Identifying Your Transferrable Skills

Liberal Arts students have many of the skills that employers are desperately seeking, such as: writing, research, critical analysis, and time management.

In addition to the skills that you have developed in the classroom there are numerous other skills that you develop through extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, volunteer work etc.

Although you have the skills that employers are looking for, I find far too often that students come into my office feeling like they have very little to offer.  Many, seem to think that a university degree should be vocational training.  Rather, what we do in a liberal arts degree is teach you to think, reason, deduce, problem-solve, communicate. . . We do not train you for one specific career, we train you for numerous, diverse and ever-changing roles.  A much better preparation for the realities of todays work environment than a focussed vocational training.

So what are some of those transferrable skills?

Communications: speaking effectively, writing concisely, listening attentively, expressing ideas clearly, facilitating discussion, providing appropriate feedback, negotiating, perceiving non-verbal messages, reporting information, editing. . .

Research and Planning:  gathering information, forecasting, predicting, identifying and solving problems, developing ideas and alternatives, organizing,setting goals. . .

Human Relations: Developing rapport, listening, providing support for others, motivating, sharing credit, group work, cooperating. . .

Organization, Management and Leadership:  Initiating new ideas, paying attention to details, managing groups, decision making, managing conflict, coordinating tasks, teaching, coaching . .

General Work Skills: being punctual and reliable, managing time, meeting goals, accepting responsibility, setting and meeting deadlines. . .

All of these skills are in great demand in today’s job market.

Published by lessstressedstudents

Clare Tattersall is the Manager of Undergraduate Services for the Faculty of Engineering at The University of Western Ontario.

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