As agriculture industries become increasingly globalized, there is an increase in diversity of perspectives, and experiences in the agricultural workforce. As such, potential employers are seeking students with the essential skills needed to thrive in diverse settings. There are few validated instruments that measure these essential job skills in undergraduates. Therefore, we aimed to create the Essential Skill Questionnaire (ESQ) as a means to measure the development of essential skills in undergraduates. Through a comprehensive literature review, five skills clusters were found as most often identified by employers as critical for success of new employees: 1) communication; 2) decision-making/problem-solving; 3) teamwork; 4) self-management; and 5) professionalism. We then created a survey-based instrument that measured essential skill development in undergraduates. The instrument was reviewed by a panel of experts, who were familiar with fostering job skills in our undergraduate population. After going through review, a 30-item questionnaire, including reverse-coded scale items, was produced. This measure was piloted with 161 undergraduates and the results produced reliability coefficients for each of the five clusters ranging from 0.60-0.72. The ESQ will help educators measure existing skill levels and create or modify teaching methods to develop students’ essential job skills, preparing them for future careers.