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Integrating Career Readiness into Your Course or Program

At Career Services, we refer to the idea of career readiness as the necessary skills for students to be successful in their career beyond Boise State. You’ll notice how the Career Readiness Competencies as defined by the National Association of Colleges and Employers that we refer to in these efforts, directly map to University Learning Outcomes and potentially your own course learning outcomes and program learning outcomes as well. Therefore, Career Services celebrates the contributions you as faculty make in helping students become career ready.

The Challenge with Career Readiness

Although we as Boise State University faculty and staff know that our students are career ready, unfortunately, many students often haven’t connected with how what they learn and experience has given them skills to be successful in their careers. 

Employers have expectations of skills students are supposed to have on Day 1 of their job. Some of these skills are generalized (like the NACE Career Competencies) and some are more discipline specific. How can we work together to help students understand the knowledge they’ve gained as a student? Because, at the end of the day:

If a student doesn’t recognize that they have these skills, how are employers/graduate programs going to recognize that they have these skills?

It is for these reasons that we have compiled strategies to help you incorporate career readiness into your course or program. It is important to remember that you do not have to be an expert on career readiness, nor do you need hours of time, to help students draw meaning from their experience. Take a look below at some strategies and if you have questions, please reach out to for support.

Guiding Principles

There is no singular way to embed career education into a curriculum. There are unique academic programs, faculty roles, industries, courses, and students and because of this, there are nearly endless ways that this work can be integrated. As you read, please remember the following:

  • This is about celebrating what is currently being done, not pointing out failures
  • Your students are career ready – this work is to help them see that
  • Focus on the competency behaviors, not just definitions – a student might not connect with a definition. However, describing behaviors can help students find things they already do that are making them be career ready
  • Focus on reflection – Incorporating career-related reflection allows students to reflect on their experiences and connect with these skills, yet also allows you to help students in this reflection without you needing to be an expert in this area.

Common Strategies to Integrate Career Education into Your Course or Program

Category 1

Category 1 interventions take the least amount of time to complete. Some examples include:

Category 2

These interventions take a bit more time to complete. 

Category 3

As you probably guessed, this category takes the most amount of time to complete. Rest assured, Career Services is here to help! Take a look at these ideas and if you need support, reach out to

  • Create an assignment from scratch
  • Examine career readiness across an entire program