Career Center

Duke Student Competencies for Post-Graduation Success

Duke Career Center defines career readiness with insight from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness research.

NACE, through a task force of college career services and HR/staffing professionals, has developed a definition of career readiness, based on extensive research among employers, and identified seven competencies associated with career readiness.

career readiness decorative only

NACE Career Readiness Competencies

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communications
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Digital Technology
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic
  • Career Management
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency

The Duke Student Affairs’ Student Professional Development Taskforce determined that while Duke students are developing the NACE competencies through their core Duke curricula, co-curricular engagements, and experiential learning, there are additional competencies that Duke students need to intentionally develop for effective Career Management.

Through students’ academic progression at Duke, it is imperative for them to take an active role in their professional development by engaging in and developing the competencies below, in combination with the NACE competencies, to prepare for lifelong post-graduation success. This is what the Career Center at Duke defines as intentional professional development.

Competencies for Career Management

Foundational Competencies

Engage in reflection before, during, and after experiences to understand
motivations and learning. Use reflections to make intentional decisions regarding strategic career goals and next steps.

Engage with faculty, alumni, and other professionals to develop relationships and learn from their experiences. Seek advice as needed. Sustain relationships with those who provide on-going support for personal and professional development.

Developmental Competencies

diagram with Career Management Competencies described below

Develop awareness of skills, interests, values, and learning styles through academic and non-academic experiences and advising. Use this awareness to navigate opportunities and constraints while clarifying purpose and motivation.

Apply research skills to acquire information and knowledge for short and long term professional goal setting and implementation.

Anticipate and accept change and disruption as a part of the professional development process. Adapt short- and long-term career plans based on opportunities, challenges, successes, and failures.

Compose and deliver an individual professional story based on reflection of key experiences. Present that story in a clear and effective manner, both verbally and through written materials, with consideration to audience and context.

Use learning to evaluate opportunities and prioritize key factors for alignment with career goals. Goals work toward intentional professional development and implementing next steps that are aligned with life stage, purpose, and individual definition of success.