Adopting a blend of hard and soft skills for managerial positions

Senior managers or those aspiring for managerial positions must become equipped with content knowledge, computer skills, data analysis and language skills, as well as teamwork, problem-solving skills and work ethics.

School of Business & Administration (SBA) Dean Prakash V Arumugam was delivering an online talk on “Hard Skills versus Soft Skills: What Employers Really Desire?”, organised today by SBA and the Penang Regional Centre, and attended by over 50 people.

MANAGERS MUST POSSESS A BLEND OF HARD SKILLS AND SOFT KILLS, SAID THE SPEAKER.

He highlighted the findings of a preliminary survey conducted on 8 employers with a sizable workforce. They were employers of his students pursuing postgraduate studies via open distance learning at WOU.

He said employers wanted their senior managers or those being trained to move up the organisation to possess the following hard skills -content knowledge (e.g. finance, accounting, HR), computer skills (computer literacy and information systems), data analysis and language skills (effective communication).

NOTABLE HARD SKILLS FOR MANAGERIAL-LEVEL POSITIONS.

“Managers must understand how information systems of the entire organisation work so that when a technical person explains something, they understand the rationale behind it.  That helps them make decisions,” Prakash remarked.  Meanwhile data analysis will enable the managers to make sense of data, thus providing access to critical information, he added.

He shared that the soft skills indicated by the employers surveyed were teamwork, work ethics and problem-solving skills. He said problem-solving skills and critical thinking go hand in hand.  “Work ethics was one of the most important things that employers mentioned. If you make a mistake, own it. Don’t look for excuses.”

PRAKASH, DEAN OF SCHOOL OF BUSINESS & ADMINISTRATION.

Work ethics encompass being punctual, being thorough, tolerating different views, working without much supervision, willing to learn and accept corrections, working under pressure, and paying attention to details.

He said for a business to thrive, there must be a synergy between hard skills and soft skills. “So our role as educationists is to ensure that the curriculum for business education should have information systems, communication skills, hardcore skills, ethics, and so on.”

HARD SKILLS CAN BE TAUGHT, WHILE SOFT SKILLS ARE LEARNT THROUGH EXPERIENCE AND OUR ENVIRONMENT.

Prakash informed that his preliminary survey found many at junior to middle managerial-level positions to still lack the required technical, problem-solving and communication skill sets.

He said that the 2019 Graduates Tracer Study conducted by the Ministry of Higher Education showed that 116,161 graduates will be unemployed towards end of 2020 due to a lack of certain skill sets.

He also pointed out that the 21st century skills often listed for the workforce in Malaysia are critical thinking (includes problem-solving), communication, collaboration (includes leadership, initiative, cooperation, responsibility), creativity and work ethics.

ACCORDING THE GRADUATE TRACER STUDY, GRADUATES LACK TECHNICAL AND CERTAIN SOFT SKILL SETS.

He stressed that hard skills can be trained through certificate-level, degree or professional development programmes which can deliver content-specific skills, whereas soft skills are more experiential and environmental.

Prakash encouraged those aspiring to climb up the corporate ladder to take up the Commonwealth Executive MBA (CeMBA) programme at WOU.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

six + 16 =

On Key

Related Posts

Selva
Posted by Selva
December 6, 2022

WOU gives back: Solidarity in fighting cancer

The passion for volunteerism and philanthropic spirit is...

Read More
Peng Lin
Posted by Peng Lin
December 5, 2022

Grad remembers a dear father

As with any graduates, Deanmozhi Seetha Pathi was...

Read More
Selva
Posted by Selva
December 1, 2022

Over 1,100 graduates at WOU’s 13th convocation ceremony

The University had the highest number of graduating...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 30, 2022

Animal Interactions Put Smiles on Children’s Faces

With the exception of trips to the zoo,...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 25, 2022

Primary students master Word Problems the visual way

For many pupils, solving mathematical word problems is...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 24, 2022
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 22, 2022
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
November 2, 2022

An Approach to Understanding Current Issues and Philosophy

In addition to knowledge and abilities, the most...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
October 28, 2022

Students at WOU Strive for Every Child's Happiness

Passion and commitment can make a significant difference...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
October 18, 2022

Take steps to minimise impact and survive current supply chain disruption

Companies must strategise to minimise the impact to...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
September 13, 2022

Hypnotherapy Course Has Broadened Horizons of Graduates

The clinical hypnotherapy community consists of students, graduates,...

Read More
Natasha Goh
Posted by Natasha Goh
September 13, 2022

Endless Support in a Diverse Community at WOU

The university values diversity and welcomes all students...

Read More
We use cookies to give you the best experience.