Today’s higher educational institutions face a new challenge in their role to equip learners with the skills and knowledge they need for a competitive work environment. Employers increasingly demand skilled workers who have a great impact on the workplace. The best job candidates possess critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and people management skills. In other words, hiring managers want employees with the right set of soft skills.
The good news is that learners today understand the expectations of the increasingly dynamic job market, hence the growing demand for quality higher education. As a result, soft skills are emerging as an important trend in higher education. In addition, the demand for well-rounded graduates forces colleges to encourage and develop various skills.
Institutions must understand that soft skills now make the difference between a good candidate and an ideal one. This article defines soft skills and explores how students and universities can grow these attributes.
Defining Soft Skills — What Are They?
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are those non-technical competencies relating to how people work. They include how workers interact with others in the workplace, solve problems, and manage tasks. They include those interpersonal capabilities, listening skills, effective time management, and problem-solving skills. These capabilities are transferable because they apply to almost any career or industry.
Soft skills make employees successful and prepare them for teamwork and challenges at work. It is the role of higher education institutions to facilitate learning. Since modern student requires mentors and coaches to point them in the right direction, instructors must embrace the role of expediting learning. Therefore, colleges must find the best ways to arm students with the essential skills to help them navigate the competitive job market.
An important question to consider at this stage is why employers care about soft skills. In any case, quantifying the benefits of workers with soft skills seems almost impossible. However, recent studies have shown that improving the soft skills training of employees results in more than 200% return on investment. Moreover, those who need time to work on their soft skills can get help with nursing case studies online.
What Are the Top Soft Skills in Higher Education?
The growing pace of automation in most business areas has recently become evident. As such, the role of the human aspect of work has become more apparent, with top companies understanding that human skills make businesses grow.
The bottom line is that candidates who demonstrate soft skills are more likely to land their dream jobs. Employers interpret soft skills as a sign of immense potential, showing that the candidate is willing to learn and adapt. Here are some of the top soft skills that matter.
Today’s employers understand the value of communication in the workplace. Therefore, they want to hire candidates who are exceptional communicators as the skill applies regardless of the position.
Effective communication is vital for building relationships with others in the workplace, teamwork, and interacting with customers. Thus, students who want to excel in the work environment must develop good listening, hearing, and verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Another top skill in higher education that employers desire is adaptability. Hiring managers want workers who can acclimate to the always-changing work environment. These employees can embrace change, remain calm and focus on what needs to be done.
3. Conflict Resolution
Different scenarios call for effective conflict resolution skills in the workplace. Hiring managers want candidates who can excel in negotiation. There are numerous possibilities for conflict or disagreement in the work setting.
While some disputes don’t last long, they can have immense implications for productivity and teamwork. As such, having skills relating to conflict resolution and management is crucial for students seeking to thrive in their careers.
4. Creativity and Problem Solving
Today’s hiring managers want candidates who are creative and can find solutions to complex problems. Here, creative individuals bring an element of uniqueness to their approach to work and relationships. Creativity encourages critical thinking and problem-solving. It makes collaboration possible and allows generations of new ideas.
Soft Skills for Comprehensive Preparation to Real Life
Institutions of higher learning are tasked with preparing students for successful careers. Therefore, they are responsible for incorporating soft skills training into their curriculum. However, teaching soft skills is harder than instructing students on the technical elements of their careers.
One possible strategy that can be used is offering students opportunities to practice such skills as leadership and teamwork. This can be done by assigning projects to be completed in groups and encouraging collaboration during projects. Colleges can also provide chances for public speaking and workshops that train students on soft skills.