What is Becoming Career Ready?

Essential to Becoming Career Ready is the development of eight Career Readiness Competencies that you might also think of as skills or behaviors. The one thing that all eight competencies share is that they are important to employers. Your experiences at UConn and beyond offer many opportunities to develop and enhance the competencies, including participation in classroom learning,  internships, co-ops, research, on-campus involvement, work experience, or other on- or off-campus endeavors.

Why is Becoming Career Ready important?

  • Career Readiness Competencies have been identified through extensive research and observations conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), with input from employers across all industries, as necessary skills for success in today’s workforce and other post-collegiate pursuits.
  • They have been adopted by UConn through the Center for Career Development and will be referred to as Career Readiness Competencies, ‘NACE Competencies’ or ‘Career Competencies’.
  • Furthermore, the NACE Career Readiness Competencies are not only important for your success post-graduation, they can also add to your accomplishments as a student, in courses, campus activities, internships, jobs and other opportunities.
  • If you want to prepare yourself for success and set yourself apart from your peers, it’s important to 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 and enhance those that need more development.

How do I determine the Competencies I’m good at and those that I need to enhance?

Step 1: We encourage you to use the Am I Career Ready assessment in Focus2 to gauge your proficiency level of the eight NACE Career Readiness competencies. We recommend being honest in your self-assessment; you are not great at everything nor are you not good at anything. Really think of what you are good at, what comes easily to you and what is more challenging. The more honest you are with yourself, the more you’ll get out of this self-assessment.

Step 2: If you’re unsure about in which competencies you are the most or least proficient, ask people you are close to for their opinions and input: family members, friends, faculty, advisors, supervisors and other people in your life. Also know that the areas you anticipate improving are not deficiencies but skills that you haven’t yet had the chance to enhance; look at them as opportunities to explore, learn, and grow.

Step 3: After you have some ideas of where your skill-level falls with the NACE Competencies, look at the How do I become Career Ready section on the right side of this page to determine how to enhance the Career Readiness Competencies and Become Career Ready. You are not alone in this effort.

  • Feel free to schedule a meeting with a Career Coach in the Center for Career Development or talk to another trusted faculty or staff member on campus; maybe someone you’ve already connected with around career.
  • The entire campus community is committed to your success-all you need to do is ask!

Do you have an example of a career-readiness competency that you have gained or enhanced? (Career & Self Development, Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity & Inclusion, Leadership, Professionalism, Teamwork, Technology)

We would love to hear your story. Please complete the Competency Intake form.

Sharing your competency development inspires other students to think about where and how they can gain competencies within and beyond UConn, and can prepare you for future interview questions when employers ask for examples about skills you have developed.


Career & Self Development


Critical Thinking

Equity & Inclusion





How do I Become Career Ready?

  • You probably don’t realize it, but you are enhancing your Career Readiness Competencies on a daily basis in all you do: through classes, jobs, leadership roles, research, education abroad, volunteering, and more.
  • You can develop or enhance any of the competencies during almost any type of experience.
  • Start by thinking about one of the competencies that are of interest to you. Then click on any or all of the experiences below to view ways that students have enhanced or built their NACE Career Readiness Competencies. The options are endless!

Become Career Ready through…