Skills Employers Want in College Graduates

Skills employers want in college graduates

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified career readiness as the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. The eight competencies associated with career readiness are:

Critical thinking/problem solving

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

Oral/written communication

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


Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. Ability to work within a team structure, and negotiate and manage conflict.

Digital technology

Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. Demonstrate 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. Ability to assess and manage one's emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.

Professionalism/work ethic

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. Ability to demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior, act responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and ability to learn from mistakes.

Career management

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. Ability to navigate and explore job options, understand and take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understand how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Global/intercultural fluency

Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals' differences. 

e-Learning Soft Skills Program



How to be approachable, authentic, and open to alternate ideas/approaches. Including a DiSC personality profile assessment.


Communication styles and techniques; appropriate use of different communication methods. Including an assessment to identify your preferred communication style.


Managing conflict and identifying your conflict management approach. Includes an assessment of your conflict management style.

Critical Thinking

Ethical Character

Identify your core values and how they contribute to your ethical character. Including an assessment exercise that helps you reveal your core values.

Personal Judgment

How to make good decisions and exercise workplace appropriate personal judgment. Appropriate social behaviors in the workplace. Includes an assessment about how well you control your impulses in situations of personal judgment.

Problem Solving

Basic problem solving techniques to help be part of the solution. The assessment included evaluates your problem solving skills.

Time Management

Ways to manage your time wisely and avoid procrastination. Including an assessment to determine how well you manage your time.


Diversity and Inclusion

Recognizing and appreciating the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond. Including an assessment that reveals how you consider aspects of diversity and inclusion.


The importance of self-confidence and taking responsibility for and pride in ourselves. Including an assessment of your level of self-confidence.


Techniques for working well with a team of others toward a common goal. Including an assessment about how well you work in a team environment.


Positive Attitude

Approaching work with a positive attitude and displaying this to co-workers and customers alike. Including a self-assessment revealing your attitude.


Approaching work with a positive attitude and displaying this to co-workers and customers alike. Including a self-assessment revealing your attitude.


Recognize that change is a normal part of work, and understanding how to accept change gracefully and participate in change efforts. Including an assessment of your tolerance of ambiguity.

Work Ethic

Being productive, reliable, diligent and loyal to organization’s purpose, mission, and values. Includes a personal work ethic assessment.