Competencies are being used to assess career readiness through a measure of skill and character. UCSD developed in collaboration with the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Value Learning Outcomes, the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education Learning & Development Outcomes, and the WASC Senior College and University Commission Core Competencies 12 specific competencies. The hope is for students to develop the competencies before they leave UCSD. While these 12 competencies are used by UCSD, multiple institutions have created their own versions. The competencies provide a common vocabulary and framework for evaluating applicants. For example, on-campus job listings on Handshake include the most relevant competencies for that position. 

The benefits of developing competencies last longer than your college career. They can help with a successful transition between UCSD and entering the workforce. By becoming familiar with what the competencies are before an interview, you have a better understanding of their expectations. You can also use competencies to work for you by highlighting them in your resume, or by helping you brainstorm relevant experience connected to them. If a job listing doesn’t contain competencies, you can research industry specific competencies to see what a potential employer may be looking for. Developing competencies comes from a variety of experiences. Internships and work study may provide valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills that will launch a strong future. Experience may also come from work in relevant classes, student organizations, research, and student worker projects.

Competencies give people professional development goals to strive towards. They also help by showing the wide range of skills a job may need. After graduation, employers will be looking for students who know how to utilize their talents, strengths, and interests and competencies can help you do that!

For more resources:

  • The Engaged Learning Tools also include resources to help develop and form your competencies at https://elt.ucsd.edu/competencies/competencyresources.html
    • Work with a Career Center coach to identify the competencies you have already developed and which competencies you should strengthen to better position yourself for prospective employers or graduate schools. Learn more about the competencies and get real world examples of how other students have developed them at career.ucsd.edu/competencies

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