What do you think the balance between hard and soft skill training should be?

Ernest J Wilson lll on May 12, 2019 • 6 answer
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Find out more and give your opinions on my Forum Network article, "Putting Hard Edges on Soft Skills: The future(s) of artificial intelligence and skills in the emerging digital economy": https://www.oecd-forum.org/users/254287-ernest-j-wilson-lll/posts/48402-putting-hard-edges-on-soft-skills-the-future-s-of-artificial-intelligence-and-skills-in-the-emerging-digital-economy


Soft skill is such a wide descriptive. Nevertheless, I am 62 and the first element that comes to mind is that soft skill training was part of my schooling up to the 11th class (philosophy, argumentative rhetoric, communication {listening}, ethic, etc.), then they were gone for all following years up until now. I do not think that soft skills can be reintegrated in the system the way I was taught: that is as separate elements. However, they must be reintegrated as part of the hard skills curriculum if we are to be able to manage our globalizing, diversifying world. Without them, it is so easy to sway us into the 'isms' that we are now experiencing worldwide (populism (Ex. extremism), sexism, generationalism, nationalism (Ex. "we first"), etc. Without them, we loose our humanity and become focused on power, material/things ($), and entertainment, all laced under the modern disease called entitlement. The answer to the question is not how much of each but if at all. By reintegrating soft skills into a curriculum it will take its place as needed. We do have to develop them and give them a space to grow wherever we teach hard skills. Yes wherever, the same way you need water whatever you do. The alternative is indefinitely more costly.

Jacques Drolet on May 12, 2019
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I have always two difficulties when seeing that kind of question.
1 - Which soft skills are we talking about? From the ability to have a sound judgment (philosophical approach) to the ability to interact humanly with others (human relationship approach), all these, and many in between, are soft skills. But the ways to acquire them are extremely different. The notion of balance is then irrelevant.
2 By putting too much accent on soft skills, don't we sometimes run the risk of forgetting how crucially important hard skills are in any trade ? As a consultant, I see so many companies who, by training people on soft skills, and sometimes rewarding them for those soft skills, forget to reward them for their hard skills and to recognize how hard skills remain the core of individual developments and what makes them different from others. Don't misunderstand me, I am a fan of soft skills development but I am also a fan of hard skills recognition, development and adaptation.
To take a very mundane experience, a nurse needs to have hard and soft skills. But the nicest, the most human nurse, needs to be first of all competent on her hard skills and we have to help her develop her skills on both fronts. The hard skills are her future, the soft skills are just a differentiating factor with other equally competent nurses.

dominique turcq on May 13, 2019
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Hard skill training is as important as soft skill training. However, in recent years, we've seen so much emphasis on soft skill training to the degree that we are assuming everything is fine with hard skill training. For any organization, there must be a balance between hard skill and soft skill training. The hard skill training should be the main focus especially in the current state of economy where job skills are changing rapidly. Bashar H. Malkawi

Bashar H. Malkawi on Dec 02, 2019
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@ Bashar
Agree that soft skills are more in demand...employers seeking greater balance, but not at expense of hard. Some regional differences...India & China still seeking lots of hard skills, US & Europe more of both.

Ernest J Wilson lll on Dec 05, 2019
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In my opinion, any kind of skills are good for getting a job, but people are more tapping attention to hard skills. Hard skills relate to a specific job or, sometimes, to a particular field, so this is why they're so important. For example, when you are getting a job in an IT company, they are searching for a person who has a basic pack of soft skills and some hard skills necessary for their job. For example, knowing the Python language is a complex skill, which can help you have a bigger advantage on getting the job.

Alan Smokes on Jan 28, 2022
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Hard skills are usually more demanded. What kind of skills that employers look for when hiring is highly dependent on the industry you are willing to work in. In the case of weekend jobs, it's a lot easier. Only basic skills are required. Or example, engineers need to know certain programming languages, graphic designers have to know some design-related software, and surgical nurses must be skilled in infection prevention techniques. When speaking about soft skills, the first thing that comes to mind is teaching, where the ability to communicate plays the main role. For more information visit https://moneylifewax.com/best-part-time-jobs/.

Simon Clark on Mar 07, 2022
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