The IUP Journal of Soft Skills
The Importance of Soft Skills for Employability and Career Development: Students and Employers' Perspectives

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Soft Skills
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSS11912
Author Name :Shaheen Majid, Chithra Mary Eapen, Ei Mon Aung and Khine Thazi Oo
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 33



Soft skills are important for seeking jobs as well as for a productive, successful and fulfilling career. The main objective of this study was to investigate students' perceptions of the importance of soft skills and their satisfaction with the level of skills possessed by them. In addition, the study also explored employers' expectations and satisfaction with the level of soft skills possessed by fresh graduates. Two questionnaires were used to collect data from students and employers. For the students' survey, 132 graduate students from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore participated in this study. In addition, 16 employers from different industries participated in the employers' survey. It was found that the students were well-aware of the importance of soft skills in their employability and career development. Soft skills considered important by them were positive attitude, oral communication, self-motivation and self-direction, and problem solving. On the other hand, the employers expected fresh graduates to possess skills related to positive attitude, teamwork, good ethics, and problem solving. However, the employers felt that fresh graduates usually possess less than satisfactory soft skills. The study suggests an integrated approach for teaching soft skills to students, where these skills should be embedded in the curriculum.


In this contemporary world, due to a variety of factors, the job market is becoming more complex, competitive, and challenging for job seekers. Organizations consider human capital critical to their success and usually make meticulous efforts to hire best possible individuals. They usually prefer recruiting employees who possess a nice blend of discipline-based technical knowledge and skills as well as necessary soft skills (Mitchell et al., 2010). Many organizations also recognize the fact that only professional and technical skills of their employees are not enough to achieve their goals and objectives. That is why employers from many industries consider soft skills critical to their business success (Stewart et al., 2016). It is mainly because employees are usually involved in different levels of leadership and decision-making activities (Majid et al., 2012). However, many academics and researchers agree that there is an increasing gap between the soft skills expected by employers and the level of skills actually possessed by entrylevel graduates (Singh and Jaykumar, 2019).


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