Hard skills Vs soft skills or hard skills and soft skills- which is optimal?

Soft skills and training programs for the same seem to be hogging the limelight in recent times. Soft skills are considered to be very important in attending an interview and bagging a job. It is also considered to be an important skill that an applicant has to possess to be considered an apt candidate for the organization. This overemphasis on soft skills has undermined the importance of Hard Skills that are equally important to shine in your career.

Hard skills- meaning and examples


Soft skills are also known as interpersonal skills or people skills. This is no doubt important for you to succeed in the job. However, it is not quantifiable. Hard skills refer to the skill sets that you have got to possess for a job. This refers to the expertise that is necessary to successfully do the job on hand. Hard skills are job-specific. Examples of Hard Skills include accounting, finance, carpentry, software, etc. Examples of soft skills include patience, flexibility, time management ability, etc.

Features of hard skills -

Hard Skills are typically those that are listed in the job descriptions and job postings. However, unlike soft skills that cannot be quantified, hard skills are those that are acquired through:

• Formal education
• College education
• Apprenticeships
• Training programs
• Short-term training
• Online courses
• Certification programs
• On-the-job training
• Vocational programs

etc. This goes to show that hard skills refer to proficiency in a task that is acquired through learning, practice, and experience. It would be usually backed up with a certificate, degree or any such recognition that would also specify the level of achievement. The limelight that soft skill is hogging for seeking candidates for employment is owing to the fact that it is difficult to teach and is hard to quantify as well. but, it has to go hand in hand with Hard Skills to get a candidate who can do perfectly well in his job.

Understanding the difference between hard skills and soft skills

You can understand the difference between Hard Skills and soft skills through an example. it would also demonstrate why a balance of both these skills is essential to succeed in your job. Say, you are attending a job interview for an IT firm. The hard skills that you would be expected to possess and would be found in the job specifications as well would be knowledge in computer programming more specifically in web designing. You may well use the degree you get in the college in computer science with a certification course in web designing would fulfill the job requirements. The interviewer would be able to understand your competence on the basis of the grades scored.

These are actually a result of an evaluation of your skills. The interviewer can also ask questions related to the subject to confirm the same. however, these skills can only guarantee that you are a good programmer. However, soft skills like good interpersonal communication, etiquette, empathy, etc might play a key role in working in teams that include men and women.

These are characteristics that cannot be measured and aren’t quantifiable as well. but, these are skills that would help you communicate better with your team members and get work done from them. That is why a candidate with a blend of hard and soft skills is being sought after by an organization and he would without a doubt taste success in any setup.

You can, therefore, conclude that both hard skills and soft skills are important for the success of the individual as well as the organization.

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