Career Readiness

CLA Career Services
Are you a CLA student and ready to start
exploring internship and career opportunities?
Get started by visiting CLA Career Services
and start developing your Career Management
competency today.

Visit the Get Ready Site
CLA's Get Ready site is a resource to help students
learn about core competency development and use
the RATE tool.

The Liberal Arts Advantage

At the College of Liberal Arts, our goal is “CLA alumni will be the most desirable graduates available.” To accomplish this, CLA is focusing on career readiness through the acquisition of ten Core Career Competencies. Nine of these competencies reflect the very essence of liberal arts education - and the competitive advantage it represents in today’s uncertain and dynamic economy. Career management, the tenth competency, gives you the necessary tools to seek and obtain the career you desire. Career Readiness is the ability to articulate how a liberal arts education prepares you for your future career to yourself, and to your family and future employers. This is your liberal arts advantage.  

CLA asked employers what they most valued in recently-hired and experienced employees. We also asked our CLA alumni what made them successful in their careers. Overwhelmingly, they reported it was the liberal arts education generally and competencies such as thinking critically, communicating clearly, and solving complex problems, specifically. They also told us that the Core Career Competencies 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 and successful career.

CLA’s focus on the Core Career Competencies and the Get Ready site helps you discover and articulate the value of these Core Career Competencies. You’ll find the definitions, hear from alumni about how competencies have propelled their careers, and learn more about their importance.


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

The Career Readiness Experience

As a student you will be thinking and talking about your career readiness from orientation through graduation. Through CLA’s Career Readiness Initiative, CLA will be highlighting the Core Career Competencies through our communication, student experiences, academic advising, and career services as we support students through these various elements.

  • Use CLA’s Career Readiness Guide your first year through graduation to plan for your career. Learn how to explore careers, write a resume, and prepare to interview.
  • Visit Get Ready to discover the value of the Core Career Competencies, learn about RATE, hear from CLA alumni and leverage the resources and tools to achieve the career you desire.
  • Engage in your Career Readiness RATE Portal to capture your academic and co-curricular experiences and account for the development of your Core Career Competencies so you can tell your unique liberal arts story.
  • Visit CLA Career Services. Start exploring internship and career opportunities.  

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 that you are, in fact, the most desirable candidate available.

“An education in the liberal arts is a springboard to lifelong career success” -- Dean John Coleman

Learn more about the Career Readiness Initiative

Dr. Ascan F. Koerner
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, College of Liberal Arts
Johnston Hall #115

Judith Anderson
Director of Career Readiness
Johnston Hall #106

Dr. Amy Lee
Career Readiness Director of Faculty Engagement

Char Myers
CLA Internship Coordinator
Bruininks Hall #411

Kris Cory
Career Readiness Faculty Engagement Specialist