Career Readiness

The Liberal Arts Advantage

The College of Liberal Arts has made a commitment to explicitly engage with you in a consistent conversation about Career Readiness and help you to take full advantage of the breadth of opportunity that exists in CLA. With more than 69 majors, 67 minors, and hundreds of courses to choose from as you chart your path, you will be developing Core Career Competencies - the skills employers desire - along the way.


Core Career Competencies

  • Analytical & Critical Thinking
  • Applied Problem Solving
  • Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Oral & Written Communication
  • Teamwork & Leadership
  • Engaging Diversity
  • Active Citizenship & Community Engagement
  • Digital Literacy
  • Career Management

Nine of these competencies represent the very essence of liberal arts education - and the competitive advantage it represents in today's uncertain and very dynamic economy.  Career management, the tenth competency, helps you prepare yourself for your career and give you the necessary tools to obtain the career you desire. Career Readiness means you can articulate how a liberal arts education prepares you for your future career to yourself, and to your family and future employers.  

In 2014, the Association of American Colleges and Universities asked employers what they most valued in both their recently-hired and experienced employees. Overwhelmingly, they reported not only that all should have a background in the liberal arts, but also that competencies such as thinking critically, communicating clearly, and solving complex problems are more important than specific undergraduate majors. In other words, these employers are telling us is that a liberal arts degree, with its emphasis on a well-rounded education, is the foundation for a productive career.

The Career Readiness Experience

You can expect to be thinking and talking about your career readiness in the First-Year Experience program and with your academic advisor through graduation. CLA will be highlighting the Core Career Competencies through our communication, student experiences, academic advising, and career services as we roll out elements of CLA’s Career Readiness Initiative.

We have several short-and long-term projects in development that will help you plan, experience, and reflect upon how a liberal arts education prepares you for what comes next. Before your first job or graduate school interview, you will be able to reflect, articulate, translate, and evaluate your readiness for the workplace and make the case for themselves.

Ascan F. Koerner
Faculty Director, Career Readiness Initiative
Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies, Communication Studies
Johnston Hall #106
(612) 301-1606
Judith Anderson
Career Readiness Coordinator
Johnston Hall #106