When I graduated back in 2011, I made it a habit to obsessively scan job descriptions from all over.

Now, this may sound pretty common, especially from a new college grad living at home (sound familiar?) but I wasn't looking for a full-time job.

Instead, I was scouring job boards from huge companies like Apple, Nike, and Google in order to compile my own list of design-related skills. I was essentially picking and choosing skills that would give me a competitive edge as a full-time freelance designer.

In fact, I still do this today. In my mind, it helps me to stay relevant in the industry while I continue to freelance.

Are you currently looking for a new job, either as a student or someone who hates the current job? Try browsing the job boards of companies you admire, take note of positions they have open, and jot down the skills they're looking for.

Next thing you know, you'll have your own curriculum to follow.

Who says you can't tackle professional development on your own?