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Learn soft skills

Soft skills like communication and management can be just as important as technical skills depending on the job role. Learn how to build soft skills with online courses delivered through edX.

What are soft skills?

Job seekers often focus on whether they have the hard skills needed for their desired position. That makes sense. Hard skills are directly related to the functions they will need to perform. In contrast, soft skills can sometimes be overlooked even though they can make the difference when choosing between two job applicants. 

Soft skills involve how you interact with people around you and respond to the work you are tasked with. Essential soft skills include a variety of social skills, such as communication, emotional intelligence, leadership, and conflict resolution. They can also include skills that help people specifically manage projects like time management, problem-solving, critical thinking, and resourcefulness. Organizations look for employees who display these characteristics because they can improve performance and help individuals or teams function efficiently and effectively.

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Why learn soft skills?

Hiring managers want reassurance that a job candidate not only knows how to do the job, but will also be a team player with a strong work ethic. Because companies are now transferring tasks to automated systems through machine learning and AI, it's more important than ever to be good at what differentiates humans from machines – and humans from each other. People are innovators and problem solvers. Soft skills help ensure that technology won't replace you in the job market. But learning soft skills requires self-awareness as it may not be as clear which skills you struggle with.  

Soft skills courses and certifications

A soft skills certification or course may cover business communications, public speaking, critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork, among many other skills. Each of these skills can help you get hired and succeed at your job. And, these are transferable skills that can follow you throughout your career, whether you stay in a specific field or you decide to change careers down the line. But the knowledge that is learned in an online soft skills course must be supplemented with practice. 

Strengthen career prospects with soft skills

Employers are looking for candidates with more than just the hard skills. As you decide which learning path will work best for you, consider what soft skills others in the field or in positions you are seeking have mastered. Those are the skills that can help you succeed.

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