Career Ready Competencies

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Are you Career Ready?

Career Ready Competencies are the foundational building blocks for your career - wherever that takes you. They are the skills, experiences, and attributes that you develop or enhance during graduate school that broadly prepare you for a successful transition into the work you want to do - whether that be in an academic or non-academic setting. The information on each competency’s webpage below will provide details, reflection questions, and examples to help you connect your own experiences within these important areas. 

The Career Ready Competency Tracking Tool can help you be Career Ready! It will help you 1) assess your level of expertise/development in each of those skills, 2) track activities you are completing to build your competencies, and 3) communicate those skills clearly and in an applicable manner. We’ve put it all together for you in one spreadsheet so you can review, assess, and track your personal growth in all the competencies.

Download the GCS Career Ready Competency Tracking Tool



Self-awareness is the ability to identify, articulate, and develop one's values, interests, skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to personal growth and professional success.

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Teamwork/Collaboration is the ability to successfully build & maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively together as a team through shared responsibility, respect, & empathy to complete a shared goal for a common good.

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Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act toward achieving a common goal, which can include directing other workers and colleagues with a strategy to meet the organization's needs, teaching a class, collaborating with your research team, and more. To be effective, a leader has to manage the resources at their disposal. Leadership also involves communicating, inspiring and supervising. A successful leader understands people’s motivations and enlists participation in a way that combines individual needs and interests to the group’s purpose.

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Digital Technology

Digital Technology is the ability to leverage current and emerging digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies. Digital technologies are any devices and resources that generate, store, or process data.

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Work Ethic/Professionalism

Work Ethic/Professionalism is demonstrating integrity, resilience, accountability and ethical behavior. It's the ability to take initiative and maintain effective work habits (prioritize, plan, and manage work; punctuality) to produce high quality results. With this competency, one should project a professional presence and understand the impact of non-verbal communication.

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Verbal/Written Communications

Verbal and written communication is the ability to articulate thoughts and express ideas effectively using oral, written and non-verbal communication skills (to inform, instruct, and persuade), to multiple audiences, as well as to listen for meaning and understanding.

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Critical Thinking/Problem Solving

Critical thinking is the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. This is one of the most prominent skills you will develop as a burgeoning researcher/professional throughout graduate school at Notre Dame.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and respectful interaction with all people, and continually strive to account for and respect individual differences. Engage in and work to create more inclusive communities, schools, work places, collaborating teams, and agency partnerships to achieve greater fairness of outcomes. Develop cross-cultural awareness and the ability to navigate cultural differences.

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The Notre Dame Way

Apply what you have learned here at Notre Dame to go forth and do good. 

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