The Hard Truth About Soft Skills When post-secondary graduates walk across the stage, diploma in hand, how do they really feel about leaving behind a life of academic familiarity to make their way in the “real world”? As it turns out, a large number of them feel as though they are lacking some of the skills and resources necessary to thrive in the workplace. As recent surveys point out, many of their employers can’t help but agree. But what skills are we talking about, exactly? Soft skills, such as the ability to: communicate effectively, work as part of a team, remain adaptable, and position oneself as a leader when necessary. Collaboration Meets Innovation While these soft or interpersonal skills can certainly be cultivated through curricular exercises, some of the most valuable learning experiences extend beyond the classroom. From small local businesses to well-known corporations, universities and colleges often have access to a vast pool of employers and business professionals who are eager to establish a campus presence. Collaboration between post-secondary institutions and employers, focused on providing undergraduate students with practical knowledge and experience, could prove to be highly beneficial for all parties involved. Why not take advantage of the immediacy and flexibility of mobile technology, in order to foster and promote these community partnerships? Everybody WinsStudents get a head start on taking the world by storm.
Post-secondary students are active participants in their learning, eager to seek out opportunities for personal growth and development. Mobile notifications and social media buzz about career and employment-related events on campus would be a great way to get students engaged and on the right track. Institutions make new friends and earn bragging rights. Building partnerships with neighboring businesses and employers allows universities and colleges to connect their students with skill-building opportunities and the resources to excel, post-graduation. After all, behind every successful individual is the post-secondary school they attended, or something like that. Employers gain visibility and integrate students early. Circulation of job opportunities throughout campus, participation in events and information sessions, and cooperation through co-op placements and internships allow employers to seek out talent and groom future full-time employees. As mobile applications become increasingly popular tools for academic organization, social connection, and event promotion, it only makes sense that a mutually beneficial network between post-secondary students, the institutions they attend, and nearby employers be supported in a similar fashion. As students and working professionals become fully immersed within today’s mobile first society, the institutions that support them must follow suit and remain adaptable.