We Need Smart Skills, not just Soft Skills


By Malaya Malla*

Today we know that students lack in industry required skills and that’s why we have high unemployment especially among graduates in professional education like engineering and management. The solution provided by many institutions are designed to give some training so that students can improve their email writing skills, body language and communication skills.

Here many experts think that skills are a one-time training component which will enable the student to improve employability. This is, however, not true. There is a need to have skills embedded to all subjects and all activities including that of projects and internships. Industry relevant skills development cannot be just an independent unrelated subject. This has to take into account hard, soft and smart skills.

Hard skills pertain to subject knowledge and critical thinking. Soft skills include communication, negotiation, bargaining and branding skills. Smart skills include continuous improvement, training and certification and use of technology and network to achieve results.

We all know that people are hired for aptitude and fired for attitude. So the skills required to meet the aptitude and attitude requirement of the market is constantly evolving. Today we need the balance of hard and soft skills. Above all we also need smart skills.

The smart skills component is high in teachers and trainers who have industry and field experience as this is not based on just at theoretical level but practical application and understanding the challenges thereof and finding creative solutions each time.

The author is Manager, Admin and Operations at Sri Sri University also pursuing his PhD in Human Resources Management at the same university. Twitter: @MalayaMalla