How to Help High School Students Develop Soft Skills

5 min to read
High school online student on her laptop

Did you know that 92% of employers say that “soft skills” like critical thinking and time management are just as important to getting hired as technical job requirements, or “hard skills,” like knowing a computer programming language?

The job market is constantly changing and, with it, employer expectations are shifting as well. While a resume that cataloged relevant work experience may have done the job previously, these days employers are looking for more on a resume. As such, it is critical that schools bake soft skills for students into the curriculum through various soft-skills activities and teacher-led lessons. When a school prioritizes developing soft skills in students, it helps foster your child’s ability to adapt and change far into the future. 

What Are Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills?

Whether your student has dreams of becoming a CEO or working in a technical field, both hard and soft skills are core capabilities looked for in every profession. But what is the difference between the two?  

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the abilities you gain through schooling, degrees, certifications, and similar education-based trainings. These are often baseline requirements to get you in the door at a company but won’t necessarily land you the job. These skills range from mastering specific programs like Photoshop to emergency response protocol.  

Soft Skills

Conversely, soft skills are the traits and attitudes that allow you to succeed in the workplace, college, and life. They are what enable you to work well with groups, solve problems, manage your time, and take personal responsibility for your work. In college, they’re the skills needed to stay on top of your studies and, in today’s competitive job market, they are the skills that can set someone apart from other candidates.  

An online student developing soft skills like communication.
An online student researches soft skill activities for high school students.
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