The Effect of Soft Skills to Job Readiness

Dr. Purushothaman
December 7, 2013

A meritorious candidate with excellent academic records is believed to perform well in any job irrespective of the challenges. This is just a myth as employers in today’s highly-competitive scenario, seek more than academics in a candidate. This is where the soft-skills come into play to help one land with his/her dream job and in performing to the full potential. Distance Education degrees are provided without any visual or vocal connection to the students and hence leaves a gap in the soft skill department. With the growing presence of the distance education universities, how to ensure job readiness and employ ability of a student has been a major concern for industry and academicians alike.

Soft skills typically translate to presentation skills and cover a wider scope of personality traits- communication skills, body language, and command over language, confidence-levels and others of the like. The communication quality determines the effectiveness and the impact of any employee and how he will fare as a team-player, team-builder and even higher up. The student from a distance education university is already aware of most of these as most of these are working professionals. Communication is one of the vital factors to initiate or enhance productivity and effect delivery, with least time-delays; the larger soft-skill-set is the crucial link for the entire-process. Additionally, soft-skills build the channel for the business in a wider, larger global platform because it is not only the credentials but their presentation which ultimately wins the deal. This further reinforces the need for soft-skills training by distance education universities, as distance learning degrees is fast catching up with the student population.

Deriving from the above, soft-skills are as important, if not more, as good academic records to perform optimally and, the slightest communication failure may cost the job itself. Moreover, since soft-skills are part of one’s core personality traits it is critical to initiate training along with the study-process. This will ensure that the candidate shapes up with the necessary skills in time and is job-ready.

Understanding the essence of soft-skills, UGC and DEC recognized Sikkim Manipal University â€" Distance Education (SMUDE) has integrated soft-skills training in the curriculum of all its distance learning degree programs. Ranked number 1 by students in a nation-wide survey of distance learning institutes, the university’s technology interface ensures all-round learning of it students. EduNxt has been one such path-breaking initiative of SMUDE, which give the students a live interface, to interact, learn, share and grow with a network of peers, faculty and experts. Through EduNxt, students can view live demos, video lectures along with chat-sessions with academic exponents and industry stalwarts. EduNxt has won SMUDE many awards in the ICT category, apart from being acclaimed by industry stalwarts-the Microsoft CEO, Infosys Chairman and the ex-President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. SMUDE, as the largest private player in Indian distance education space, has opened up many avenues for its students through its technology-driven initiatives in the distance education space to help them communicate across their talent in the job-industry!

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