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How to Combine IT Training with Soft Skills Training to get the Most out of your Career
Over the last few decades, as technology has advanced, the world has become a global village. People were not just able to communicate and collaborate over distances, but new job opportunities pushed people to move across borders and seek careers outside of their countries.
Interpersonal skills are a well-understood requisite for a professional. Socializing is necessary for new employees to familiarize and settle-in new environments. The technology industry is regarded as one of the most agile spaces to work in. Creativity fuels new ideas and methodologies that directly impacts business operations as well as the social environment the organization wants to build.
Interpersonal skills, or soft skills, are seen as essential attributes of a personality. They arguably take precedence over technical skills, as a whole. Soft skills are non-technical in nature and are drawn from the human nature itself. Communication, leadership, and teamwork are important soft skills.
When organizations interview individuals, they look at the technical aptitude of the candidate but put great emphasis on personality analysis.
Organizations are led by people. Strong and motivated individuals are the force that drives other people at work. For a manager, it is more important an attribute to have, as compared to the subordinate. A manager’s duty is not just to oversee their team, but act as a coach too. Their interpersonal skills draw out the best in the team.
It is generally assumed, with regards to the tech industry, that people generally are technically skilled but they lack the necessary skills to assume leadership roles. Soft skills are not optional; rather they are necessary for success. People graduating out of college are so fixated on acquiring technical skills that they forgo character development by not putting just as much effort on it.
The reality is that recruiters prefer motivated and engaging speakers as their employees.
Why Soft Skills Are More Important Than Ever
As technology continues to push new boundaries, emerging new innovations are going to drastically change the way we go about our lives.
The advent of Artificial Intelligence is already having a significant impact on the recruitment process of organizations. Businesses are finding improved productivity by deploying AI tools that automate many of the processes. For example, AI that can act as virtual assistants are now involved in the recruitment process.
On behalf of the employer, AI assistants such as Mya can interact with candidates, schedule interviews, and take feedback. The AI evolves by gathering data from each interaction. Similarly, recruitment tools like HireVue’s video chat solution are improving the interview procedures. The AI-powered video chat application can detect subtle cues such as the applicant’s mood, speech, choice of words, eye contact, and such.
It can generate a report based on that analysis and rank candidates accordingly – giving employers the information they need while accelerating the recruitment process.
As technology gets more advanced, many of the technical responsibilities/positions are going to be replaced by AI. It is already happening. What you can do, as an individual, is work on your soft skills to hold firm ground in this AI revolution. Employers are seeking soft skills more than ever. The human element is going to be critical as we move forward.
Combining IT Training with Soft Skills
The recipe for a successful IT business involves good technical skills, great leadership, and teamwork. Possessing the capabilities to work on a challenge is one thing, but possessing the capabilities to know how to tackle a challenge is another. Businesses are run by people. At the end, if your organization is not run by motivated individuals who share a common goal, then technical aptitude ultimately is not the reason for underwhelming output. Therefore, organizations strive for better results through not just IT training but soft skills training as well.
There is one methodology in which technical skills and management skills converge. Scrum is one such leading framework that implements Agile project management. It is defined as a framework that organizations can implement to improve productivity and deliver high-quality products. Scrum works as a subpart of Agile.
Agile is a term used to describe certain approaches in software development, which require businesses to adopt iterative development and continual learning. Agile is based on the Agile manifesto, that lays out four key principles for businesses to follow:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
So how exactly does Agile Scrum implement IT training with soft skills training?
We discussed earlier how technical expertise and soft skills are the two recipes of success for businesses. Agile Scrum relies heavily on the latter for its success.
Traditional models do not cater to the ever-changing requirements of projects, but Agile Scrum’s ideology to implement iterative development and break work into chunks, has been highly rewarding on that front. The project management model consists of self-organizing and cross-functional teams that are assigned specific tasks. These tasks can be thought of as pieces of a puzzle. At the end of each “sprint”, the teams review work and determine what can be improved. This allows for teams that are not just self-organized, but self-learning too. It provides great opportunities for soft skill implementation.
Meanwhile as the project continues, a Scrum Master oversees teams. Scrum Masters have great people skills. They are tasked to coordinate with teams, eliminate roadblocks, and keep the spirit alive, much like a coach in a sports team.
As an individual, you can work in and seek to benefit from such an environment. Soft skills are something you can only improve once you work in a collaborative environment. Whether it is teaming up to accomplish a task, or socializing in the cafeteria, your soft skills will continually improve once you surround yourself with people.