ONLINE EDUCATION HELPS TO DEVELOP FEW LIFELONG SOFT SKILLS

Why do you choose an online program? Mostly because of its flexibility, convenience and cost-effectiveness. Besides these benefits have you ever realized what more skills can you develop or strengthen once you enroll in an online course .Probably not. The reality is if you are a serious taker of any online course it boosts to strengthen few of the fundamental job skills in you which employers irrespective of industry type highly seek in today's applicants. Apart from your credentials something more is required in you that help you land in a good stable career. These skills often broadly classified as soft skills are what highly sought after in job applicants by hiring managers.

MEANING OF SOFT SKILLS AND ITS IMPORTANCE

Soft skills are ones unique qualities or traits that determine ones working style .They include interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, critical thinking problem solving and empathy. Overall soft skills denote a person's emotional intelligence.

Soft skills in present business landscape have emerged as a very important aspect in an employee behavior .Most industries are service-oriented for whom customer satisfaction and relationships are of top priority. In such cases employees only having sound technical job specific skills are not enough to navigate the business to excellence. Soft skills in employees play a pivotal role for any company's success. These skills are often termed as interpersonal, essential or non cognitive skills set one apart from others. Unlike hard or technical skills, soft skills are ones savoir vivre. They find whether you are a good team player, a good negotiator or a good persuader. They even characterize your adaptability and ability to evolve.

DATA SUPPORTING IMPORTANCE OF SOFT SKILLS

An analytics report of millions of job applications across US by a leading job market analytics company Burning Glass Technologies states that 28 soft skills are sought after by employees across various Industries. The report also states that employees face real skill gaps in terms of this essential skills during interview and work.

Saint Leo University Career Services Advisor Nancy Cheek says that soft skills are fundamental 'in order to allow the technology of the time to be utilized to its fullest'. While explaining the importance of online education and building soft skills she said online education puts ‘the ownership of education into the hands of the learner much more than a traditional classroom. Students must become self starters in soft skill areas in order to succeed’.

SOFT SKILLS DEVELOPED DUE TO ONLINE LEARNING

Few of the lifelong soft skills that can be developed or strengthened by being an online learner are noted below:

  • Time management - Online education does not bind you in fixed time schedule and class duration. You get the freedom and flexibility to decide your pace .With many roles and commitments round the clock making a proper schedule routine and habit to take up your course and complete it is a real challenge. But if you are serious with your course automatically you will develop the time management skills while learning remotely.
  • Technical know-how and confidence - The entire globe has been digitalized. So technology has permeated in every industry irrespective of its nature. Currently every employer expects that the employee has the foundational computer and technical literacy. Online education gives you the hands-on experience and familiarity with certain nitty gritty of digital world. Video conferencing, webinars, online discussion boards, online assignments and other tools give an edge to online learners in today's technology driven work environment.
  • Adaptability - Adaptability is one of the current highly in demand workplace soft skill. It means changing your old behavior and embracing new behaviors, ideas and ways of doing things. It means staying relevant and flexible to any change. Online education is an emerging trend that best exploits one’s ability to adapt specially for a busy working adult. Being comfortable with online education from traditional classroom training require a myriad shift in your mental set. When you are a working professional having a tight work schedule managing your professional commitment as well personal and study commitments adaptability really helps you to remain stress-free and succeed.
  • Motivation to drive self - The format of online education is such that it requires immense self-motivation and personal drive. One needs to proceed with ones respective course on one's own without any compulsory trigger. So maximally it depends on your urge to schedule your time of study, complete assignments or course work, and join the virtual sessions. The self dedication that builds within you as a virtual learner can really make you class apart in front of your employer. As the pattern of work style changes in the current era there is no proper role format in most professions. Many a times there is a role ambiguity and one needs to work innovatively to reach the target. Self-motivation and drive do propel people to engage in out of the box thinking.
  • Communication skills- In online education you do not get to physically meet your instructor mentor or co participants. You only get to communicate via technologies without ever meeting the other person. Communicating virtually requires its own finesse and etiquette .While on the online learning journey people develop the communication style little different from conventional communication .this later on easily get transferred in your professional domain.
  • Knowledge of latest industry trends - The curriculum offered in online education is quite dynamic. They are curated by experts in tune with the latest and upcoming trends and updates of a particular domain in hand. Virtual learning equips you with up-to-date relevant information within a field. Staying relevant and up-to-date with the latest industry Trends will also keep you ahead of the curve in your work area.

Isn't it surprising that online education besides giving you the benefit of flexibility customization also equip you with some of the in demand lifelong skills! Needless to say these soft skills can further help to benefit your professional career as well.

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