The University of North Dakota (UND) is emphasizing the importance of "power skills" or soft skills that students need to succeed in the job market. Employers are increasingly seeking candidates with excellent communication, listening, and attention-to-detail skills. However, finding graduates with these abilities is challenging for many employers. UND is addressing this by offering undergraduate certificates in areas like Diversity and Inclusion, Professional & Executive Communication, and more. Additionally, the university is revamping its curricula to place a greater emphasis on people skills through hands-on assignments and real-world projects. UND is also utilizing the Riipen platform to connect students with firms and tackle real-world business challenges, fostering job readiness in graduates.
Holm said, “Many programs at UND have been connecting their students with industry and professional leaders for years. Now, we want to turn those individual successes into a university-wide, comprehensive effort. This will make sure all of our programs consider how tackling real-world projects for real-world organizations can better engage our students, improve their learning, and help them be ready for their chosen career.”