Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Other Soft Skills a Need Too

Earlier we talked about how communication skills are lacking for many job candidates and are hurting organizations, but TIME says that it's not just communication skills that are lacking, but a lot of other soft skills as well including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and interpersonal skills:
As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top 10 priorities in new hires. Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list.
So while many state cirriculums are focused on the math and sciences, maybe another focus would be better. The one thing that college curriculum need to focus on, however, should be internships. Schools like Northeastern have seen a jump in applications due to their co-op program but maybe other colleges should take a look at doing so:
One thing that does appear to make a difference is internships...more than 80% of employers want new grads they hire to have completed a formal internship, but only 8% of students say interning in a field related to their major is something they spend a lot of time doing....Overall, only about half of college grads say they’re prepared for the workplace — and the number of bosses who think they’re prepared is lower than 40%.

Among students who don’t intern, only 44% consider themselves ready for the job market. That improves for students with unpaid internships; 58% say they’re prepared for the workplace. But among students who complete paid internships, that number jumps to 70%.

Part of the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know, as the saying goes. Harris Interactive found a huge gap between students’ perceptions of their abilities and managers’ perceptions of those same skills.
Just some food for thought...

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