Are You Prepared For Workplace Success?

Career readiness as defined by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is “the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace.” Through industry and educational research, NACE identified 8 core competencies associated with career readiness that can predict the success of new graduates:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency

Additionally, NACE conducted a study in the state of Wisconsin where education professionals and company executives were asked which traits are vital for new college graduates to be competitive candidates, as well as highly successful new hires. Work ethic, the ability to solve ill-structured problems, and a commitment to life-long learning were the most common responses. 

Students who are able to develop and refine these “soft” skills throughout their college experience are more likely to have better employment outcomes at graduation. Further, employers find entry-level employees who possess an advanced set of professional skills such as NACE’s competencies are more productive during their initial years in a new position. To be and stay marketable to employers, it becomes critical for students to purposefully develop these key transferrable skills through participation in student organizations, part-time jobs, curricular or personal projects, research, internships or other related experiences. Development of the communication, problem solving and career management skills outlined above should start as early as freshman year and continue throughout the student’s collegiate career. Students can communicate their personal skillset to employers through well-defined descriptions on a resume that evidence their readiness for a challenging and rewarding career.