According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), there are eight core career competencies that employers look for in college students. These core career competencies are leadership, professionalism, technology, equity & inclusion, teamwork, career & self-development, critical thinking, and communication. As college students, we know about some of these and how they connect to success in a career, but others aren’t as clear or obvious.
Knowing what each of these competencies mean and how they intertwine with career success is important. Once you know this, you can begin to recognize these skills in everyday common tasks and work on refining them. You can also begin to identify your strengths among these as well as your weaknesses.
As this series continues, each of these traits will be addressed in more detail. To begin, we will provide a basic definition of each competency. You can then think about these traits and how you use them each day.
- Leadership – Being able to recognize strengths and/or weaknesses, personal, organizational, or as a team, and being able to capitalize on opportunities or minimize the detrimental effects of some impact.
- Professionalism – This is to put the goals and needs of the larger community, your coworkers, or your workplace, ahead of your own, because you are aware of how different work environments can be.
- Technology – To be able to ethically, effectively, and efficiently use technological aids to assist in completing tasks and achieving goals.
- Equity & Inclusion – This is a practice of exhibiting the skills, knowledge, awareness, and attitude required to fairly interact and incorporate people from all backgrounds, locally, nationally, globally, or otherwise.
- Teamwork – The ability to build and sustain interworking relationships among coworkers, while working toward a common goal and accepting different viewpoints, opinions, and sharing responsibilities.
- Career & Self-Development – Proactively searching for methods of growing oneself and career through personal and experienced learning. Awareness of strengths and weaknesses, as it pertains to personal aptitude. Considering and weighing career opportunities and how things affect those. & use of connections to build relationships within and without one’s organization.
- Critical Thinking – Recognizing and reacting to the needs of your person, team, or organization, as necessary, with an understanding of circumstantial evidence and consistent logical analysis of pertinent information.
- Communication – The clear and effective exchange of information, facts, ideas, and perspectives, within and outside of an organization or team.
*This is the first entry of a nine-part series covering the core career competencies, according to NACE.