Competition for jobs is very tight right now due to the many people who apply for jobs or at least the capacity of workers. Of course the graduates will work and will compete with the graduates themselves or other college graduates. Thus students should prepare themselves to compete before and after it passed in getting a better job.
Develop hard skills are the main answer to success in getting the job. However, it is not enough hard skill capabilities, but must be balanced with the ability of soft skills in meeting the challenges while doing the work. By Admin working world believe that human resources are superior to those who not only have hard skill proficiency, but also an expert in soft skill aspects.
Added also, that the world of education, revealed by research at Harvard University by the United States turns a person’s success is not determined solely by the knowledge and technical skills (hard skills), but more by the ability to manage ourselves and others (soft skills). From the above, we can see that the importance of hard skills and soft skills for anyone who wants to get or when doing the work. Thus required that every student should improve the hard skill and soft skill in preparing for the world of work during their studies.
This is in line with the Higher Education Long Term Strategy 2003 – 2010 (Directorate General of Higher Education, 2004) which was formulated by the Ministry of Education clearly states that the role of higher education in increasing the competitiveness of nations is vital given the level of competition of human resources in the national labor market and International continues to increase with increasing application of science and new technologies in various fields of business, as well as the need for a level of professionalism (knowledge, hard skills, soft skills) are higher.
Soft skills Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, career prospects, job performance and education. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job, education and many other activities. Soft skills are skills that effect how people interact with other people, and also intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, such as one’s attitude, communication skills, time management abilities, ability to work under pressure. Soft skills can be said to incorporate all aspects of generic skills that include the cognitive elements associated with non-academic skills.
The reorientation of education which is one trust of education for sustainability also relates the importance of these so-called soft skills. Vast research and expert opinions have been sought in the effort to determine the specific soft skills to be implemented and used in higher institutions of learning such as university level. Based on the research findings obtained, seven soft skills have been identified and chosen to be implemented in all institutions of higher learning here and university student. They are: * Communicative skills. * Thinking skills and Problem solving skills.
* Team work force. * Life-long learning and Information Management. * Entrepreneur skill. * Ethics, moral and professionalism. * Leadership skills. Each of the soft skills comprised of several sub-skills. These sub-skills are divided into two categories of implementation. The first category delineates the soft skills that every individual must have and the second category represents soft skills that are good to have. Despite the emphasis being put on the soft skills that must be present, it is also encouraged to inculcate the soft skills that are good to have.
All elements of soft skills must be acquired by each individual student and evaluated effectively and comprehensively. Soft skills must be acquired by each and every individual in the institutions of higher learning without which, the student is regarded as incompetent in the above skill. Soft skills can be regarded as the additional generic skills and a bonus to the student. It can be observed that education is an essential tool for achieving sustainability for university student such as communication skills.
Communication skills are essential for the successful future career of a student. In today’s competitive world, communication skills in business are the most sought after quality of an educated person. Reading, writing and listening carefully are the three most important communication skills for students. These skills like most of the communication skills sounds too familiar as a result of which we take them for granted. As regards reading and writing, the only thing that we need to tackle is to adapt with our growing age and concentration.
With these two qualities, it is possible to develop reading, oral communication skills, writing skills and increase Ability to deliver idea clearly, effectively and with confidence either orally or in writing. Apart from reading and writing presentations, reports and speeches are a part of university curriculum. This makes expressive skills and managing skills also important for a university student. It is also important to develop communication skills in relationships. FINDINGS 1. Soft skills that are important for university student.
Communication skills The communicative skills involve effective communication in both the national language and English language in different contexts and with different people. Communicative skills are an integral part of any education system either in higher education or lower education. At this very level, emphasis has been given to develop the communicative skills of individual in university so that by the time they leave university, they are able to participate in public community activities and decision making.
What is found to be missing in among university student is the lack of communicative skills. The absence of good communicative skills somehow or rather has an influence on the poor presentation of their views and decisions made to gain other’s confidence and respect. “Real communication occurs when we listen with understanding – to see the expressed idea and attitude from the other person’s point of view, to sense how it feels to him, to achieve his frame of reference in regard to the things he is talking about.
” Carl Rogers (1952, p. 3) As we can see if students apply these skills, student able to deliver idea clearly, effectively and with confidence either orally or in writing, moreover, student also can communicate with individual from a different cultural background. Thus, this is a good time to reorientate the curriculum of higher institutions to embed communicative skills more effectively. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills This skill includes the ability to think critically, creatively, innovatively and analytically.
It also involves the ability to apply knowledge and understanding to new and different problems as well. The critical thinking skills, skills to organize and interpret data and information, skills to formulate questions and the ability to analyze issues that confront communities are greatly addressed in the reorientation of basic education. The following are some examples of skills that are similar to the soft skills being emphasized in the university curriculum. The ability to think about systems (both natural and social sciences).
* The ability to think in time-to forecast, to think ahead, and to plan. * The ability to think critically about value issues. * The ability to separate number, quantity, quality and values. All the above skills are important and students will require them as adults. The Skill of Team Work The ability to work with people from different social cultural background to achieve a common goal. Students are encouraged to play their role in the group and to respect opinions and attitudes of others in the group.
They are also expected to contribute to the group plan and coordinate the group effort besides being responsible to the group decision. If the future human capital can attain these skills, we can be rest assure that the future generation for university student will collaborate ideas and cooperate a taskforce towards the well-being of the nation. 2. Reason why some university student are not equipped with the soft skills According to the former Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, the failure of graduates get jobs is because they do not have the soft skills required employer.
He said that apart from poor command of English, is narrow-minded graduates, no leadership, a sense of belonging and no communication skills. In the dialogue between the Ministry of Higher Education and employers in the country, many say not employed university graduates because they have no soft skills (Bernama, 2007). as we see the dialog above, students nowadays less exposure to soft skills such as writing strategy, communication and critical thinking strategies, in addition, weak command of English is also included in the factor of lack of communication skills among university students.
The next factor is, some students lack the confidence to speak in public, this is because, they afraid that they will mistakenly say, or embarrassed to talk and lack of preparation in an assignment or presentation. Other factors such as poor critical thinking can also be seen among university students, because students are not applying a concern or complacency of what the students’ own doing. Next, students are also less skilled organize, interpret data and information in some of the tasks assigned by the lecturer, this made the task is not complete and does not meet what is required by the lecturer.
In this situation, we do not also have to blame the student, the university should also encourage students to apply soft skills in themselves. 3. Some efforts are made to develop students soft skills There are many ways of improving soft skills. One of them is through learning by doing. Besides the soft skills can be honed and improved by following the training and management seminars. Although, one powerful way to improve the soft skills by interacting and doing activities with others.
Follow the organization is one way to interact with others. In order to develop the attributes of soft skills in university students, self-evaluation is required of every student of the power which is currently owned, as well as weaknesses. The students were given a questionnaire that contains the attributes of soft skills. Then fill it with a mark which had enough they have and which ones still need to be developed. Attributes that appear in the list of the most visible attributes so which ones have the highest mode to be developed.
Then a course where a student are reviewing the vision of his study program, and seeks to combine the expectations of students, expectations and resources in the institution. Thus be selected several important attributes that need and developed for his students. Development of soft skills in university can also be done through the learning process and student activities in extra-curricular activities or co-curricular activities. Most importantly, this is not material soft skills rote but practiced by individuals who are learning or who want to develop it.
By the time students want to develop interests and talents in the field of sports for example, often supervising sports activities always focus on the techniques of how to win the match to be performed by the students. Conscience must be developed to be able to govern themselves and to interact with others. FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS Model for implementing soft skills in higher education A holistic approach is used to plan and implement the soft skills among students of higher education.
This approach is based on the combination of several programs and main activities formal teaching and learning activities (include all curricular and co-curricular elements), support programs (academic and non-academic focused) and the students campus life. In general, the development of soft skills among the students via the formal teaching and learning activities takes two models which is stand alone and embedded. Stand Alone Subject Model This model uses the approach of training and providing opportunities to students to develop soft skills through specific courses that are carefully planned for this purpose.
Usually, these subjects are offered as university courses such as English language, entrepreneurship, and elective courses such as public speaking, critical thinking. The courses in this category are often a part of the overall requirements that make up the program. The number of courses and credits in this category depends on the curriculum design and the requirements of the program. The stand alone subject model can also be initiated by encouraging students to sign-up several additional courses which can be accumulated to be a minor course which is different from the initial program signed-up.
For example, a student who is pursuing an engineering program is encouraged to take minor courses in management or mass communication. However, such an approach will require an increase in the number of credits and time spent for the particular program. Embedded Model This model uses the approach of embedding the soft skills in the teaching and learning activities across the curriculum. It does not require the student to take special courses as in the stand alone subject model.
Instead the students are trained to master the soft skills through various formal teaching and learning activities that are planned and carried out using specific strategies and methods. In this way, the content and learning outcomes to be achieved for the respective courses are maintained. The learning outcomes related to the soft skills will be integrated and be part of the learning outcomes of the respective courses. This is the suggested model to be implemented in all the courses for the different programs in institutions of higher learning.
Each element of soft skills is spelled out in the learning outcomes and then translated into the instructional plan for the semester. This is followed by implementing several teaching and learning activities such as questioning, class discussion, brain storming, team work, presentation, role play and simulation, project, field work and site visits. In general, the development of soft skills using the embedded model requires the expertise of the lecturers to use the various teaching strategies and methods that are entirely student-centered.
It also involves active teaching and learning and students should participate actively in the activities. Some of the appropriate strategies and methods that are practical include learning by questioning, cooperative learning, problem-based learning (PBL), and e-learning. CONCLUSION To live to the challenge of globalization which is in line with the era of information economy, the strength of a nation is strongly dependent on the ability of its citizen to be highly intellectual and skillful. The development of human capital in university student is thus important and necessary since it drives the nation to the envision vision and mission.
Without a quality human capital, a nation will be weak as there is no human factor that is capable to embark on new initiatives and perspectives. A quality human capital comes from a quality education process. A carefully designed and well planned education system is critical to developing such human capital. Thus, institution of higher learning plays a very important role to produce a human capital that is highly knowledgeable and skillful to meet the demand and expectations of many people.
The teaching and learning processes in institutions of higher learning should be capable to provide such knowledge and skills to future graduates. We can see good results and positive when university students adopt or emphasize soft skills in themselves. (2511 Words) Reference Groupfenglish, (27 May 2011). The important of soft skills development in education. [Online]. Available: http://blogs. funiber. org/formacion-profesor/2011/05/27/the-importance-of-soft-skills-development-in-education/ Vishal jain, (22 February 2009). Important of soft skills development in education.
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