Soft skills refer to a set of interpersonal, communication, and social skills that are essential in any workplace. These skills are not directly related to specific job requirements or technical knowledge but are vital in making an employee a valuable team member. In a recent interview, long-time educator David Armstrong emphasized the importance of soft skills in the workplace and how colleges and universities can better prepare students for their careers.
Employers often find that recent graduates have the technical knowledge required for their jobs but lack essential soft skills. Employers expect new hires to have excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities, critical thinking skills, and the ability to work in teams. Unfortunately, these skills are not always taught in traditional academic settings.
Armstrong suggests that internships can help bridge this gap between technical knowledge and soft skills. Internships allow students to work in real-world settings, practice communication and collaboration, develop critical thinking skills, and help students build relationships with potential employers, which can lead to future job opportunities.
It is essential for colleges and universities to understand the importance of soft skills and incorporate them into their curriculum. Students should be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, community service, and internships to gain experience.
Graduates with these skills are more likely to succeed in their careers and contribute positively to their organizations. Colleges and universities must prioritize soft skills development and provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience. By doing so, they will be preparing students for a successful and fulfilling career.