The Other Skills

If you read through this article from The Economist, you will see that it’s becoming readily apparent that, especially as technology develops more and more rapidly, simply finishing college and expecting your life to unfurl in front of you is not something that holds true any longer. Whether it’s degree-granting programs or those mentioned in said article, people are shelling out the bucks to become more attractive in their careers, on top of the potential joy realized by actively learning.

Most of these schools teach coding, but that will change. Something else might yet become more valuable in 2023, or 2030. And some version of these schools, or MOOCs, will teach that.

There are, of course, online courses that are essentially college lectures, offering great literature and language learning for a discount.

But I wonder if there is a way to find a different route. Maybe there’s a different set of skills to be taught, a set that is unlikely to vanish.

The term “soft” skills is rather pejorative, and I suspect used because the skills are typically assocated with women. But, dismissive though we might be about them, they are necessary. Look here: 

Regardless of location, it is important for young professionals and seasoned professionals to understand that the dynamics of the workplace require the use of myriad soft skills. While no particular area is more important than the next, it is important that the skills be used in tandem.

The problem, among many, is that these skills are hard to quantify, and thus hard to measure. Yet ultimately, aside from a handful of positions, what we tend to interview for is indeed these sort of skills.

Maybe there is a way to actually quantify such skills, to innovate therein, and to forge ahead with this very particular sort of lifelong learning. Or maybe I’m just dreaming.

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