Friday, 18 April 2008

Soft skills "Survey with AIT's Managing Director"

In a survey conducted by our team members titled “Soft skills & E-learning” with Mr. Athanasios Zesimopoulos he answered:

What do soft skills mean to you?

This term refers to a set of personality characteristics and traits that are complementary to the “hard skills” acquired through formal education and training. Under the wide umbrella of soft skills someone could include leadership, motivation, communication skills, team management, confidence, versatility, reliability, efficiency among others.

Are soft skills as important as “Hard skills”?

One set of skills balances the other.

Do you believe that soft skills can be taught through internet means (E-learning)?

Soft skills refer mainly to personality and the conduct towards others/tasks/jobs, etc. Interaction and sometimes mimicking others behavior is a key component in acquiring soft skills. If an on-line method allows real time interaction then some soft skills could be taught by experts.

When you interview a possible employee or a student, how do you measure his/her soft skills generally?

An interview and direct interaction are the only ways to evaluate his/her personality and his/her ability to deal with a set of issues/problems/standards. Setting real problems and case studies evaluating his/her reaction to these is one way to measure soft skills.

Do you recommend AIT to include core subject about “Soft skills” in its curriculum?

As an academic institution that concentrates on the hard skills our students should acquired (especially in technical masters) and given the limitations of time and heavy work load such an addition could be difficult. However, in the MBIT program there is a mandatory course on negotiation which is in this direction. Moreover part of every day student life is presentation and defense of the projects, homework, thesis, etc. There are also team projects and a number of activities that involve the use of soft skills. Finally, the preparation towards AIT’s career days and the interview process with potential employers itself is a valuable activity through which a set of soft skills are acquired.

Finally, Tomorrow we will publish the MSITT Program Director Professor Anna Tzanakaki’s Answers (visit us again)!

Enjoy & Learn,

Amjad Alqaisi

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