Undergraduate Career Core

The challenges of the 21st Century require a workforce equipped with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to confront and solve them.  Today’s college graduates must enter the workforce with well-developed communication, computing, teamwork, and critical thinking skills combined with an understanding of statistics, how the economy works, and a sense of their professional self and identity.  In response to these demands, the O’Neill School launched the “Career Core” curriculum, an intentional collection of courses that will prepare our O’Neill students for the workforce of the future.

The Career Core is designed to help students develop proficiency in the Career Readiness Competencies developed by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). NACE drew upon its extensive network of employers from all sectors to identify key qualities and skills that employers seek in their new hires. After many surveys, interviews, and analysis of job market trends, the following eight competencies were created:

  1. Career and Self-Development: This is about proactively developing oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness, and planning. In the job search process, it’s important to understand your values, interests, personality, and skills and strengths (VIPS). This knowledge helps you find define the type of work you want to do, and to find opportunities that align with your professional goals.
  2. Communication: Effective communication is key in any career. This includes articulating thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. It also involves listening skills, public speaking, and being able to communicate through various digital platforms.
  3. Critical Thinking: This involves analyzing issues, making decisions, and overcoming problems by using sound reasoning before forming a strategy or conclusion. It’s about being able to think on your feet and approach problems from multiple angles.
  4. Equity and Inclusion: This competency involves demonstrating the ability to work in diverse teams, being respectful and inclusive, understanding and valuing different perspectives, and pushing against biases and unfair discrimination.
  5. Leadership: Leadership is not just for managers. It involves leveraging the strengths of others to achieve common goals and using interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. It includes the ability to assess and manage one’s emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
  6. Professionalism: This means knowing work environments differ greatly, but they all require a certain level of professionalism. This includes personal accountability, effective work habits, and understanding the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image.
  7. Teamwork: Ability to build and manage collaborative relationships to work effectively in team settings. This includes negotiating and managing conflict.
  8. Technology: Understanding and leveraging technologies ethically to efficiently solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The technology varies widely across professions but could include social media, data analysis, and basic digital literacy.

The O’Neill Career Core Series, developed specifically for the career pathways of O’Neill School students, provides an engaging and supportive learning environment that equips students with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to successfully navigate the competitive job market and secure internships and full-time jobs.

Through a combination of classroom instruction and real-world experience, O’Neill students acquire the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to navigate internships, job searches, and professional growth successfully across industries and sectors.

The O’Neill Career Core Series consists of the following courses that provide focus on specific competencies:

  • Oral Communication (students choose from select list) – Communication
  • Computer Course (students choose from select list) – Technology
  • Statistical Techniques (K300) – Critical Thinking
  • Economics – Fundamentals of Economics (B251) – Critical Thinking
  • Career Development and Planning (V252/H267) – Career and Self Development
  • Professional Experience (V381/H466)* – Professionalism

*For more information about the Professional Experience/Internship for Credit course, please review our page here.


Career Service Hours

Day of the week
Daily Drop-in Office Hours
Monday 11:00 - 3:00 8:00 - 5:00
Tuesday 11:00 - 3:00 8:00 - 5:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 3:00 8:00 - 5:00
Thursday 11:00 - 3:00 8:00 - 5:00
Friday 11:00 - 3:00 8:00 - 5:00

Can’t make it to the Studio during Drop-In hours? Virtual appointments are available upon request via Handshake.

Contact & Location

(812) 855-9639

1315 E. 10th Street, Room 200
Bloomington, IN 47405