Support Career Readiness

Students on East Bank

The College of Liberal Arts is renewing its commitment to career readiness by focusing on the acquisition of 10 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 our students the necessary tools to seek and obtain the career they desire.

The Liberal Arts Advantage

We asked employers what they most valued in recently-hired and experienced employees. We also asked our alumni what made them successful in their careers. They overwhelmingly reported that 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, what these employers are telling us is that the liberal arts degree, with its emphasis on a well-rounded education, and the ability to articulate competencies gained creates the foundation for a productive career.

How is the College of Liberal Arts advancing career readiness?

  • First in the country to develop a Career Readiness Certificate and passed by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.  The certificate will appear on a students transcript
  • Created a strategic plan to increase the number and quality of internships for students and establishing best practices and minimum standards
  • Published the CLA Internship Guide: Making the Most of Your Internship
  • Doubled the size of our career services staff, resulting in more contacts between our students and career counselors
  • Enhanced our First-Year Experience curriculum to elevate the focus on career readiness and introduce students to the 10 Core Career Competencies
  • Created and distributed 13,000 Career Readiness Guidebooks, which outline helpful tools and resources for CLA students to prepare them for future careers
  • Developed a career course for sophomores, Career Readiness Kickstarter: Building Career Experience as a Second Year Student, to help them continue to develop career management skills and administered the Super Strong Interest Inventory (a career assessment tool) to all first-year students to help them explore their academic and career options
  • Built a career readiness self-assessment tool to help students maximize their experiences
  • Recruited 37 faculty fellows from 18 departments who will integrate career readiness into their courses and curriculum
  • Supported career readiness-related events throughout the year, in partnership with various CLA departments
  • Collaborated with employers to build relationships and engage in the workforce development conversation in Minnesota

Why should you recruit at the College of Liberal Arts?

CLA is the largest college at the University.

  • 45% of the U of M undergraduates are in CLA
  • Students from 50 states and 95 countries
  • We produce more than 3,200 liberal arts graduates annually; no one produces more in Minnesota

CLA is more diverse.

  • 47% of the University's students of color and American Indians are in CLA; 25% of CLA students are students of color or American Indians
  • One-third of CLA students are first-generation college students
  • A critical mass of our diverse students are from Minnesota and are more likely to be retained here due to family ties and other factors

CLA students are globally prepared and community engaged. 

  • 28 languages are taught in CLA; we're the only college on campus that requires second language proficiency
  • One-third of our students study abroad
  • 50% of our students engage in community service

How can I support the Career Readiness Initiative?

  • Tell your colleagues about our Career Readiness Initiative. Share how your CLA education prepared you for your career and the advantages that a liberal arts education brings to the workplace
  • Advocate for recruiting in CLA: post jobs on GoldPASS, conduct on-campus interviews, participate in the CLA Internship & Career Fair, and the U of M Job & Internship Fair, and host an information session for your organization
  • Build your organization's brand among our students (e.g., sponsor a resume review, create a networking event, host a site visit)
  • Personally engage with CLA by participating in a networking event or practice interviews
  • Encourage hiring managers to cast a wider net when looking for future talent with regard to desired majors
  • Advocate for your organization to financially support CLA's Career Readiness opportunities
  • Avail yourself to take career-related questions of students and fellow grads by joining the U of M Alumni Association’s Maroon and Gold Network