Core Career Competencies

Core Career Competencies

Analytical & Critical Thinking

The comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, knowledge, evidence, and values before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. This process involves evaluating an issue or problem based on multiple perspectives, while accounting for personal biases. Analytical and critical thinkers identify when information is missing or if there is a problem, prior to coming to conclusions and making decisions. This competency requires the ability to recognize that there may be more than one valid point of view.

Applied Problem Solving

The process of designing, evaluating, and implementing a workable strategy to achieve a goal. This type of problem solving identifies constraints, generates alternative courses of action, and devises criteria to evaluate alternatives. Problem solvers select and implement the most effective solution, then monitor and assess the actual outcomes of that solution to determine whether goals were achieved.   

Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making

The ability to recognize ethical issues arising in a variety of settings or social contexts and to act accordingly. This competency incorporates assessing one's own personal and moral values and perspectives as well as those of other stakeholders and integrating them into an ethical framework for decision making. Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making requires considering intentions, the short- and long- term consequences of actions, and the ethical principles that apply in the situation before making decisions.

Innovation & Creativity

The generation of new, varied, and unique ideas, and making connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Innovators challenge existing paradigms and proposed alternatives without being constrained by established approaches or anticipated responses of others. Instead, innovators employ their sense of originality. This competency requires a willingness to take risks and overcome internal struggle to expose one’s creative self in order to bring forward new work or ideas.

Oral & Written Communication

The intentional engagement with an audience for specific goals, such as to inform, persuade, or entertain. This involves considering one’s relationship with the audience and the social and political context in which one communicates, as well as the needs, goals, and motivations of all involved. Communicators demonstrate proficiency in, knowledge of, and competence with the means of communication (including relevant language and technical skills), resulting in functional and clear messages.

Teamwork & Leadership

The building and maintenance of collaborative relationships based on the needs, abilities, and goals of each member of a group or organization. Teamwork & Leadership requires an understanding of roles and responsibilities and how they may change in differing situations. It is the ability to influence others without necessarily holding a formal position of authority, and a willingness to take action. Team members and leaders acknowledge and manage conflict toward solutions and leverage the strengths of others to achieve a shared vision or objective.

Engaging Diversity

The process of cultivating awareness of one’s own identity and cultural background and that of others through an exploration of domains of diversity, which may include: race, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, ability, class, gender, age, spirituality, etc. It requires an understanding of historical and social contexts and a willingness to confront perspectives of dominant cultural narratives and ideologies, locally, nationally, or globally. Engaging Diversity requires an understanding of how culture affects perceptions, attitudes, values, and behaviors. It involves recognizing how social structures and systems create and perpetuate inequities, resulting in social and economic marginalization and limited opportunities. It entails a commitment to the fundamental principles of freedom of thought and expression, equality, respect for others, diversity, and social justice; and to participate in society as conscious global citizens. Those who engage diversity are able to navigate an increasingly complex and diverse world by appreciating and adopting multiple cultural perspectives or worldviews.

Active Citizenship & Community Engagement

The development of consciousness about one's roles in and active engagement with the communities in which one is involved. Active citizens and community engagers build an awareness of how communities impact individuals, and how, in turn, individuals impact, serve, and shape communities. This engagement leads to an awareness of culture and power in community dynamics.

Digital Literacy

The ability to leverage media literacies and knowledge of information and communications technology, and relevant interpersonal skills, to succeed in a digital space. Digital literacy means assessing sources of information, using technologies responsibly, adapting tools to new purposes, and keeping up with the evolving technology landscape.

Career Management

The active engagement in the process of exploring possible careers, gaining meaningful experience, and building skills that help one excel after college and lead to employment or other successful post-graduation outcomes. Effective career management requires an understanding of values, interests, identity, personality, skills, strengths, and Core Career Competencies and articulating how those characteristics, combined with and shaped by a liberal arts education, lead to career success.