Becoming Career Ready

What is Becoming Career Ready?

The Center for Career Development at UConn defines the concept of Becoming Career Ready as the development of eight career competencies which may be better known to you as skills. These competencies are developed through completion of a college degree, experiential learning, research, on-campus involvement, work experience, or other on or off-campus endeavors.

These competencies were developed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) – Connected to the Career Ready piece NACE and adopted by UConn. They will be referred to as ‘NACE competencies’ or ‘career competencies’.

Why is Becoming Career Ready important?

These competencies have been identified by employers and adopted by UConn’s Center for Career Development as necessary skills for success in today’s workforce and other post-collegiate pursuits.

Furthermore, the NACE competencies are not only important for your success post-graduation, they can also add to your accomplishments as a student, in courses, extra-curricular activities, internships, jobs and other opportunities.

If you want to prepare yourself for success and set yourself apart from your peers, it’s important not only to learn more about Becoming Career Ready and the NACE competencies, but to take action and intentionally build on the competencies you already have.

How do I determine what I’m already good at?

You are NOT starting from scratch!  It’s important to realize that you have been developing skills and competencies throughout your life and will continue to do so post-graduation and throughout the rest of your life. We are suggesting that now you become more intentional about assessing your competencies and involving yourself in experiences to enhance what you already have. Below are three steps to get you started.

Step 1: We encourage you to use Focus2 to assess the current level of the career competencies. This is a resource where you can evaluate these competencies and we recommend being honest in your self-assessment.  You are not great at everything nor are you not good at anything. Really of think of what you are good at, comes easily to you and what is more challenging. The more honest you are, the more you’ll get out of this self-assessment.

Step 2: Now that you have thought about some of the questions from Focus2, if you’re unsure about your strengths and areas of development ask people you are close to; parents, friends, faculty, advisors, supervisors and other people in your life. Also know that the areas you are wishing to develop are not deficiencies, they are just skills that you haven’t yet had the chance to develop; look at them as opportunities to explore, learn, and grow.

Step 3: Now that you have some ideas of where your skill-level falls with the NACE competencies, look at the section below to determine how to build the competencies and Become Career Ready.



Career & Self Development


Critical Thinking 

Equity & Inclusion





How do I Become Career Ready?

You probably don’t realize it, but your competencies are enhanced on a daily basis in all you do; through classes, jobs, leadership roles, research, studying abroad, volunteering, and more.  Being intentional about what you do in each of these spaces will help you be more aware of what you are already good at and what career competencies you would like to enhance. 

Become Career Ready through: