Transitional Work Experience Program Handbook
Soft Skills - What are they and why are they important?
In 2008, a large survey of employers in "emerging sectors" were asked what skills they needed most from their employees...now, and in the future. These employers represented fields that are expected to grow significantly in the next 30 years, such as healthcare and technology.
Of the top 57 skills they listed, only 4 related to technology. The remaining skills were things like:
* Reading comprehension
* Critical thinking
* Active learning
* Written expression
* Time management
* Active listening
* Attention to detail
* Learning strategies
...these are "soft skills" and they represent 95% of the top skills in the workplace!
The importance of “soft skills” is further supported by a study from the Stanford Research Institute and Carnegie Melon Foundation. After surveying 500 CEOs, they determined that 75% of long-term career success depends on soft skills, while only 25% percent depends on technical knowledge.
WHAT, EXACTLY, ARE "SOFT SKILLS?"
Soft skills are the skills needed to be a life-long learner, think critically, and make decisions independently. The skills needed to communicate effectively. They are the skills needed for a global economy!
No matter how much more "advanced" our society gets, soft skills will always be the key to success because they allow people to effectively learn the "hard skills," or technical information, as jobs evolve.
Susan Kruger (Aug. 2011)
Here are a number of web related resources regarding “soft skills.”