Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are skills that you have acquired throughout your life that are transferable to things that you will be doing in the future. They are non-job-specific skills that can be used in a variety of occupations. You may have learned them through coursework, class projects, jobs, internships, volunteering, leadership roles, or life experience. Transferable skills are essential skills that all employers seek from potential job candidates.

Below are examples of transferable skills you may have acquired throughout your time at BSU:

Research and Information Analysis

  • Locate and assimilate new information rapidly and apply to a given problem
  • Understand and synthesize large amounts of complex information
  • Design research information (such as surveys, inventories, etc.) and effectively analyze the results
  • Develop organizing principles to effectively sort and evaluate data

Analysis and Problem Solving

  • Clearly define a problem and identify possible causes
  • Comprehend large amounts of information
  • Form and defend independent conclusions
  • Design an experiment, plan, or model that defines a problem, tests possible resolutions, and implements a solution

Written and Oral Communication Skills

  • Prepare concise and logically written materials for a variety of audiences in a variety of different modes (from abstracts to summaries to full manuscripts)
  • Edit and proofread written material
  • Organize and communicate ideas and complex information effectively in oral presentations to specialized and general audiences in a variety of settings (from small to large)
  • Persuade others in both written and oral format using logical argument
  • Write effective grant and research proposals

Interpersonal and Leadership Skills

  • Facilitate group discussions and/or conduct meetings
  • Teach skills or concepts to others
  • Work effectively in teams and collaborate on projects
  • Navigate complex or bureaucratic environments effectively
  • Diplomatically communicate and respond to positive or negative feedback
  • Motivate others to complete projects
  • Build consensus among groups or individuals (you may have done this as a graduate student within your department or in a committee)
  • Effectively mentor subordinates and/or peers

Organization and Management

  • Manage a project or multiple projects from beginning to end. Identify and establish goals or tasks to be completed in a reasonable timeline
  • Organize and prioritize tasks
  • Anticipate possible challenges
  • Maintain flexibility in the face of changing circumstances

Supervision Skills

  • Evaluate others’ performance (you may have done this as a graduate student if you have graded exams or papers)
  • Monitor or oversee the work of others (such as in a lab or classroom) and provide feedback

Self-Management, Work Habits, & Entrepreneurial Skills

  • Meet deadlines and manage competing priorities
  • Perform under pressure
  • Work independently
  • Acquire funding (such as writing grant or fellowship proposals) and managing a budget

By Gerald Tang
Gerald Tang Executive Director