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Classroom scoring vs employability skills in the era of tech-advancement


Employability skills are needed to face the era of technological advancement, but the employer finds the lack of employability skills among job seekers in the market as a whole. Insufficient skills are also tied with the education system, educators, and society as a whole focusing solely on scoring high marks.

By Dartlungshang Khaling

Employability skills are indispensable in the current era of technological advancement and globalization. The question is whether the youths are well equipped with the skills that the employers are demanding? Our ignorant attitude toward holistic change in the education sector has led to a rise in unemployment.

Approximately 75 million young people in developing countries are unemployed, and in most countries, youth unemployment rates are 2 to 4 times higher than adults, says a research paper published in 2019.  Further, education providers must support them with knowledge and skills either soft or hard skills relevant to the place of work to make them productive and be employed by any organization. Besides technical skills or hard skills, employers seeking for people who possess soft skills such as communication, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, etc. are on the rise.” 50% of the stakeholders couldn’t find the right candidates and 80% of job seekers failed to get a job”, says a research work published by Dr Gruyter.

Admittedly, the internet has a large database and it provides information of any kind. With the variety of information, they get from social media today’s youth of Manipur are open to different dimensions while choosing careers. Gone are the days when parents would literally force their kids to become a doctor or an engineer. Today’s youths are ready to explore any path that interests them. With exploring new careers comes inevitable challenges that have never been nurtured in our schools or colleges and at home.

In today’s time, scoring good marks during your exam is not the only key to success, however, this doesn’t mean one should neglect this aspect. Here, your marks or your certificate (technical skills) and your soft skills or employability skills must be in parallel. Good marks may make one eligible to apply for a job but to be successful in most roles one will need skills that are likely to develop over time. Some will be specific to jobs but the majority will be so-called- ‘soft skills’ that can be used in any job or employment sector. These soft skills are ‘employability skills’: they are what makes you employable.

Employers are willing to teach someone the job-specific skills required, such as how to operate a system or particular software that are very specific to the company. However, they usually want to see that the job seeker already possess the other ‘soft skills’ before hiring, because these are much harder to be taught.

Here is the list of some of the most in-demand soft skills in the market:

1)   communication skills

2)   Listening skills

3)   Collaboration skills

4)   Emotional intelligence

5)   Problem solving and decision-making skills

6)   Conflict resolution skills

7)    Negotiation skills and so on…

Not all of these will be required at all times but remember you are likely to need one or the other at some point of time in your career and in your life. These are also the skills that will go down with you when you no longer need to show your certificate or how much mark you have scored during your exams.

In a way, lack of extra-curricular activities and narrower curricula are standing in the way of young people developing the skills necessary to be job-ready. Institutions must develop learning programmes that will enhance all-around improvement.

(The writer is an ex soft skills trainer at JCRE skill solution and a final year student of MA mass communication Manipur University)

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