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What does it mean to be career-ready?

Do you ever wonder what employers are really looking for in their ideal candidates? NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, has surveyed employers in all industries throughout the United States and identified 8 Career Readiness Competencies employers expect to find in their applicants:


Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization.

Critical Thinking

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information.


Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.


Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals.


Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.


Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

Career & Self Development

Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization.

Equity & Inclusion

Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism.

What does this mean for YOU?

Often at the end of a student’s college career they try to understand how to gain these essential skills and leverage their education for career purposes when, in fact, they have been learning these skills all along.

The APEX Certificate was created specifically for students in the Arts & Humanities to help them identify, apply and articulate these essential skills throughout their college experience. Whether your next-step is to create and innovate, to focus on a more conventional career path, or both, the APEX Certificate will help you confidently prepare for your future!

Are you ready to learn more?

Check out the Steps for Completion to learn how to get started, and the Activities tab to see the many ways you can complete the Certificate and prepare for next-step success!