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Soft skills are critical for career success, even in tech

While many jobs in tech will require you to brush up on your technical knowledge, it’s the soft skills you need to watch out for.

by Jenny Darmody

With advancements in AI, robotics and other emerging technologies, it’s only natural that people are left wondering if their jobs are safe.

Technology is already set to eliminate certain roles over time. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that the number of jobs that will be created through
these emerging technologies will ease growing concerns.This means that the people working in AI and similar fields with human interaction will need a certain set of soft skills to program these technologies for the world around us.

There is already a lot of discussion around the importance of diversity in the tech
industry, to ensure that people from all walks of life are properly represented within
these technologies.

According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends study, introducing soft skills
assessments to test job candidates on the cognitive and personality qualities such as 
critical thinking, adaptability and communication will become a top recruitment trend
over the coming years.

For those feeling nervous about the level of technical knowledge they will need for
these new positions, recent studies offer some hope.

While there’s no doubt that a certain level of technical skill will be necessary,
research from Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research
Center shows that 85pc of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills
and people skills.

While often underestimated, soft skills are the key to standing out from the crowd of
candidates. If employers talk to 10 candidates who all get perfect scores during a
technical interview, it’s going to be the skills such as communication, critical
thinking and teamwork that will be the deciding factor.

Furthermore, Adecco conducted a poll of more than 500 senior executives in the US,
which showed that almost half of respondents think Americans are lacking such skills

Aside from giving you an edge over other candidates, soft skills will also give you a
head start on the technology that is automating a number of jobs.

At the the World Economic Forum in Davos at the start of the year, Matthew Bishop,
senior editor at The Economist, said it’s the soft skills such as creative and lateral
thinking of human brains that won’t be replaced by AI and technology.

“AI is going to have a really big impact on jobs that are essentially about pattern
recognition, looking at data and seeing trends and predicting the future. They’re not
in jobs that involve elements of judgement and creativity,” he said.


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