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Career Competencies Are Skills Students Can Develop for Their Future Career Success

By Amaya McDonald


In preparation for their future careers, college students dedicate themselves to developing skills and experiences in order to achieve “career readiness,” or the attainment of skills demonstrated by college graduates entering the workforce. Easing the transition into the workforce after graduation, career readiness depends on the attainment and development of eight career competencies , or skills required to successfully complete a job most valued by employers. 

These competencies include: 



Oral and written communication skills are essential in any area of work. The ability to articulate thoughts and effectively share ideas can help provide clarity and build relationships between colleagues. Communication skills can be demonstrated and developed through articles, written reports, or presentations and pitches given to an audience. 



Those with strong problem-solving skills can use the information they know to properly assess and interpret an issue. Analyzing problems, exercising sound reasoning, and making decisions to create solutions is essential to becoming a good problem-solver. These skills can be showcased in a number of settings where teamwork and collaboration are important. 


Digital Technology 

Prospective employees can use digital technology to assess and solve problems, complete tasks, and adapt to new technologies. These skills can be obtained through experience with website designing, statistical analysis, financial reports, or classes and workshops focused on technical skills. 



Those with a strong work ethic can demonstrate excellent time management, personal accountability, ethical behavior, and an understanding of the impact of non-verbal communication on the professional work image. Professionalism can be shown through commitment to personal and professional goals and an eagerness to act on opportunities as they occur. 

Career Competencies

Global Understanding 

Global understanding is demonstrated through value and respect for diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. Openness and inclusivity along with the ability to respect and learn from others can be showcased through the willingness to attend sensitivity training or interactions with diverse populations. 



Leadership skills can be used to achieve common goals by leveraging the skills of those on a team. The use of interpersonal skills to support others and delegate, prioritize, and organize work are important in leadership roles. To develop this competency, students can motivate others, seek out opportunities to take initiative, and study theoretical leadership approaches. 


Career Management 

One should be able to identify their skills, experiences, and areas of potential growth when considering their career goals. Exploring numerous options and pursuing a variety of opportunities can help to strengthen career management skills. Students can demonstrate these skills by setting high and realistic goals and understanding how to advocate for themselves. 



Focusing on team goals can demonstrate the way a prospective employee might build collaborative relationships with their colleagues. Those with strong teamwork skills can work effectively within a collaborative environment, negotiate, and manage conflict.