The Soft Skills College Students Need to Develop

Students Learning / Group interview

Life-post college maybe unsettling for many new graduates, especially those who have graduated during economic uncertainty. The challenge of finding the coveted first-job-out-of-college is a daunting thought for many new graduates. Students have the degrees, they have the knowledge, but what else do they need? Employers have routinely stated that soft-skills is an important aspect in their decision to hire a new candidate or not. I’d like to showcase 3 key soft-skills we believe are critical for young graduates to possess in order to be successful out of college.

 

Creative Problem-Solving

Organizations today are facing threats not faced by generations past. The old rulebooks simply do not apply. Graduates need to be able to look at problems and quickly come up with new solutions with limited-to-no contextual resources present. How to leverage new technology to attract a new audience subset, how to leverage big-data to drive insightful and unique solutions, or how to convert traditional businesses into modern hubs of commerce. Answering these questions demand new ways to approach the problem.

 

Give & Receive Feedback

Employers are assessing the viability of a candidate often upon their promotability. Can this candidate become a manager / leader in the organization? Being able to lead teams /people is centered around one’s ability to give feedback that allows team members to be corrected on their mistakes, but motivated to improve for the next iteration. Do students know how to approach feedback? Unfortunately, not, the current education system is built around a central source for information, the professor, who owns the feedback on each student’s assignments. Students themselves are not taught how to provide feedback on their peers’ work.

 

Working with Teams

Rarely will new hires be in work environments where they work in isolation, instead, work in collaborative settings is the norm. We need students to challenge ‘groupthink’ and feel empowered to come to their own solutions to the problems presented to them, instead of going along with everyone else’s suggestions.

 

As a new school term approaches, instructors should look at tools that embed the learning of soft-skills to their students. As your students graduate and enter the workforce during these turbulent economic times, their ability to thrive may just be a result of your actions today.

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Chris Palazzo
Marketer & Educator. Blending the two here at Kritik

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