Skill and Competency Development
As you assess and investigate your career fit, build and prepare for options, and pursue opportunities, it is critical to understand the skills and competencies needed to be successful in different jobs within different fields and types of organizations. In addition to your coursework, you can gain valuable experiences both on and off-campus as well as leverage self-directed learning.
Competencies and Skills Overview
Professional organizations within different career paths often take the lead on developing professional competencies for their field. Below are several examples of competencies and qualifications that have been developed over time based on research and collaboration between professionals in each career path. Some are more general and cover more career areas, whereas others are targeted to specific types of professions.
- "Career Readiness": Which skills/competencies do you want and need to gain to be competitive? Developed by NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers).
T-Shaped Professional: Research has emphasized the need for today’s professionals to possess deep disciplinary knowledge along with a keen ability to communicate across social, cultural, and economic boundaries (Image)
- Key Shaped Professional - Disciplinary agility and 21st-century work
- Employability Skills (US Department of Education)
- PhD Transferable Skills (Academic to Workplace)
- "Comprehensively Qualified" - Big picture summary of what makes a person "qualified"
CAREER PATH-SPECIFIC EXAMPLES
- Postdoc Competencies (NPA)
Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators
- Graduate Career Consortium Professional & Career Development Competencies
- Nonprofit Leadership Competencies
- US Federal - Office of Personnel Management Position Classification and Qualifications (Federal Positions by Area of Study)
- State (ex. MI): Civil Service Commission Degree Requirements and Job Specifications
Developing Targeted Skills
Bendable Learning Platform - Includes learning modules from the City of South Bend as well as curated content from multiple free online educational tools (examples below):
- 25 Free Online Education Sites (Examples - EdX, Khan Academy, Udacity, Coursera, Learnlistt)
- ♣ Mango Languages - PhD-created, linguist-approved language-learning software teaches practical conversation with fun, flexible learning tools to keep users inspired and engaged. Offers 70+ foreign languages as well as English courses for non-native speakers. A full list of languages offered can be found here.
- ND Remix: Create projects with images, audio, data, and video
- ND Office of Informational Technology (OIT): Workshops are available for students, faculty, and staff on a wide range of topics
- Grow with Google (On Air) - Offers free virtual workshops, events and 1:1 coaching sessions to help you get the most out of digital tools. Whether you own a small business or you’re searching for your next job, our Grow with Google experts and partners are here to teach you digital skills that can help you grow.
Consider connecting with different offices, departments, and groups to gain leadership experience and develop skills that can prepare you for careers of interest. This could include part-time work, internships, volunteering, and more:
- Campus Student Employment
- ND Centers and Institutes (examples below):
- Graduate Student Union and other Student Clubs (ex. Graduate Consulting Club)
- The Graduate School LASER Program (Leadership Advancing Socially Engaged Research)
Consider what types of opportunities are available in different communities to gain valuable experience to prepare you for careers of interest (South Bend examples below):
- South Bend Chamber of Commerce - An all-encompassing organization driving personal and professional development in the city (ex. South Bend Young Professionals Network)
- Volunteer in the community with a nonprofit of interest and consider serving on a Board or advocacy group that would allow you to take on a leadership role within the community (ex. "Friends of the Library").
- Secure a fellowship or internship with an employer/organization (ex. enFocus - Entrepreneurial Focus. Community Impact)
SHORT-TERM PROJECTS & INTERNSHIPS
Since these experiences are meant for professional development and can lead to full-time employment opportunities, finding and securing internships and short-term projects can be a very similar process to the job search. Developing professional connections to discover opportunities, utilizing job posting sites, and looking into specific employers' internship programs is a great place to start. An internship or project can serve as a trial run for a full-time position, so consider the experience as an extended interview through which you can showcase why you would be a great addition to the team (Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act):
- Parker-Dewey - Micro-internship database
- Forage - Virtual learning experiences with organizations ("Pre-Skilling" - flipping the traditional script of hire then train, to train then hire)
- Gig Work - List of top sites to find opportunities
- Notre Dame Winter Session - Short-term experiences with employers and more (2020 List of Projects)