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 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 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 assess your proficiency level of the eight NACE Career Readiness 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 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: Now that you have thought about some of the questions from “Am I Career Ready” 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, they are 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 next section 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!


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 work on any of the competencies in all of the options below. Determine what your assignments/tasks are an in activity or course to help you determine what competency you can enhance.
  • Or determine what competency you would like to enhance and seek to determine which of the below you can become involved in that will enhance that competency.
  • Click on the links below to learn more about how to enhance your NACE Career Readiness Competency in that particular area and to learn more about how to develop Career Competencies.

Courses & Academic Pursuits
Internships & Co-ops
Work experiences (both on and off campus)
Research & Fellowships
Community Outreach & Volunteering
Leadership & Campus Involvement
Practica, Student Teaching, Clinicals & More
International Experiences



Become Career Ready through International Experiences

These experiences can range from experiential learning opportunities for students through virtual and in-person programs domestically and globally. Students can …

Become Career Ready through Practica, Student Teaching, Clinicals & More

There are some academic programs that require “hands-on” work as part of the graduation requirements. Some that come to mind …

Become Career Ready through Leadership & Campus Involvement

There are hundreds of opportunity to enhance the NACE competencies right on campus and the choices are truly endless.  With …

Become Career Ready through Community Outreach & Volunteering

A great space to enhance NACE competencies is through participating in UConn’s Community Outreach programs, volunteering through another organization or …

Become Career Ready through Research & Fellowships

Research can be broadly defined as the systematic investigation of data and other materials that leads to the creation of …

Become Career Ready through Work Experiences (On and Off-Campus)

Sometimes students need to work full- or part-time while they are going to school and might not have the time …

Become Career Ready through Internships & Co-ops

Internships & Co-ops are work/learning experiences that provide a hands-on way for students to confirm choice of major and/or career. …

Become Career Ready through Courses & Academic Pursuits

You are getting a UConn degree by taking courses in your program area and if you’re an undergraduate, through General …


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Return to: Becoming Career Ready student home page

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