The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines career readiness as the attainment and demonstration of requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. The Career Success Story model incorporates these competencies as a foundation to create programming for students, employers, and faculty/staff.

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret and used knowledge, facts and data in this process and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

Oral/Written Communication

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.


Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure and can negotiate and manage conflict.

Information Technology Application

Select and use appropriate technology to accomplish a given task. The individual is also able to apply computing skills to solve problems.


Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize and delegate work.

Professionalism/Work Ethic

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits (punctuality, working with others, workload management). The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.

Career Management

Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and understand how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Read more about NACE Career Readiness and Competencies.