A regular topic of discussion that comes up amongst career coaches and career service professionals is whether employers of recent college graduates more favorably value hard skills (such as subject area and technical expertise) or soft skills (such as critical thinking, communication, and generalized problem solving). The answer, according to a recent article in Forbes, is often that both types of skills are needed to succeed in the job market, and a gap has emerged between the skills employers expect to see in new employees in entry-level positions and the skills that candidates present on their resumes and in interviews. This connects the post-recession employment crisis to what appears to be a skills crisis in college graduates.
So, how does one acquire the needed skills to succeed on the job market? Hard skills can be developed in college through experiential learning, most notably in internships and other employer-based experiences in your field. You can search CareerLink for internship opportunities that have been posted specifically for Simmons students.
In terms of soft skills, a liberal arts education has likely provided you with much of the knowledge and abilities you will need, but often students and recent graduates can have trouble translating classroom learning and experiences into examples of proficieny in job-applicable skills. For help making this leap, please contact our office to set up a meeting with one of our career coaches. They will be happy to review your academic experiences with you and guide you towards seeing how those experiences reflect job-ready soft skills that you already have.
By using the resources available at the Career Education Center, Simmons College students can be sure to make the jump over the skills gap.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: WillMcC