Monday, January 5, 2009

Can Soft Skills Be Called As Employability Skills?

“You can give lifetime employability by training people, by making them adaptable, making them mobile to go other places to do other things. But you can’t guarantee lifetime employment.” – Jack Welch.

There are number of definitions about soft skills. And everyone gives their own way of definition about soft skills. There is yet another problem about this domain, as people call it with different names such as people skills, emotional intelligence, life skills, interpersonal skills etc., Soft skills can also be called as employability skills as it equips the students with certain skills, abilities, attributes and competencies those are essential for getting placement at the corporate world.

Soft skills is an evolving domain and yet to take a concrete shape. When we look at soft skills, these are the skills, traits, abilities which are essential for surviving and succeeding in the corporate world such as: emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, communication skills, motivation, leadership skills, decision making skills, negotiation skills, business etiquette, problem solving skills, conflict management, stress management etc., These are all the essential ingredients for everyone for personal, professional and social success.

In this context, it is necessary to know other side of the soft skills - hard skills. These are the skills other than domain skills - technical skills supplement the soft skills. The soft skills help in effective presentation of hard skills. Therefore both soft skills and hard skills are the two sides of the same coin and one without the other has no meaning.

People may dispute those soft skills alone, not hard skills are sufficient for ensuring professional success. But if there are no hard skills then what would be communicated? Similarly, if there are hard skills alone and no soft skills then there is no effectiveness. It can also be said that hard skills are the core skills and soft skills are the surface skills while former becomes the infrastructure and the latter becomes the super structure. Soft skills bring the cosmetic changes to the hard skills that are essential for success.

The qualities and skills such as communication skills, presentation skills, team spirit, positive attitude, interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, leadership skills, time management, learnability, absorbability, integrity and passion to perform are essential for all students to get employment. Then what is wrong in calling the soft skills as employability skills?

The End


Phani said...

Dear Prof. Rao Sir,

I was overwhelmed when I saw your blog with excellent content to help students, job seekers and professionals as well. Keep up the good work.

I wish to see more such articles on critical issues.

wish you all good luck in ur future endeavors.

warm regards.

Challa S.S..J.Ram Phani

Maribel Gómez said...

Dear Prof. Rao Sir,

I am researching about employability skills and I am developing a programme to be delivered at universities in Spain.

Thanks so much for your blog, content is very useful for me


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