Academic Planning_Core Competencies Needed for College Work
Academic Planning_Core Competencies Ne ..
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Academic Planning_Core Competencies Needed for College Work

Academic Planning_Core Competencies Needed for College Work

Read this document to learn about core competencies you will need for success in your academic and professional work. 

When you enter college, you are expected to have--and build on--several core competencies prior to graduation. These competencies will help you launch your career and gain opportunities throughout your professional life. Key competencies include:

  • Oral/written communication

  • Information technology knowledge and abilities

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

  • Mathematical skills

  • Professionalism/work ethic

  • Teamwork and collaboration skills


You will want to be sure you write and speak clearly so that the information you convey is understandable and you’re able to connect well with others. When you enroll in written and oral communication classes, take advantage of strengthening communication skills that will help you succeed throughout college and career.

Information technology knowledge/abilities

Companies want to hire employees who are able to use various software applications that are required in most professional fields. Such knowledge and abilities will enable you to analyze data and access information management applications that often lead to innovation and change. Building on such knowledge and skills in these areas during your academic career will contribute to your professional work.

Critical thinking/problem solving

You likely have a good foundation in problem solving, so a number of classes will add to your knowledge. Faculty will encourage you to reflect on key issues, and to analyze ways to resolve them. You will gain important critical thinking skills during many of your classes that you can apply to professional settings.

Mathematical skills

This competency is tied to critical thinking and the use of logic. While many professionals don’t connect math skills with success on the job, such skills are more important than ever, given the rise of “big data analytics.” These data will help guide organizational decisions for long term benefit. Certain classes in college will allow you to develop logical/critical thinking through mathematics and data analytics that will provide a strong understanding in professional settings.

Professionalism/work ethic

As you work on classes, participate in internships and join student organizations, you will be contributing to the “brand” you hope to establish for yourself in your career. How you engage with others in a number of settings will leave an impression on those around you. Being on time, taking initiative and contributing in classes and organizations can leave a positive impression on your peers and supervisors. 

Teamwork and collaboration

Interpersonal skills, including the ability to be a team player, build good relationships, and manage conflict well can lead to strong endorsements for you among faculty and administrators when you’re seeking employment. Your college experiences will give you opportunities to demonstrate your abilities in these areas.

Next Steps: Review core competencies for academic and professional success. Consider internships or jobs related to your career plans. Set up a LinkedIn profile with examples of core competencies addressed. Visit the career center at your college to gain tips on these competencies.

Academic Planning