With the changing educational trends, versatility in educational courses, availability of masses of qualified personnel, the competition for job acquisition and job sustainability is becoming more and more tough. To get an edge over the competitors, students are left with no choice but to add values to their hard skills with soft skills to exhibit their true potential. Hard skills are academic skills, experience and level of expertise while soft skills are self-developed, interactive, communication, human and transferable skills. Literature suggests that hard skills contribute to only 15% of one’s success while remaining 85% is made by soft skills. Most employers these days want to hire, retain and promote persons who are dependable, resourceful, ethical, self directed, having effective communication, willing to work and learn and having positive attitude. With the onset of economic liberalization, the Indian market is also becoming global, so the attributes of soft skills are to be imbibed by Indian youth to show their real potential at intra and international levels. Understanding the importance of this newly raised important aspect, most of the educational institutions in India have initiated programmes, projects and activities for developing soft skills in their students. A study was undertaken in the most dynamic city of India, Chandigarh, also recognized as Knowledge City, where almost all types of educational facilities and job opportunities are available. The study tries to understand the awareness, need and importance of soft skills in students, type of courses/projects/activities initiated by varied educational institutions at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, their relevance, teaching-learning process, their impact in developing soft skills and benefits to students. This paper presents the findings of the above study. The paper also puts forward some suggestions for making above initiatives more effective for developing students fully equipped with relevant soft skills.
|Keywords:||Hard Skills, Soft Skills, World of Work, Higher Education Institutions, Curriculum, Work Place|
Lecturer, Department of Zoology, D.A.V. College, Chandigarh, India
Assistant Professor, Media CEntre and Continuing Education Centre, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research, Chandigarh, India
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