Being career ready does not just mean you are ready to get a job! It means that you have the competencies and skills you need to keep that job and begin growing in your career. Consider these areas to increase your career readiness.


While technical skills are critical to your professional success, there are other factors that can determine your career readiness. In other words, you may know how to execute job functions, but you may need more training in how to succeed at work or manage your career in the long term. Sometimes, these are referred to as technical and non-technical skills. Technical skills are typically learned in a classroom or during job training. Non-technical skills are acquired through exposure to a variety of experiences that contribute to your personal growth.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has identified eight career competencies (a combination of technical and non-technical skills), compiled from employer feedback, each of which can be demonstrated in a variety of ways (see sample behaviors) and that contribute to career readiness.

They are:

  • Career & Self-Development: Proactively develop oneself and one's career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one's strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one's organization.
  • Communication: Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.
  • Critical Thinking: Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.
  • Equity & Inclusion: Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.
  • Leadership: Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.
  • Professionalism: Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.
  • Teamwork: Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.
  • Technology: Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.

Reprinted courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers

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Fill out our NACE Competencies Chart to see potential room for growth.

Ready to develop your career readiness competencies? Develop your skills and add a line to your resume with a career readiness certification. 

Earn a Career Readiness Certification

  • Self-enroll in our Canvas course:
  • Complete the pre-course survey.
  • Finish 11 modules (approx. 4 hours) in any order you choose. 
    • To earn your certicate, all module quizzes must be completed with a perfect score.
    • You have up to 3 attempts to complete each quiz.
  • Fill out the post-course survey.
  • Email or visit 1131 Martin Hall to receive your certificate.
    • Successful completion is defined as perfect scores on all module quizzes and completion of pre and post course surveys.


Technical skills, usually listed under the Skills section of your resume, let hiring managers know which job duties you can perform. As different industries change and grow, so too will the skills that you need to possess in order to succeed in your career.

Some of these may include:

  • software and hardware used in your target industry
  • lab skills, techniques, and protocols
  • programming languages

How do you know what technical skills you'll need in your career? A good place to start is GitHub's Future of Skills page or Lightcast's Skill Categories. It's also a good idea to view current job descriptions for positions you aspire applying to. Once you identify the top technical skills needed in your field, you can begin taking courses, earning certifications, and reviewing common technical interview questions

LinkedIn Learning Courses by Discipline

Aerospace Engineering


Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Civil Engineering

Computer Science and Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Fire Protection Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

See more LinkedIn resources for the job search.

Additional Resources

Actively pursue professional development before and during employment experiences to increase your productivity and stay aware of trending topics. Doing so could give you the edge over other candidates. Here are some ideas:

Explore additional opportunities to become career ready, below.