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How can I integrate Career Readiness into my Academic Course?

You might think of career readiness as something that develops outside the classroom, but there are many ways for instructors to embed principles and skills of career readiness into their class, no matter the subject. It is also likely you are already incorporating career readiness skills in your courses.

Check out this page for creative and surprising ideas on how you can support students in becoming competitive candidates in their fields. This is just a starting point; being you know your course best you’ll be able to decide which activities may work for your course and can choose which and how many you want to include as well. We suggest you include a few and build them off of each other.  

Why Integrate Career Readiness into Coursework?

Did You Know?  

  • 69% of college seniors complete at least one internship
  • Students with three or more internships are twice as likely to have a job offer than students with just one internship
  • 48% of students intern before their junior year
  • 65% of employers look for 2 or more internships
  • The Career Center offers hundreds of jobs/internships to help students prepare for career success

With a highly competitive job market, it is essential students prepare for their career, and you can support them in this venture!

NACE Competencies for Career Readiness

Each year the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reports on key skills (or competencies) students need to possess for career success. These include:

  • Career & Self Development
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork
  • Technology

More than likely your current courses help students develop many of these skills. If your class involves any of the below elements there are NACE skills that will be correlated.

  • Group work: Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity & Inclusion, Leadership, Professionalism, Teamwork​
  • Class discussions: Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity & Inclusion​
  • Presentations: Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity & Inclusion, Leadership, Professionalism, Teamwork, Career & Self Development​
  • Writing Assignments: Communication, Critical Thinking, Technology (research)

Class Assignments

One way to incorporate Career Readiness into your courses is to require students to complete class assignments. Suggestions include:

  • Link your class learning goals to NACE competencies
  • Have students talk to family, friends and people from their neighborhood (essentially anyone who is actively employed), to learn about their work 
  • Students create a list of questions related to (a) role(s) or industry that they are interested in learning more about. Then, they find a person who is actively engaged in that role or industry and get answers to the questions. Finally, write a short paper on what was learned
  • Have students reflect on what they are majoring in and what they hope to do with that major. Then have them either: 
    • Write a short paper on their career interests, what skills they currently have and what skills they need to succeed along with how they will develop them 
    • Write out what they think they like, and think would be challenging about the career (pros and cons). Then, check the Occupational Outlook Handbook to research 4 more careers that are related 
  • Require students to find 3 alums they would pattern their career paths from and write a short paper on how they could get to their end goal 
  • Ask each student to conduct an informational interview with a Brooklyn College alum (use LinkedIn to find alumni working in industries of interest) 
    • Students can prep by working in groups with 4 roles to create a list of “good” questions to ask in an interview. The roles are Facilitator, Scribe, Interviewer, and Interviewee. Each group will then conduct mock interview with their peers 
    • Have students present on what they learned 
  • Require that students apply to at least 1 job or internship 
  • Require students to attend one Magner Career Center workshop such as our job fair & then have them write about what they learned (students can find out more about the workshops we plan by visiting our workshops page
  • Have students apply what they learned to a simulation like assignment such as a case study where they make decisions that they may need to do in the workplace, develop an example of what they learned, etc.  
  • Ask students to solve a community related problem by using content they learned in the course.
  • Have students select one Career Competency they want to develop over the semester and keep a log of how they are developing it. NACE provides suggestions for each competency 

In Class Activities

Here are some things you can do during a class session:

  • Ask students what careers they are interested in, if possible, host an alum to visit your class featuring someone who you had in your course and is now in the field. If you are unable to secure an alum, you can play one of our Career Event videos
    • Have students come up with questions they’d like to ask the alum 
    • Connect with the Career Center for us to share best practices for an alum visit by emailing careernews@brooklyn.cuny.edu  
  • Work as a class to transcribe important completed projects and other accomplishments during the semester and incorporate them onto their resume under a “Projects” or other appropriate heading section
  • Ask students to work in groups to discuss Do’s & Don’ts for preparing for an interview. Each group will present their scenarios to their peers

Self-Help Resources for Blackboard/Class Syllabus

  • Provide students with an overview of transferable skills they will use in the class that can be used in the workplace such as listing out which of the NACE skills they will develop in the class and/or on a particular assignment. It is highly recommended to indicate for each assignment the exact NACE skills students will develop
  • Include a blurb on your syllabus about the Career Center. For example: What will you do after you graduate? The Magner Center, located in 1303 James Hall, has valuable resources including résumé and interview preparation, finding an internship, choosing a career, and more. Please review their  2 minute commercial and their How to Plan Your Career Success webpage. Email them at careernews@brooklyn.cuny.edu or call 718.951.5696 to find out how to get started. It is never to early to get started!


If you have any questions or additional suggestions for this page, please email careernews@brooklyn.cuny.edu

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