Graduate students who only focus on developing expertise in their field of work tend to overlook the importance of actively working on soft skills like cross-cultural competency, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, creativity, leadership, and problem solving; all essential to succeed in the workplace. Luckily, as MBA and MSc programs are becoming more diverse with international students and rich curricula, we are finally witnessing new dynamics between business schools and soft skills.
Being exposed to the opportunity of developing soft skills early in their MBA and MSc programs, students are learning and using those skills, whether they are aware of it or not, in the group projects they’re working on and of course during their internships. Here’s how business schools are teaching soft skills.
Soft Skills in the Classroom
When we talk about soft skills, also called “people skills” or “essential skills”, we are referring to none technical skills that will ultimately shape the success of MSc and MBA graduates. By facing tight deadlines and juggling many personal and academic or professional tasks, students are learning to prioritize, handle the pressure, and deliver creative results in their project, which will ultimately benefit them later in their careers.
As a matter of fact, business schools have been noticing the high demand for them and began creating a combination of courses that combine the academic content with projects that train students in developing their soft skills through group presentations, reports, and pitches. This combo helps students sharpen their self-awareness, judgment, and decision-making skills, while expanding their abilities to solve problems by dealing with multiple types of personalities, sometimes cultures, and work backgrounds of the individuals within the same group.
Highly Competitive Market
The world of work is changing rapidly with digital platforms altering the way professionals operate and continuously tweaking the skills they need. Employers are not only filtering but updating their selection criteria with new competencies that go beyond communication and organization as essential to today’s jobseekers. Their recruitment needs are also changing which ultimately results in business schools responding accordingly to stay relevant. Moreover, today’s students are rallying against the traditional fiercely competitive corporate culture, in fact, a 2016 survey in The Wall Street Journal found that 92% of executives consider soft skills and technical skills equally important, especially in leadership positions, where lack of soft skills can greatly limit departments’ productivity levels.
For a better understanding of how business schools are preparing and training their students to be ready for the real world and developing and investing in their soft skills, watch this video of EMLV’s original event for its international students to meet, pitch themselves in front of industry professionals, and network with world renowned companies.
More about our programs here www.emlv.fr/en/programmes/