Students, know why Business skills are important !

 

The importance of developing Business skills in a highly competitive world.

Gone are the days when a Bachelor or Master’s degree would act as a passport to a dream job for a young man or woman. Nowadays, employers want more from employees, particularly those that qualify as graduates. What they want are individuals who possess a good amount of ‘Buisness skills’.

What are these Business skills? They are aspects of your personality that are coming to the forefront as professional assets - problem solving, teamwork and adaptability to change. The truth is, we have transitioned to a society where it is important to have knowledge but also critical to have the skills to deal with people, find solutions to problems and be adaptable in a world that is shrinking rapidly to meld more multi-culturism at the work place.

“There’s a saying that hard skills will enable you to perform well in academia, but its Business skills to perform well in interviews and that get you the job.”


So, what are ‘skills’ and how might they be useful among the student population?

A cluster of personal qualities:

Skills refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes that have the potential to make someone a good student and compatible with the requirements of academia. Put simply, they are the ways in which you talk, you move around, listen and present yourself. They are learned behaviours, which develop as a result of one’s willingness and commitment to understanding oneself and others.

Students who possess skills are more proficient and academic savvy. They are able to gain a further understanding of tasks and successfully engage with them, enabling them to gain more control over their learning. As well as playing an important role in the development of students’ overall personality and performance, skills also amount to good skills in communication; presenting information in a clear and concise manner; team-building ability; leadership; time management; group discussions; and interviews and interpersonal skills. All of which are important for students’ academic development and growth.

 

Why are skills an asset?

Because it allows us to engae with people in a more meaningful way. Skills are representative of how  intelligent and engaged we are.

How soft skills complement hard skills

Traditionally, hard skills were regarded as being the most important ingredient of academic success. Hard skills are academic skills, experience, and ones level of expertise.

Research suggests that hard skills contribute a mere 15% to one’s skill success, compared to 85% that comprises soft skills. It is at this point where ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills meet. Hard skills are often associated with general intelligence – there is an element to them that is fixed and consistent throughout a students’ academic history. However, the same cannot be said in the case of soft skills – they are flexible and can be developed through commitment and systematic practice. Up until recently, soft skills were almost unheard of, and for many they were deemed as unimportant, particularly in terms of their use in academia. However, today, the student experience is richer and more varied than it has ever been. This is a reflection of the skills set that employers are searching for in employees to ensure their commercial survival in an ever changing and global world – it is the search for the right candidate, with the right skills, who is available at the right time!

Employers want to select, retain and promote individuals who are dependable, resourceful, ethical and good communicators who are willing to work. Business skills help to increase this and employability, which assists employees in their efforts to face the many challenges of the current time and environment. Ideally, it is a combination of soft and hard skills that helps individuals to develop and maintain sustainable careers. The 21st century alone has borne witness to a change in how soft skills are valued and perceived.

  
Despite the difference between soft, and hard skills, the purpose of this is not to narrow one’s focus to distinguishing between these two skills, nor is it an aim to portray one as being more desirable than the other. Both are important for academic success! What is of importance, however, is to know how these two skills interact and serve to compliment each other, and how this would benefit students’.

For example, hard skills will help you to write well and construct well-founded and objective arguments; soft skills will equip you with, say the social skills and confidence to communicate your point across. Essentially. employers want candidates who comprise a combination of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills.




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