Marketable Skills

What is UNT Career Connect and why focus on marketable skills?

UNT Career Connect works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and other partners across UNT to enhance, assess, and showcase students' marketable skills by engaging them in high-impact practices (HIPs) (American Association of Colleges & Universities, 2017) such as ePortfolio development, experiential and service-learning experiences, and reflection activities. Career Connect is integrated into UNT courses and programs in a majority of departments across campus.

UNT Career Connect helps to address educators, employers, parents, and students concerns about the value or marketability of a degree by helping students to enhance, articulate, and demonstrate digital evidence of assessment and improvements in ‘employed valued’ marketable skills. The ability to showcase and articulate this evidence will make students more marketable upon graduation and as they move into the workforce.

UNT Career Connect provides this opportunity through the integration of multiple systems (badgr, badgr pathways, Canvas, and the Foliotek ePortoflio). These systems support students in real-world settings to assess and enhance eight important marketable skills (see below, Which marketable skills?) that they can showcase to potential employers through their ePortfolios.

What are marketable skills and how are they acquired?

Marketable skills are interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills, including technical and soft skills, that are valued by employers. Marketable skills also are primary or complementary to a college major, and acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities (THECB, 2018). Marketable skills are often called transferable skills or employability skills in other countries.

Why marketable skills?

The enhancement of marketable skills in higher education will help students to become more marketable to employers and emphasizes the value of higher education in the workforce. Texas public two-and four-year institutions must ensure that students are graduate with evidence of proficiency in marketable skills.

In addition, the THECB has requested that every UNT department submit five marketable skills that students will receive by participating in their curriculum.

Which marketable skills?

Through Career Connect, UNT initially focused on improving four marketable skills that remain at the top of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) desired skills list: written communication, oral communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. In addition, Career Connect chose these skills because they were:

  • developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities with the help of multiple faculty and experts from many different disciplines and colleges around the country
  • represent the key student learning outcomes that educators, employers, and policymakers agree are essential for student success in the workplace and in life
  • were adapted from and align with UNT’s Core rubrics
  • will provide UNT with standardized marketable-skills measures that can be compared across all departments and used to set proficiency benchmarks for students across UNT

For 2021 Connect will incorporate additional UNT Core marketable skills into Career Connect.  These skills are consistently measured across a range of activities at UNT with Career Connect rubrics which provide students with the opportunity (with enough evaluations and demonstrations of proficiency in marketable skills) to earn a verified digital UNT comprehensive learner record upon graduation.

There are four skills credentials introduced in 2020, with additional skills coming in 2021:

Career Connect targets the development and enhancement of these skills by collaborating with UNT faculty and staff members who offer, or would like to offer, high impact learning experiences in their courses or programs. Upon completion of these Career Connect Activities, students are assessed on the skill targeted by the course or program. Learn more about assessing these skills...

Click here to see examples of existing Career Connect projects.