Common Employability Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSA)

In interview situations, many employers and partners have indicated that students often have difficulty articulating the skills they have developed in other contexts and how they might be of benefit to a future employer. To support a student's ability to clearly identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained through experiential learning, University of Guelph experiences are mapped to common employability outcomes. This includes on campus employment opportunities, many co-curricular activities, Co-operative Education work terms, practica and work integrated learning experiences.

Divided into three domains (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) the 26 outcomes are derived from a variety of employability resources including the Conference Board of CanadaNational Association of Colleges and Employers, and the World Economic Forum. This list is not meant to be representative of everything that could be an employability outcome, but rather those that were mentioned frequently across sources.

KSA Resources

Includes the ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices of business, management, and finance.

Includes the ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices from the arts and humanities.

Includes the ability to make sense of and apply concepts, theories, and practices from communication, scientific, mechanical, and design technologies.

Includes the ability to make sense of and apply mathematical concepts, theories, and practices.

Includes the ability to make sense of and apply scientific concepts, theories, and practices from the natural, social, and applied sciences.

Communication Skills

Includes the ability to exchange information and ideas with other people through speech, active listening, and non-verbal cues.

Includes the ability to find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media.

Includes the ability to communicate information and ideas through written or typed text.

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

Includes the ability to imagine and devise new ways of addressing problems, answering questions, or expressing meaning through the application, synthesis, or repurposing of knowledge.

Includes the ability to identify, analyze, and evaluate situations, ideas and information.

Includes the ability to integrate and apply relevant information from a variety of sources into new or broader contexts.

Includes the ability to assess, prioritize, and evaluate potential solutions to problems by asking relevant questions, identifying root causes, and gathering facts.

Interpersonal Skills

Includes the ability to identify sources of conflict and take steps to minimize or overcome disharmony.

Includes the ability to direct, guide, and motivate others to accomplish a common goal or purpose.

Includes the ability to communicate, interrelate, and function well in diverse social and cultural settings.

Includes the ability to contribute to the shared purpose of a group, network or partnership through a commitment to sharing power, resources, expertise, and perspectives.

Project Management Skills

Includes the ability to make timely decisions based on thorough assessment of short- and long-term effects, recognizing political and ethical implications on those affected.

Includes the ability to locate, select, organize, and document information from a variety of sources using appropriate technology and information systems.

Includes the ability to establish tasks and allocate resources to meet objectives, monitor progress, and revise plans to reflect new information.

Includes the ability to manage several tasks at once, being able to set priorities and allocate time efficiently to meet deadlines.

Includes the ability to show flexibility and openness to changing plans, methods, opinions or goals in light of new information and changing circumstances. Ability to work both independently and part of a team.

Includes the ability to ask questions and demonstrate open-mindedness and inquisitiveness.

Includes a willingness to proactively take on responsibilities and challenges.

Includes the ability to sustain interest, effort and motivation to persevere in accomplishing a task or goal.

Includes the ability to set personal and professional goals, be accountable for actions, consider the needs of others, attend proactively to one’s mental and physical wellbeing, and work safely.

Includes the ability to acknowledge and reflect on personal strengths, areas for development, values, limits, feelings, motivations, and biases.

Experience Profiles

  • Madison is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph. During her time here, she engaged in experiential learning as a way to solidify her future career choice and develop her professional skills. Madison signed up for course-integrated experiential learning and did a practicum placement.