “seminar” course has been an added value to our program.