Can Technical Knowledge without Social Skills make successful Engineers?

Category : Education | Sub Category : Engineering & Technology Posted on 2020-07-09 02:57:29

Can Technical Knowledge without Social Skills make successful Engineers?

Old business models and ways of hiring are becoming obsolete. Businesses are not only focusing on hiring people with good grades but ones who have an overall development in all areas to be the face of their company. Thus, now is the time when preparedness becomes more crucial than ever to gain employment after finishing studies in any field. 

Engineering is all around us, it is in our smartphone, the internet, our cars and the roads it drives on and plays a vital role in literally everything our lives depend on - in our buildings, food, water, energy, transport, communication, medicines – everything! The study of Engineering uses knowledge of science (particularly physics) and mathematics, to find new solutions to everyday problems and is considered as the one of the most stable and sought after jobs in our country today.

However, Engineers today do not solely rely on grades and degrees to make it big in the industry but understand that their technical skills need to be backed up with a good set of social and soft skills. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals who have not yet developed key soft skills should start thinking about to get ready for the change. A good dynamic set of both technical and soft skills may be what is going to make a difference when employers consider candidates for joining their team.

Technical skills can only get one so far up the ladder, while social skills give you the extra edge that can take you a step higher and stand out from the crowd. According to a research conducted by Harvard University, The Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Institute, technical skills and knowledge account for 15% of the reason you get a job, keep a job, or advance in a job. In contrast, social skills account for the other 85% of your job success!

Thus, one should understand that in todays times soft skills prove to be essential to develop career success. Yet, those skills are often neglected and underestimated by professionals in the engineering field since these professionals quite often focus much on the hard skills only. In times of career change or advancing in the career ladder, learning or improving soft skills becomes paramount.

Important non-technical skills an Engineer should possess include:

·         Adequate speaking, listening and planning capacity to develop an understanding for successful teamwork projects.

·         Be flexible and open to accepting of unexpected or alternative ways of doing things

·         Be an effective communicator to interact with stakeholders, partners, and clients clearly

It should, however, not be mistaken that grades and theoretical knowledge should take a back seat. One needs to have solid technical skills to be an expert in their engineering field but should brush up on social skills to effectively use the learned technical knowledge. Being able to publicly convey your ideas is one of the most powerful ways to gain positive outcomes and flourish in your career. One type of skill is not necessarily more important than the other, but what is imperative is to have a balance of the two.

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