5 soft skills for business graduates

September 18, 2019

When making hiring decisions, corporate employers may look for more than just core business skills.

A well-rounded candidate will have a combination of technical knowledge and ‘soft skills’ that support success in business, according to Brian F. Barton, Chair of the Undergraduate Business Program at Capella University.

Though it may vary from company to company, the following five skills are ones Barton often hears employers mention as the most desirable.

1. Communication

Barton recommends that business graduates focus on their communication skills. Brush up on all aspects of your communication, including written, phone, and in-person conversation. In school, practice effective communication with your classmates and professors, and apply your experience in the workplace. Communication is a skill that you can demonstrate—and employers take note of—from the very point of contact.

2. Teamwork

Positive and effective teamwork is something many employers are likely searching for in potential hires. Seek out opportunities to demonstrate effective teamwork and collaboration in your business degree coursework. Listen well to team members, lead when appropriate, and practice good communication skills within your team and when presenting in groups.

3. Self-direction

Hiring managers are looking for employees who can effectively manage their own time and juggle multiple priorities. Show your employers you’re committed to their goal of optimizing resources by being a self-directed employee who knows how to ask the right questions and needs minimal hand-holding.

4. Technology

From telecommuting to cloud-based applications, technology is a powerful force that impacts nearly all business practices. Employers are looking for workers who already have some level of proficiency with computer software and can quickly learn applications specific to the job. They also want employees who can strategize about how to use these programs to the company’s benefit. If you can analyze a company’s use of software or recommend a new program, you will be proving your value and demonstrating a passion for driving the business forward.

5. Strategic thought and analysis

Current and future employers expect you to be ready to take on real-world challenges and business scenarios. Throughout your degree program, you’ll be exposed to scenarios that demand strategic thinking and analysis. As you move through your program, think about how you can use data storytelling to inform business strategy decisions.

“Capella degree programs incorporate both the technical skills and the soft skills employers are looking for,” says Barton. “You want to be sure you have both bases covered before you pursue a promotion or head out into the job market.”

Consider an online business degree at Capella University to assist you in developing the skills to help you succeed in the job market.

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