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Nebraska Career Readiness Standards

A career ready person capitalizes on personal strengths, talents, education and experiences to bring value to the workplace and the community through his/her performance, skill, diligence, ethics and responsible behavior.
Definition of career readiness adopted by the Nebraska State Board of Education on May 5, 2010.


The common refrain heard from employers is the need for employability/soft skills.  In Nebraska, these skills are called Career Readiness Skills. Because of this, Nebraska Career Education hosted a Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness in November 2009.  Key stakeholders and thought leaders from business/industry, education (K-16), non-profit organizations and local and state government were invited to attend.  The Nebraska Standards for Career Ready Practice are an outgrowth of the Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness.

The Nebraska Career Readiness Standards describe varieties of expertise that educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students. These standards rest on important “practices and proficiencies” with long-standing importance in career education.

Career readiness skills development is the foundation of all workplace experiences.  Through the continuum, career readiness is identified, developed, demonstrated. 

Work Awareness Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Identified

Work Exploration Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Developed

Work-Based Learning Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Demonstrated

These standards and related practices are not limited to formal CTE programs nor to the middle school or high school level. Rather, these standards should be used over and over again with increasing complexity and relevance by students as they progress through their educational pathway. The standards themselves do not dictate curriculum, pedagogy or delivery of content. Schools and colleges may handle the teaching and assessing of these standards in many different ways.

A number of resources have been created for Nebraska educators to use in creating career readiness curriculum and experiences.  These resources can be found HERE.

The Nebraska Career Readiness Standards are:

  1. Applies appropriate academic and technical skills
  2. Communicates effectively and appropriately
  3. Contributes to employer and community success
  4. Makes sense of problems and perseveres in solving them
  5. Uses critical thinking
  6. Demonstrates innovation and creativity
  7. Models ethical leadership and effective management
  8. Works productively in teams and demonstrates cultural competency
  9. Utilizes technology
  10. Manages personal career development
  11. Attends to personal and financial well-being

Career Readiness Toolkit

A toolkit of Career Readiness resources has been developed by the Nebraska Department of Education to support and enhance the classroom connection.  These resources include:

NEW! “Why Career Readiness?” Lesson Plan

Habitudes for Career Ready Students Webpage

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards 

Alignment: Nebraska Career Readiness Standards 

Poster (17×22): Nebraska Career Readiness Standards

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards Checklist

NEW! VIDEO: Reality Check: Guiding Your Children to Career Success (HD) / (Mobile) / (SD)

NEW! Reality Check: Guiding Your Children to Career Success (Parent Flyer PDF)