The eight career readiness competencies1 describe primary transferable skill sets that broadly prepare you for entering the working world, and are crucial to finding career success.

You will need to make a conscious effort to develop these competencies and seek out ways to put them into practice, often outside of the classroom, whether through extracurricular or

co-curricular activities, work-integrated learning (e.g. co-op, internship, practicum), studying abroad, volunteering, employment, or other opportunities.

The eight competencies intersect with all degree programs, though it is important to reflect on how your chosen program contributes to the development of each. Mastering these competencies is a process that often extends beyond school and throughout your career and requires a capacity for continual learning and personal growth.

As you transition into the working world, you will find that your ability to confidently demonstrate and articulate these competencies is key to your employment and career success.

  1. The competencies are based on research conducted by representatives from industry and higher education, and are adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Competencies.

Career Readiness Competencies

  • Personal accountability and effective work habits, i.e. punctuality, works productively with others, time workload
    management, and understands the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.
  • Integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn
    from their mistakes.


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


  • Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions and viewpoints.
  • Work within a team structure and negotiate and manage conflict.


  • Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions and overcome problems.
  • Obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and demonstrate originality and inventiveness.


  • Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks and accomplish goals.
  • Effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.


  • Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others.
  • Assess and manage their emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize and delegate work.


  • Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religions.
  • Openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.
  • Substantive knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their history.


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


Integrate it into your education & preparation

There are four step process for integrating career readiness into your post-secondary education and career preparation:

1) Awareness

An introduction to the eight competencies and their importance to your education and career.

2) Understanding

Gaining a deeper knowledge of the competencies and their skill components. Reflecting on the competencies in relation to your ability level, your program expectations, career needs and opportunities for development.

3) Developing

An active and conscious step whereby you seek out opportunities to develop and demonstrate your competencies.

4) Articulating

Expanding your ability to describe/market your competencies to potential employers, both in writing and verbally.