Skip Navigation
Kalamazoo College
KCollege160928-037

Build Your Skills

Even a rigorous liberal arts education, consistently identified as the best preparation for the 21st century workplace, might not cover all the skills and competencies needed for the career field you’ll enter.  In addition to the critical thinking, excellent communication, intercultural and problem solving skills you’re acquiring as part of your K-Plan, there are other transferable skills you may want to build.

Baseline or foundational skills are the skills necessary to gain employment and participate effectively in the workplace, skills that are consistently requested in job ads across broad swaths of industries and occupations. This set of skills includes both the “soft skills,” such as communication, teamwork, self-management, planning, decision-making and problem-solving, as well as more technical skills like mastery of a software or social media platform.  At K, some baseline skills are taught in classrooms, while others are developed outside class.

Skills Employers Want in College Graduates

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

On-Campus Professional Development Opportunities for Students

In collaboration with departments across campus, the CCPD offers a list of skill-building opportunities available to students in 2016-17. Some are open to all; some require registration: please follow any registration instructions listed.

Online Skill-Building Modules

The CCPD has begun to compile a list of online skill-building modules.  We recommend that students take advantage of these resources to build skills over break. For more ideas, check out recommendations from PayScale (here), Monster (here), and Time Magazine (here and here).