A bird’s-eye view on soft skills

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By Education Today

Posted on April 5, 2022


4 min read

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A bird’s-eye view on soft skills

“I would care less about the marksheet, certificates or if they have a degree at all, and care more about the skills that an employee brings with.”

We were a little taken aback by this remark from the HR manager of a renowned company when asked about their priority while hiring an employee. In fact, most of the employers from almost all sectors agrees that soft skills are at the core of their people strategy. So, what does the term ‘Soft Skills’ actually mean? How is it gaining prominence in this rapidly changing competitive world? Education Today’s Editorial Team interviewed a cross-section of students, teachers, HR professionals and employers to gather insights on these questions.

There was a time when you just had to simply show off your resume to land a job. But in these days of acute competition, employers are on the lookout for individuals with right attitude, professional ethics and communication skills. These intangible, non-technical skills, collectively known as soft skills, help one to navigate through the challenges, move onto right path and take turns where required.

There are as many as fifty identifiable soft skills, out of which Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Analytical Ability, Leadership Quality, Positive Thinking, etc are considered as the most important.

Talking about softs skills and candidates employable, Divya Tomas…. (Employer talking about importance of Soft Skills and its relevance in workplace)

According to Raisha Ajith, HR Manager, UGI Groups, soft skills are the key to building relationships, reputations or developing emotional intelligence. “We recruit people on the basis of the qualifications, training and industry experience, which is more into the Domain expertise. But for the long run of the organization and better productivity of our employees, it is necessary to give training on soft skill development. Employees are more productive when they know how to communicate, building good relationship with each other, adaptable to changes and determine to be successful,” adds Raisha.

It is very evident that now a days employers are on the lookout for professionals who possess soft skills, as technical aspects can be taught and grasped easier than soft skills.

Did our education system rightly understood this surging importance of soft skills yet?

Sruthi Lohithakshan, a second year B.Sc. Chemistry student from MPMM SN Trust College proclaims that our schools and colleges are yet to acknowledge the rising significance of soft skills. Sruthi thinks that our curriculum doesn’t have any specifically designed programs or activities that can help students learn the soft skills.

Since the current curriculum doesn’t give much emphasise for the skill development of students, it falls to teachers to integrate the instructions of soft skills into their existing courses,” says Sindhu Manoj, High School Teacher Excel Public School, Arthatt, Kunnamkulam.

Being academic oriented in nature, Indian Education system give more emphasise on theoretical knowledge and soft skills are often neglected. Also, when parents stress on scoring marks and securing positions in the class, the focus from soft skills go away. Parents can’t be blamed as they are also the victims of the same kind of education curriculum. Moreover, colleges or any higher education center don’t see soft skills as a selection criterion for student admission.

What is the solution to make our education system more skill-centered?

First of all, the lackadaisical attitude of policy makers, teachers and parents need to be changed. Soft skills are required to be taught at very young age. And even if schools don’t pioneer a change, parents must take the responsibility to teach their kids at home.

The training centers supported by the government that conduct soft skills training in small towns and cities need to target school teachers who in turn will be able to train their students effectively.

Central as well as state government should include soft skills training in the curriculum for all public and private management schools in India

To deliver the quality higher education for knowledge generation, technology development, technology transfer, skill development, employability generation and entrepreneurship, transparent industry-academia collaboration with Government intervention in India is absolutely essential on the pattern of the developed countries of the world,” explicates Zeeshan CEO and Co-Founder of MyCaptain.

  • Compiled by Mahesh Kallayil