Competencies and Career Readiness (for Parents)

Career readiness is the attainment and demonstration of competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition to the workplace. We encourage your students to think broadly about the competencies that enable them to succeed. These can include areas such as global/intercultural fluency or leadership, as well as what we and many employers refer to as transferable skills, such as the ability to work in a team.

All competencies can be developed over time through a variety of experiences (community service, internships, student clubs, coursework) and apply to many career fields.

Based on competencies developed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the Tufts Career Center is committed to helping students develop/enhance the following competencies:

  • Critical Thinking / Problem Solving

    Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

  • Oral / Written Communications

    Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

  • Civic Engagement

    Work with others to define, analyze, and address public, political, or community problems. The individual is able to deliberate with others, collaborate to make change, and form relationships that manifest such civic virtues as tolerance and respect.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

    • Join Student Government and address campus-wide issues
    • Get involved with the Tisch College of Civic Life and its many endeavors, e.g., The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE)
    • Think about volunteering or interning with a political campaign or social service agency
    • Stay current with local and national news; read articles from reputable sources and allow yourself to be challenged
    • Look for ways to engage with the civic life of the University, e.g., by attending events from the Distinguished Speaker Series
  • Teamwork / Collaboration

    Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure and can negotiate and manage conflict.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

    • Join a team and remember that teams take many forms (e.g., a student club or organization, sports team, volunteer group)
    • Create your own team by forming a study group with peers
    • Organize an abroad or domestic volunteer service trip during a school break
  • Digital Technology

    Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

  • Global / Intercultural Fluency

    Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individual differences.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

  • Leadership

    Leverage strengths of others to achieve common goals and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage emotions; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

    Remember, leadership can be demonstrated in many ways, both through more informal roles, as well as formal ones.

  • Professionalism / Work Ethic

    Demonstrate effective work habits and personal accountability, e.g., working productively with others, practicing punctuality and time management, and understanding the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from mistakes.

    Student strategies for developing this competency:

  • Career Management

    Identify and articulate one’s strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate/explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

    Student strategies for developing this competency: