Competencies are knowledge, skills and attributes that are acquired through different aspects of one’s life. Opportunities will arise in which students will be able to develop such competencies through their academic journey and help them to bridge to the world of employment.

Carleton University, Career Services and Co-operative Education have established a list of ten competencies that represent our community stakeholders; including, students, faculty members, and employers.

It is through holistic experiential learning opportunities (curricular and co-curricular) that students will be able to reflect on the knowledge, skills and attributes that have been acquired and how to broaden them in order to serve them in their career development.

These competencies were developed to align with the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (OCAV)’s degree-level expectations. In developing these competencies, the working group referred to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ resource: Career Readiness for the New College Graduate and the Council of the Advancement in Higher Education Professional Standards. The working group also conducted a scan of career competencies across other universities in Canada.

Career Competencies File For Download

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Career Readiness Competencies:

    1. Career Management
    2. Research and Analysis
    3. Innovation and Collaboration
    4. Discipline-specific Knowledge
    5. Diversity and Intercultural Awareness
    6. Leadership
    7. Communication
    8. Community Engagement
    9. Digital Literacy
    10. Professionalism and Work Ethic

Career Management:

  • Identify and articulate skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth.
  • Through openness and curiosity is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and demonstrates a level of adaptability while taking the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: autonomy/professional capacity)

Research and Analysis:

  • Demonstrates the ability to access, analyze and apply knowledge and skills from various disciplines.
  • Strategically applies knowledge and skills from past experiences to new situations.
  • Assesses situations and identifies problems in order to evaluate solutions and make decisions. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: depth and breadth of knowledge; application of knowledge)

Innovation and Collaboration:

  • Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and solve complex problems.
  • Obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts and data in this process and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
  • Work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: knowledge of methodologies; application of knowledge)

Discipline-specific Knowledge:

  • Acquire knowledge related to academic discipline as well as job and/or industry-specific knowledge. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: depth and breadth of knowledge; awareness of limits of knowledge)

Diversity and Intercultural Awareness:

  • Build and manage inclusive relationships and collaborate on a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary level, as well as with local and global engagement.
  • Demonstrate an openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and respect towards all people and understand individuals’ differences.
  • Substantive knowledge of Indigenous peoples and their history through discipline-specific studies and activities. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: autonomy and professional capacity)


  • Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others.
  • Assess and manage their emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: autonomy and professional capacity)


  • Explain information, ideas and opinions effectively in a clear and concise manner; both verbally and in writing.
  • Express ideas to others and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: communication skills)

Community Engagement:

  • Social and civic responsibility demonstrated by meaningful links within the community.
  • Establishes mutually beneficial relationships with community members.
  • Demonstrates consideration of the welfare of community members in decision- making. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: autonomy and professional capacity)

Digital Literacy:

  • Ethically and efficiently, solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals, while leveraging the existing digital technologies.
  • Adaptability to new and emerging technologies. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: autonomy and professional capacity; knowledge of methodologies)

Professionalism and Work Ethic:

  • Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits.
  • The individual demonstrates integrity, ethical behavior and acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind. (OCAV’s degree-level expectation: awareness of limits of knowledge; autonomy and professional capacity)