The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently surveyed 318 companies that hire new college graduates. 93% of them responded that critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills are more important to them than the undergraduate Major in which they are degree’d.
This isn’t the least bit surprising to me.
Interpersonal communication, solving problems, and thinking are what you use to be effective in life and business. Take a look around you in the work place. The most technically skilled people work for the people with the best people skills and problem solving skills.
These “soft” skills are the key to succeeding in business and leadership, yet they are absent from education curriculum at all levels. They should be taught from the very beginning, through grade and high school, and definitely should be requirements for any college degree. Without these skills, you have lots of people running around with college educations and no clue how to be effective in the marketplace with their knowledge.
All companies should be investing in this area of training, and doing it frequently. If you are a business owner or in management, you should assume that your employee base is unskilled in soft skills, and drive this training ongoing into your organization.
People with good soft skills are more confident in all situations. Confidence breeds assertiveness, action, and success. In all parts of life. This type of investment in people will help them do better in life outside of work too, which will automatically compound effectiveness in the workplace, because happy people are more productive.
If your employer doesn’t invest in this, then you have to do it yourself! You need to read books, take classes, go to seminars, and practice. It will be the best investment you’ve ever made in your future.