Career Readiness in CLA

In the College of Liberal Arts, we define career readiness as when you have developed and can convincingly demonstrate and articulate the ten Core Competencies that reflect the very essence of your liberal arts education.

What Career Readiness Means in CLA

Your liberal arts education is preparing you to be an active citizen, a smart consumer, an innovator, a problem solver, an analytical and critical thinker in all you do and in your many life roles. 

And if you’re like most students, one of the reasons you’re here in college is to prepare for a future career, whatever that may look like for you. And you want to be READY—career ready—when you leave here. 

Your courses and experiences in CLA combine to make you career ready because they equip you with relevant, transferable, and highly desirable competencies that pave the way to your future success. 

10 Core Competencies

The ten Core Competencies were identified through extensive discussions—with employers, graduate and professional schools, faculty members, U of M alumni, government agencies, and national career development organizations—about what matters most for you to adapt and advance professionally.

No matter which major you choose in CLA, your liberal arts courses combine to build all ten of the Core Competencies:

Analytical & Critical Thinking

Applied Problem Solving

Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making

Innovation & Creativity

Digital Literacy

Engaging Diversity

Active Citizenship & Community Engagement

Teamwork & Leadership

Oral & Written Communication

Career Management

The Core Competencies not only define career readiness, they give you a practical framework to show your career readiness—to prove it!—to prospective employers or to graduate school admissions committees. 

When you are able to articulate how you have developed these core competencies, it gives you a competitive edge in any job market.

The Liberal Arts Advantage

Each of these videos gives you valuable insight into the Core Competencies you gain in CLA—and how they help you make an impact.

CLA Alumni on The Liberal Arts Advantage

Employers on Career Readiness

CLA Faculty on Career Readiness

CLA Students on Career Readiness

Connect It All with RATE™

Every CLA student develops the ten core competencies, but every student does it differently. RATE (Reflect, Articulate, Translate, Evaluate) helps you tell the story of how you did it.

Using RATE connects what you’ve experienced across your liberal arts education and helps you translate its value into any professional context.