Soft skills tend to be things we learn as we go; they don’t just relate to your job as it stands. They are completely transferable and are qualities that employers look for when selecting interview candidates. It is fair to say that soft skills enhance your experience and give you the edge when it comes to climbing the career ladder.
What are soft skills?
Things like teamwork and adaptability are soft skills, and Marian University has shared some of the soft skills people are likely to develop while studying online.
Learning online requires commitment and the ability to manage your time well. There will be a lot more independent learning, and you will need to figure out how you are going to fit this in around everything else you already do. Of course, in the workplace, time management is a critical quality that employers look for. When you are learning online, no teachers are standing over your shoulder, but instead, the onus is on you to be prompt for any face-to-face or video conference learning and also to complete assignments in a timely fashion.
Problem-solving and critical thinking
Online study requires a level of independence that also develops skills in problem-solving and critical thinking. You won’t be sat next to anyone in lessons that might help you; you will be at home alone. Therefore, you will need to rely on your skills and learn how to think outside the box, approach a problem from a different angle, or research further to find a solution. Employers love people who can solve problems and think outside the box. Instead of running to the boss every time they hit a snag, critical thinkers will be able to provide a solution when highlighting what happened rather than asking for help.
Communication is a lot about what we can see from people’s faces and body language. When you learn online, a lot of online communication is done by email, text chat, or other means of written communication. This means online students very quickly learn how to ensure that what they say is taken in the way it was intended and not out of context. Things being taken out of context can cause many problems, so once you’ve learned the key communication skills, you will become a desirable candidate when it comes to applying for a job. Of course, you will also develop skills in the written word and learn how to produce documents that are well written and use consistent grammar.
Learning online also means developing coping skills for constructive criticism. You will receive feedback from your tutors and even your peers while you are learning, and it’s essential that you understand that constructive criticism is there to improve your performance, not drag you down. For an employer, it is much easier to deal with staff who are already aware that constructive criticism is for their benefit and can use it to learn and change for the better.