NACE Competency: Technology — Jessica’s Career Tip of the Week

Career readiness is such an important concept in the field of career development, and by applying the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) eight core competencies, you will grow as a future professional, and increase your career readiness levels. This week I am going to illustrate an integral competency that engineers utilize in their daily lives: Technology. 

According to NACE (2021), technology is the ability to “Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals.”

Engineers must continue to update and learn new languages as they progress in their professional careers. You may find that you are required to consistently update your knowledge and skill set as you embark on your career path. As programming languages become “outdated,” you will want to continue to learn and enhance your knowledge base.

Every engineer will have their own software or technology of choice that assists them to solve problems — whether in the classroom or employment setting. The best part of the modern world that we live in is the multitude of resources out there to guide you as well as the surplus of opportunities to learn new technologies.

For example, one of my peer career coaches was studying mechanical engineering, and MATLAB is taught here at ASU. She stated that MATLAB has many capabilities, and there is an open-source platform that can do everything MATLAB can do and more.

Currently, we have observed that more and more employers are looking for experience in Python, and less are looking for MATLAB experience. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to learn Python. Python is also open source and there are currently free online courses.

Another one of my peer coaches, who was studying biomedical engineering stated that she also has to stay updated with different languages. An example that she provided was that in her freshman year curriculum, she learned C++. In several of her courses, she utilized MATLAB. Also, in both her summer internships, she used Python since engineers are supposed to learn whatever language is relevant and needed for that project.

My advice to you is to pay close attention to what employers want and what their needs are in the job description. It may be in your best interest to navigate sample job descriptions now so that you have something to work toward while you are a student. Also, make sure to conduct information interviews with employers to assist with gathering information regarding what technology skills you will want to learn and acquire.

The examples provided continue to reinforce that engineers must be lifelong learners and continue to develop and change as we continue to evolve in our daily professional lives. At this time, I would like for you to think about how you can continue to update your technology skills, and also think about how these skills will allow you to solve problems more effectively in the work that you do.

Reference Cited: 

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). (2021). Retrieved from

**Former Peer Career Coaches Kira Tijerino and Aarya Mecwan assisted with providing examples for the blog.