Attending CU Boulder embeds you in a global research and creative community making discoveries, opening possibilities, enriching lives and creating the future.

We encourage you to consider participation in the dynamic research and creative community as a unique opportunity for experiential learning that builds in-demand job skills while preparing you for the dynamic future of work.

Empowering Outcomes

  • Explore and discover interests beyond the classroom
  • Get hands-on experience in your field of study
  • Develop student-faculty mentor relationships
  • Acquire in-demand professional credentials
  • Refine your academic and career goals
  • Build self-confidence and a support network

CUR Position Statement on Career-Readiness

Transferable Skills

Experiential learning involves cycles of engagement and reflection in which you learn by reflecting on the process of applying your learning, or doing. These activities provide opportunities for you to take initiative, make decisions, be creative, engage physically and emotionally—while experiencing mistakes and successes. Undergraduate research and creative work is one example of the many types of experiential learning that include professional internships, community engagement and more.

    Research and creative work involves more than technical knowledge and skills.  Relational abilities, such a communication and leadership, are valuable transferable skills practiced in working on projects and align to in-demand job skills often difficult to see on a transcript. You also have the opportunity to define yourself with "signature work" that shows employers unique aspects of your profile.  As you take ownership of your education by pursuing your interests and asking your own questions, you enable your ability to author the next chapters of your story.

    “More than 80 percent of employers expect students to have strong skills in communication, problem solving, and critical thinking; and more than 90 percent of employers think these skills are more valuable than a student’s specific major."

    Council on Undergraduate Research


    The Future is Learning

    Engagement in research and creative work also builds skills uniquely suited for the rapidly changing future of work, which is expected to value self-directed learning as well as critical and creative thinking.  Attending a comprehensive research university like CU Boulder provides the opportunity to develop these skills in collaboration with the global community of academics and professionals driving many of these changes.  These valuable skills also provide entry points for you into research and creative work—in addition to the relational abilities you already have.

    “A worker's value is no longer primarily or exclusively about what she knows but rather the speed at which she can learn and apply it—this is a dramatic and unsettling shift for many. But this shift actually fits quite well with some domains...where one is taught fundamental tools and methods of inquiry and exploration, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation.”

    Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley

    Reflection Questions

    • What in-demand job skills (communication, creativity, etc.) do you already consider strengths?
    • How can your current skill set enable your ability to engage in experiential learning like undergraduate research and creative work?
    • What skills would you like to develop?
    • How will you show employers you have the skills they need?
    • How can you gain transferable skills while still exploring your interests?