When you make the decision to earn your college degree, you likely have a specific goal in mind. Maybe you’re looking to earn an undergraduate degree to help you land your dream job. Perhaps you need advanced credentials to qualify for a promotion. Or maybe you’re thinking about a career change, and you’re looking to learn an entirely new profession.
Earning a college degree can help you accomplish all of those things. But there are additional, less-obvious benefits of a college education that can be just as crucial. Developing your communication skills, becoming more efficient at time management, and changing your approach to overcoming challenges are just some of the important life lessons you learn in college that can’t be found in any textbook.
What are soft skills, and why are they important?
Communication, teamwork, and adaptability — along with other related qualities such as conflict resolution, flexibility, leadership, time management, and problem solving — are collectively referred to as soft skills.
These skills play a vital role in achieving organizational success. For example, at any company there should be clearly communicated goals — not to mention well-defined roles and responsibilities — so everyone knows what’s expected of them. You and your colleagues need to work collaboratively and develop a sense of cohesion. As situations change, everyone should be able to quickly adapt to the new circumstances and adjust accordingly.
Even if you’re not familiar with the term soft skills, employers know what they are and weigh them heavily when making hiring decisions. Fortunately, college degree programs give you the chance to build these skills. Depending on your career goals, you can even pursue a degree that have coursework designed to help develop specific skills.