Soft skills in today’s job market

As previously mentioned, soft skills are a major differentiating factor for employability and professional success today.

This is true for almost all fields, regardless of the sector. To illustrate this trend, recent research has highlighted the importance of soft skills in many areas such as analytics and operations research/management science (OR/MS), accounting, information systems (IS), finance, project management or leadership.

Among the most pervasive areas is project management, which itself was shown to be highly dependent of soft skills. A qualitative study of project management professionals by Azim et al. (2010) highlighted the fact that the key to managing complex projects lies in soft skills: “75% of participants surveyed stated that interpersonal skills are the most important factor in managing project complexity.”

To conclude, economic and technological changes have generated new skill needs for individuals and organizations. While technical skills continue to be important, they are no longer sufficient, and differentiation between candidates relies increasingly on soft skills. Looking to the future, this trend can only continue as automation is expected to displace most of the technical tasks carried by people.

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