Are you Career Ready? 

The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is committed to supporting students in their journey to become "career ready" and prepared for the world of work. Toward that end, USG has developed the following list of career readiness competencies which reflect the key skills employers seek today. These nine competencies are adapted from best practices and recommendations developed by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE). Students are encouraged to seek experiences both in and out of the classroom which will help to develop these competencies over time. The development of these "skill sets", in addition to completion of a college degree and participation in meaningful experiential learning experiences, will help students become prepared, competitive, and ready to thrive in the world of work.

Read our recent blog post on career readiness on the DiscoverUSG News Blog.

College to Career Ready: 9 Competencies for Success

1. Oral & Written Communication

Utilize effective communication strategies to convey information to a target audience. Employ a variety of writing styles and formats with technical expertise. Articulate ideas and messages in a clear, compelling, and sensitive manner when speaking publicly or engaging in professional interactions.

2. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Exercise sound reasoning and analytical thinking. Use knowledge, facts, and data to solve problems and make decisions. Strategically demonstrate innovation, creativity, and inventiveness to achieve outcomes.

3. Leadership

Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. Assess and manage one’s own emotions and those of others; use empathic skills to guide and motivate. Take initiative to organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

4. Teamwork & Collaboration

Build collaborative relationships and maximize strengths across diverse teams. Navigate group dynamics and manage conflict to achieve common goals. Negotiate solutions to meet the varied needs of professional stakeholders.

5. Professionalism & Work Ethic

Demonstrate personal accountability, effective workload management, and efficient use of time. Exercise integrity and ethical behavior in the workplace. Develop an exemplary professional reputation and the ability to adapt to organizational culture and conduct expectations in varied work settings.

6. Global & Intercultural Fluency

Value, respect, and learn from individuals with diverse identities and backgrounds. Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, and sensitivity with all people. Continually seek deeper knowledge and understanding of varied cultures in order to skillfully navigate a local, national, and global landscape.

7. Personal Development & Well-being

Enhance self-awareness by developing a better understanding of personal motivations, emotions, and behaviors. Engage in the continual enhancement of one's physical, mental, and spiritual health. Cultivate and foster habits of well-being to increase focus, productivity, and impact.

8. Career Management

Identify and articulate transferable skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to desired career goals. Seek to continually add knowledge and skills required for progression along a career pathway. Explore and navigate steps necessary to pursue professional opportunities which match personal values and implement strategies for self-advocacy in the workplace.

9. Digital Technology

Demonstrate general proficiency in commonly used technology tools and applications to ethically solve problems. Engage in continual learning of emerging technologies to maintain adaptability.  Employ innovative use of technology tools to enhance professional success.


Skills Employers Seek

What skills do employers seek in job candidates? According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), employers seek the skills below listed in order of importance.*

Attributes Employers Seek on a Candidate's Resume

Ability to work in a team 78.0%
Problem solving skills 77.3%
Communication skills (written) 75.0%
Strong work ethic 72.0%
Communication skills (verbal) 70.5%
Leadership 68.9%
Initiative 65.9%
Analytical/quantitative skills 64.4%
Flexibility/adaptability 63.6%
Detail-oriented 62.1%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 58.3%
Technical skills 56.8%
Computer skills 49.2%
Organizational ability 47.7%
Strategic planning skills 37.9%
Friendly/outgoing personality 25.8%
Tactfulness 25.8%
Creativity 21.2%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker 19.7%
Fluency in a foreign language 4.5%
*Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers


Career Readiness Resources for Students & Faculty


Developing Your Competencies: Recommended Activities For Students

Students are encouraged to look for our career competency event identifiers (included in all CISC event descriptions) as a means of identifying activities which will help develop proficiency in specific career competency areas.  In addition to our Career Cenrter events, students can participate in a wide variety of activities both on- and off-campus to develop career competencies.  A list of examples is provided below:

Activities to Help Develop Career Competencies

1.  Participation in Workshops
2. Virtual Training Sessions/Online Learning
3. Leadership Roles
4. Internships and CoOps
5. Study Abroad Experiences
6. Participating in Student Clubs/Organizations
7. Giving a Speech
8. Working on a Team Project
9. Research Experiences
10. Networking
11.  Writing a Proposal, Report, or Dissertation
12. Job Shadowing


Career Competency Event & Activity Identifiers

CO = Oral & Written Communication
CP= Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
LE = Leadership
TC = Teamwork & Collaboration 
PE = Professionalism & Work Ethic
GF = Global & Intercultural Fluency
PW = Personal Development & Well-being
CM = Career Management
DT = Digital Technology