The SCANS Wheel

Like the Discovery Wheel in Chapter One of your Master Student text, the SCANS Wheel is an opportunity to tell the truth about your current skills. In this case, the focus is on skills that promote your success in the workplace. With the discoveries you gain from this exercise, you can develop your talents in ways that lead to the job of your dreams.


This exercise is based on a series of reports from the U.S. Department of Labor - the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). These widely quoted reports list essential skills for workers in the twenty-first century. You can find out more at

The SCANS reports make for worthwhile reading in themselves. To create the most value from them, however, you can take their main points and use them to do two things. First, assess the workplace skills you've already developed. Second, create a blueprint for expanding those skills and developing new ones.

More specifically, use the SCANS reports to focus on transferable skills. These are the kinds of abilities that apply across careers. Developing these skills can help you succeed in any type of work that you choose to do -- at any point in your life.

Get the Most From This Exercise

While doing the SCANS Wheel:
  • Remember that this is not a test. There are no trick questions or right answers. You will do the rating, and your answers will apply only to you.
  • Tell the truth. The more candid your responses, the more you will learn about yourself.
  • Lighten up. This exercise is not about earning praise or assessing blame. You might score lower than you like in certain areas. If so, use this fact to motivate changes in your behavior - not to judge yourself.

How It Works

This exercise has seven sections. Each section focuses on one category of the SCANS skills.

Each section includes seven statements. Position the slide bar for each statement based on how much it applies to you.

By the end of this exercise, you will have a colored circle similar to the one below. Each color represents your total score in a section of this exercise. The closer the shading comes to the outer edge of the circle, the higher your self-evaluation in that section. In the example below, the student has rated her thinking skills higher than her skills in working with resources.

Again, the terms "high" and "low" are not meant to reflect a negative judgment. The purpose of this exercise is to prompt discoveries about your readiness for the workplace that you can turn into powerful intentions for change.

Start the SCANS Wheel

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