The 7 Ways Being in DECA Helps Make You Career Ready

Amanda Sahawneh | Vector Marketing

Ever wonder what it looks like to be career ready and how to get there?

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines seven areas of competencies that make you career ready:

  1. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  2. Oral/written Communication
  3. Teamwork/Collaboration
  4. Informational Technology Application
  5. Leadership
  6. Professionalism/Work Ethic
  7. Career Management

Did you realize that as a DECA member, you are gaining all seven of these competencies through your experience? (By the way, that is one of the many reasons Vector Marketing has been working with DECA for over 10 years!)

Check out how your DECA experience relates to each one of these areas below:

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving:

Apply knowledge and research in presentations, be creative in approaches to express knowledge, make decisions on the best way to present, and execute steps to problem solving.

As you participate in DECA and present, you will realize that things won’t always go as planned. Learning how to problem solve will help in any career.

Oral/Written Communications

Participating in both written and oral competitions where you’re judged on being able to express ideas and knowledge effectively.

It can be scary, but is something to set yourself apart from your peers. As a recruiter, this is one of the biggest skills to develop.


When working in a teams, the need to work effectively with a partner or group to fulfill a task, resolve conflict of differences in views or approaches, and come to an agreement is imperative. Everyone plays a different role.

In any career you will have to develop the skills needed to work with colleagues from different backgrounds, departments and even other companies. So, this skill increases your marketability.

Information Technology Application

Participation in DECA’s Video Challenges is a great example of gaining skills in this competency area. This is a perfect opportunity to share the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and apply the use of technology to accomplish the challenge.

The buzzword here is technology! Getting experience in coding or how to use it in your presentations will help.


You have countless opportunities to gain leadership skills in DECA such as attending leadership conferences, getting involved as an officer, or running your school store.

As a recruiter, applicants always talk about leadership. What sets DECA members apart is being able to talk about how they lead!

Professionalism/Work Ethic

Being able to balance the limited time of preparation for competitions and DECA events while keeping up with classes is no easy feat! Your DECA experience also does an incredible job of building habits of showing up on time and being dressed to impress for competitions.

Being able to speak to your efforts and accomplishments during an interview is something other applicants might not be able to do.

Career Management

The ability to explore different careers fields such as fashion, finance, marketing, hospitality and tourism, and entrepreneurship is an amazing part of your DECA experience. This allows for the exploration of different career paths and gives students a taste of the career area they may one day work in.

DECA members also have the opportunity to network with various employers at career fairs and the opportunity to attend a career pathways or development conference. Vector loves attending DECA conference and being able to connect with members face-to-face. Be sure check us out at #DECAICDC and at various state conferences!

These are just a few reasons why #VectorLovesDECA!

Do an analysis of which of the seven competency areas you can improve, and how DECA can help you? Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want to discuss these areas further by emailing me at

This article was written by Vector West Camus Recruiting Manager, Amanda Sahawneh. Vector Marketing is a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. You can follow Vector Marketing on Twitter @VectorMarketing.

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