Articles, Blog

Integrating Soft Skills, with Jeff Butterfield

October 12, 2019

[Background sounds] [Music]>>We use the term soft
skills a lot but we could just as easily refer to these
as survival skills. For those of you that
have been in this business for a while, think
back 20 years. The students that we graduated
back then would take jobs where they would literally
be locked in the basement, locked in a machine room,
locked in a computer room and the students in the technical area
were always kept separate from what I call the
general population. That’s not the case anymore. Today, we’re finding that
employees have to work across all spectrums
of the organization. They have to be productive
members of workgroups and teams. They have to be forward
facing and work not only with internal clients but external clients
and constituents. And so having these types of skills are all
the more important. Technology skills
are a commodity. They’re not like they
were 20 years ago where the computer trained
person was a rare anomaly. Today lots of people
have technical skills. They’re important and
I’m not negating that but technical skills alone
are not the key to success. Instead the key to success is
having a wonderful technical background and employers
still demand that but also to have those soft skills,
professional skills, business acumen,
interpersonal skills that are absolute essential
in today’s marketplace. There’s a lot of soft skills
that are important to learn but if I was to prioritize
them myself I would say communication, communication,
and communication. Well, wait a second,
that’s 3 of the same thing. Let me break that
down a little bit. Communication particularly
written communication, both formal and informal
written communication. Communication, oral both
formal and informal. And since I need a third I
would add professionalism or professional skills. That’s an interesting
one that we’re starting to hear a lot more
from employers about. They’re concerned that students who are graduating don’t really
know how to behave and act as a professional in a
regular corporate environment. So where do you fit things like
soft skills into your program? Well, you know, soft skills
are one of those topics that you can easily
plug in when you’ve got that little natural gaps and
breaks in the traditional class but you know what a lot
of people are having a lot of success with is doing what
we call a blended approach. Maybe they have an
on ground class and they’ll cover soft
skills as an online element. And the soft skills guide was really designed to easily be deployed online. Certainly if you’re teaching
online class it makes perfect sense that you can
add these elements and students will be engaged
in class, outside of class, and the more engagement we get
the more our students are going to learn. [Music]

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1 Comment

  • Reply Bullpup89 November 28, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Ok. This guy just killed off his IT program at WKU with students in the middle of it. Not giving us the ability to graduate. We have received no explanation, no apology and no responses to emails or phone calls. Those are some pretty good soft skills right?  I would not listen to a single word in this video.  Now that he destroyed CIT he has a new degree "Systems Management".  I wouldn't take that unless you like the possibility of wasting years and thousands of dollars only to have your degree cancelled.  Actually, just avoid Western Kentucky University.

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