Menu Close

Soft Skills in Demand

Students often wonder what kind of skills they need for their careers after high school. While hard skills like coding, design, or medical expertise may be the first to come to mind, it’s essential to learn about and start practicing what employers refer to as “soft skills”. Soft skills are defined as non-academic skills that help you solve problems and interact with others.

During the 2020 Fall Virtual Educator Externships, employers shared the soft skills they look for in their future employees. ElevateEdAZ picked out five key skills highlighted by employers and educators alike for students to start practicing today!

Top Five Soft Skills

  1. Critical Thinking: This is a vital skill ultimately leading to the ability to solve problems. It allows you to be more engaged while at work and support your team when challenges arise. You can practice your critical thinking skills by asking questions, avoiding making assumptions, and evaluating the evidence around you.
  2. Social Intelligence: Social intelligence relates to how you work and communicate with others to build stronger relationships. Being able to form trusting relationships helps you get the best out of coworkers. You can practice developing your social intelligence by listening to others and responding with empathy before rushing in to give advice.
  3. Cultural Competence: This skill is important in building a more diverse, understanding, and equitable workplace. It encourages you to use the differences in culture with coworkers to create creative solutions. You can practice your cultural competence by collaborating with others to learn about their culture.
  4. Digital Literacy: The University of Phoenix emphasizes the importance of this skill because it helps you leverage technology to communicate, solve problems, and engage with others.  Technology is changing all the time, so being able to shift and think out of the box to keep things working is essential. You can practice your digital literacy skills by using your available technology to find answers to problems.
  5. Autonomy: Carlisle mentioned that this is an important soft skill sought out by hiring managers. Autonomy allows individuals to think independently, come up with good ideas, and articulate those ideas. Carlisle stressed that this skill is important to have regardless of your position in an organization. You can practice autonomy by creating to-do lists to stay on top of what you need to accomplish for the day, week, and month.

Soft skills are an essential component that hiring managers are looking for in job candidates. These skills are not easily taught, so make sure that you are looking for ways to develop these skills now to discuss in your next job interview.

The 2020 Fall Virtual Educator Externships brought a lot of attention to soft skills. If you are interested in learning more about these skills, head over to our YouTube channel to watch the externships for yourself!

Thank you to Zovio, our Elevate Your Network Sponsor!

Share ElevateEdAZ!
Translate »