Babson a Founding School in Career Readiness Project

Career Fair

There’s a new way to assess how career ready new graduates are, and Babson has been a partner in the initiative since day one.

Led by the Hoffman Family Center for Undergraduate Career Development, Babson is a founding school in the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Project.

The Career Readiness Project was created to help institutions ensure that students are prepared with the skills they need to succeed in today’s workplace.

It all works via a standardized assessment from NACE and SkillSurvey. Students who volunteer for the project are asked to complete a self-assessment, and invite supervisors, mentors, and co-workers to evaluate them based on the same metrics. The program produces an individual competency report for each participant to show progress and career-readiness comparisons against the ratings of almost 100,000 entry-level job candidates across various industries.

At Babson, undergraduate students completing internships are invited to participate in the assessment. Upon completion, CCD’s career advisors are available to walk through the results one on one with a student.

“Babson has had major success in developing career-ready graduates,” said Donna Sosnowski, director of CCD. “Our partnership with the Career Readiness Project will amplify and focus our efforts on the skills and competencies that are key differentiators for college students entering the workforce.”

Defining Career Readiness

What does it mean to be “career ready”?

In today’s evolving global economy, employers seek college graduates who possess more than strong functional knowledge. On LinkedIn’s 2018 Emerging Jobs list, soft skills like oral communication and leadership make up nearly half of the list of skills with the largest skills gaps.

NACE has identified eight competencies for graduates to develop—critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communication, teamwork/collaboration, digital technology, leadership, professionalism/work ethic, career management, and global/intercultural fluency—to ensure a successful transition into the workplace.

“CCD’s leadership in this important initiative speaks volumes for the stature that Babson has in undergraduate education at the national level,” said Ian Lapp, Dean of the Undergraduate School. “The data emerging from this work is a key driver in the design work that our faculty and staff are engaged in as we imagine the future of undergraduate learning at the College.”

Babson joined the Career Readiness Project as a founding school and is now in its second year of participation. Before joining the project, Sosnowski and Candida Brush, vice provost for entrepreneurship, already were formally evaluating career readiness in recent Babson graduates; participation in the NACE project gives the team access to a standardized assessment from a proven and scientifically validated HR solution, ultimately delivering a broader, comparative data set.

“We want to prepare students for the future of work,” said Sosnowski. “We want to continue to ensure our students are career ready, and this project will give us great data to work as we look at the future of our curriculum.”

Career Readiness at Babson

Babson has a long history of strong undergraduate outcomes. Ninety-nine percent of Babson’s most recent undergraduate alumni are employed or continuing their education, according to statistics from the Class of 2018 six months after graduation*.

Those strong outcomes come from extensive career readiness initiatives and programming from the undergraduate CCD team. Among those initiatives are immersive, experiential learning opportunities. Eighty-nine percent of the Class of 2018 completed an internship while at Babson, even though it’s not an academic requirement.

Employer partnerships and sponsorships are a signature of CCD. It works extensively to bring employers to Babson’s campus to recruit talent, share industry insight, and serve as thought leaders to help continually improve the team’s approach to career preparedness.

*Data based on an 87% knowledge rate.

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