10 February 2014


In India, electronics engineering as a career has always attracted the student community in a big way. Testimony to this fact is an ever-increasing number of aspirants taking various entrance exams to qualify and enroll for their choice of engineering branch. 
Throughout the course, one learns and specialises in a particular branch of engineering theoretically and practically. However, just technical skills are not enough as the most common HR question is: Beyond technical skills, experience and knowledge, what added value do you bring to the organisation? Therefore soft skills are critical to make you employable.

What exactly are soft skills?

Naresh Narasimhan, country marketing manager, Tektronix, says, “In the 21st century and going forward, three things are important—ability to communicate an idea visually, ability to have a balanced point-of-view on key issues and ability to convert ideas to results.”

The concept of soft skills is not limited to just plain communication skills but it also includes aspects such as people skills. Dr Pallab Bandyopadhyay, director-HR, Citrix India, explains: “In the broader context, soft skills would also include negotiation, decision making, reasoning and problem solving, and conflict-resolution skills required in today’s work environment.”

“While technical professionals are often selected and trained based on measurable talents and skills such as knowledge of OS or software programming skills—which are prerequisites to starting a career in engineering and technology—intangible skills such as language proficiency, ability to work with global teams and positive attitude often count in making their career a rewarding one. These intangible skills are classified as soft-skills,” adds Sudhanshu Pandit, director-HR, Symantec India.

When evaluating a candidate on soft skills, HR professionals look at not only his ability to communicate his thoughts clearly and concisely but also his personality and problem-solving skills.

Defining soft skills, John Prohod-sky, founder and principal consultant, Future Envisioned, says, “Soft skills are non-technical, interpersonal and communication skills required by an engineer to successfully solve problems and apply his technical skills.”

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