Identify your competencies

To help articulate your transferrable skills, UC San Diego has defined twelve competencies obtained through academic, cocurricular, and experiential learning that prepare you for life. Schedule an appointment with a Career Center coach to identify the competencies you have already developed and which competencies you should strengthen to better position yourself for prospective employers or graduate schools. 

Explore descriptions of the twelve competencies, plus testimonials from fellow Tritons. 

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving 

Identifies important problems and questions and gathers, analyzes, evaluates information from a variety of sources before forming a strategy, decision, or opinion.
  • Revelle College, Junior – I use problem solving in my lab to fix and resolve issues with an experiment
  • Sixth College, Junior – Think of new ways to host a gallery/reception with available rooms when no galleries were available, used various rooms and make that part of the visual show
  • Muir, Junior – I use critical thinking to help me create solutions to solve problems in medicine through research and understanding context

Research Ability

Accesses and evaluates multiple sources of information, including text and images, and synthesizes information to solve problems an create new insights.
  • Muir College, Math/Economics, Junior – My experience with research comes from writing essays
  • Muir College, Math and Computer Science, Sophomore – I got excellent grades in my coursework which required a great deal of collection on multiple sources and writing essays
  • Muir College, Chemical Engineer, Freshman – I came up with a design for a technical team project

Oral, Written, & Digital Communication

Conveys meaning and responds to needs of diverse audiences through writing and speaking coherently and effectively, and develops the expression of ideas through written, oral and digital mediums.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College, Communication, Junior – I won first place in a speech competition
  • Mathematics Major, Senior – I use my oral and communication skills to excel in my sales position

Teamwork/Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Works with and seeks involvement from people and entities with diverse experiences towards a common goal, demonstrating strong interpersonal skills, respect, and dignity for others.
  • Sixth College, Public Health, Junior – I demonstrate teamwork through cross-cultural collaboration, when working with my peers on group projects
  • Muir College, Public Health, Senior – I work with a group of students to find ways to make the transitions into college easier
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College, Cognitive Science/Behavior Neuroscience – As an international student, I work with all different cultural, diverse backgrounds, and we study and converse; I like to collaborate because it allows me to see the beauty of different cultures

Understanding Global Context

Demonstrates an understanding of complex global issues and systems, and how  issues and actions have local and global implications for the future.
  • Marshall College, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Senior – Pieced together the world’s overall health and why it’s at the current state
  • Revelle College, International Business, Junior – I use understanding global context to gain a better perspective of others to create better conversations


Takes initiative, demonstrates effective decision making and informed risk taking, and motivates and encourages participation from others to work towards a shared purpose and vision.
  • Sixth College, International Business – I was the President of my student organization
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College, Human Development Program, Senior – I took the initiative to be the vision leader for the Filipino Bible study under Intervarsity; I invited people to come out, I planned themes and facilitated discussions


Demonstrates integrity, honesty, dependability and ethical responsibility and accepts direction and personal accountability.
  • Muir College, Management Science, Sophomore – I took the initiative in a final group project by assigning roles and goals to the team and I was able to complete the project by the a specific date and organized and coordinated the entire team project


Assesses, articulates, and acknowledges persona skills and abilities, and learns from past experiences and feedback to gain new insights and understandings.
  • Sixth College, Human Development – I constantly evaluate myself on the softball field; I evaluate my strengths and my weaknesses and performance; I am able to make adjustment and improve through self-reflection
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College – Self-reflection allows me to understand how I feel, how I interact with other people and how I am aware of my environment; I constantly work on positively motivating myself

Career Development

Accesses information and opportunities for career exploration, and understands and articulates the importance of transferable skills in the job search process.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College, Freshman – I searched the career database twice a day and use the services at the Career Center to get my resume critiqued by the Career Peer Educators
  • Marshall College, Communication, Critical Gender Studies, Senior – Resumes Services at the Career and meeting the Career Peer Educators and Career Advisors was really helpful

Digital Information Fluency

Demonstrates technological literacy and skills, and ethically and effectively uses technology to communicate, problem-solve, and complete tasks.
  • Marshall College, Human Development Program, Junior – When I went to interior designer school I use to do social media marketing for myself and I have a digital portfolio and I received a salary for getting paid from clients from a hashtag search

Civic Engagement/Social Responsibility

Participates in service/volunteer activities characterized by reciprocity, engages in critical reflection, and appropriately challenges unfair and unjust behavior to make a positive difference in the community.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College, Senior, Literature Major/Writing – I volunteered in an after-school program for low-income elementary school students
  • Thurgood Marshall, Freshman, Political Science – Since coming to UC San Diego I have started engaging in tutoring program geared toward disadvantaged students

Innovation/Entrepreneurial Thinking

Synthesizes existing ideas and concepts in an innovative and creative way to develop new ways of thinking or working, and engages in divergent thinking and risk taking.
  • Sixth College, Senior – Emailing insert forms about an idea