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Skills Employers Seek

As you take your undergraduate courses, you may wonder how they are going to help you eventually "on the job." A good approach is to take a skills orientation. Think of your courses not only as ways of learning about particular subjects but also as learning experiences which refine a variety of specific skills. A bit of reflection will show that your courses, earlier work experiences, and hobbies are providing you with skills that later employers may value. If asked in a job interview how your education has prepared you for a specific job, you can be ready with some good answers, if you think about it beforehand.

This handout gives you some ideas about skills which are useful to employers and which might be part of what you can offer an employer. A companion page, "Suggested Courses to Develop Skills that Prospective Employers Want," lists courses that can help you develop occupationally-relevant skills.

1. Adaptability

2. Competence in Reading and Writing; Computational Skills

3. Communication Skills

4. Computer Skills

5. Group Interactional Skills

6. Interpersonal Influence skills

7. Knowing how to learn

8. Self-management skills


Adapted from: Hall, V. and Wessel, J. (1989, December 3). As today's work world changes, so do the skills employers seek. The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Constitution, p. 53S. (Part I)

Hall, V. and Wessel, J. (1989, December 10). Today's employees need skills once reserved only for "top brass." The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Constitution, p. 39R. (Part II)

APA-style reference for this page:

Lloyd, M. A., & Kennedy, J. H. (1997, August 28). Skills employers seek. [Online]. Available:

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