New Jersey Department of Education

Career Readiness, Life Literacies & Key Skills

Rapid advancements in technology and subsequent changes in the economy have created opportunities for individuals to compete and connect on a global scale. In this increasingly diverse and complex world, the successful entrepreneur or employee must not only possess the requisite education for specific industry pathways, but also employability skills necessary to collaborate with others and manage resources effectively in order to establish and maintain stability and independence. This document outlines concepts and skills necessary for New Jersey’s students to thrive in an ever-changing world. Intended for integration throughout all K-12 academic and technical content areas, the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards — Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills (NJSLS-CLKS) provides the framework for students to learn the concepts, skills, and practices essential to the successful navigation of career exploration and preparation, personal finances and digital literacy.

2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards for
Career Readiness, Life Literacies and Key Skills

Intent and Spirit

The NJSLS-CLKS provide a framework of concepts and skills to be integrated into the foundational, academic and technical content areas to prepare students to engage in the postsecondary options of their choice. Though the standard for 9.3 Career and Technical Education remains unchanged for now, 9.1 Personal Financial Literacy and 9.2 Career Awareness, Exploration, Preparation, and Training have been revised based on the feedback provided by New Jersey educators.

The personal financial literacy standard promotes not only the exploration of money management but also the psychology of spending and saving that influences decisions related to finances. From discovering the concept and forms of money to exploring lines of credit and types of insurance, these standards ensure a robust and comprehensive education in financial literacy from early elementary grades through high school. A new standard, 9.4 Life Literacies and Key Skills, has been added to ensure our students are prepared with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions to thrive in an interconnected global economy. These standards provide students with a guide to interact in life and work regardless of the setting or context.


Career readiness, life literacies and key skills education provides students with the necessary skills to make informed career and financial decisions, engage as responsible community members in a digital society, and to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities in an interconnected global economy.


An education in career readiness, life literacies, and key skills fosters a population that:

  • Continually self-reflects and seeks to improve the essential life and career practices that lead to success;
  • Uses effective communication and collaboration skills and resources to interact with a global society;
  • Possesses financial literacy and responsibility at home and in the broader community;
  • Plans, executes, and alters career goals in response to changing societal and economic conditions; and
  • Seeks to attain skill and content mastery to achieve success in a chosen career path.

Contact Us

Personal Financial Literacy

Office of Standards

Career Readiness and Life Literacies and Key Skills

Office of Standards

Career and Technical Education

Office of Career Readiness

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Page Last Updated: 10/17/2023

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