Shree L. R. Tiwari College of Engineering

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Soft Skills as a Connection Between Campus and Corporate in the Context of Engineering Education

Soft Skills or interpersonal skills or people skills is the most discussed and evaluated term in the academic and industry from the last one decade. Almost all corporate recruiters demand their prospective employees to be good, rather best in soft skills and communication. But somehow, the educational institutes are not fulfilling the expectations of corporations in a satisfying manner. Most of the time, students are not able to execute ‘theoretically learned skills’ in practical interpersonal situations. This fact has created a huge gap between campus and corporate.

Engineering is the much sought-after field amongst youngsters. Thousands of engineers graduate every year. Employability is one of the top objectives of higher education. And making students employable is the greatest challenge educational institutes are facing today. As, when students are out of the campus with their degrees, along with their technical excellence, corporate expects them to be mastered in soft skills too.

The recent global scenario, interpersonal interactions, working styles of MNCs are all about a huge net of people, who possess different cultures, attitudes, mindsets, thought processes, and personality types. Engineers are the future employees of the various national and multinational business organizations. Hence, their level of skills and competencies regarding dealing with people matters a lot.

Corporate demands and the campus efforts related to soft skills of students should meet each other. Soft skills can be a connection between campus and corporate. Application and development of soft skills in the classroom, plays a significant role in their development.

“Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it….it dies” – Tony Gaskin. To start with the meaning this quote reflects, it can be surely said that communication is the soul of soft skills which are beneficial for any interpersonal relationship. In today’s technologically advanced scenario, communicating properly has become the need of the hour. A very first thing noticed  in any context, is an ability of an individual  to communicate effectively.  In recent times, academic excellence is not the only criterion to judge and select the candidates for jobs as it was in practice in the decade of 1980s and 90s.

In recent times, the communication revolution has paved a way for international interactions. And in the same context, communication and business both, act as essentially significant and interdependent terms. Any business is all about dealing with people of diverse attitudes and getting work done from them for profit. This is the reason, business communication skills in interpersonal relations and situations always have a crucial role to play.

Good or effective communication always betters any relationship- personal or professional. Effective communication is nothing but a set of acquired skills. Communication skills are very central to a very broad area of soft skills and interpersonal relationships.

Soft skills- one of the key words of tech advanced and globally connected 21st century. Soft skills cannot be defined in one specific way, but can be understood on the general surface of various thinking’s and perspectives about them. “Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.” It is taken as a synonym for ‘People Skills’, ‘Social Skills’, or ‘Interpersonal Skills’. Its role in today’s business context is very important and fundamentally taken into consideration. It has become like a doorway to enter any business organization and a key factor to stick there as today’s business organizations expect a wide range of soft skills from motivation to emotional intelligence in their employees.

Good interpersonal relationships and soft skills go hand in hand. To be successful in any interpersonal relation- personal or professional, one needs to have innate or learned ability to listen well and interact. As these two are the most essential characteristics of communication. Good communication skills help to build soft skills and good soft skills help to strengthen interpersonal relationships.

Many corporate recruiters and communication experts are of the view that a very broad area where our engineering graduates  fail is ‘soft skills’ or ‘communication. skills. Inability of students to manifest or execute’ theoretically learned skills in interpersonal situations have created a huge gap between academics and practical industry expectations. One of the most important objectives of higher education is ‘employability’. Making the students employable is the biggest challenge educational institutes are facing today.

When the graduates are out of the educational institutes with their degrees, they are expected to be equipped with good ‘people skills or soft skills’ as they are the future employees of the various national and multinational business organizations.  They are expected by companies to deal with the clients across the globe, to work with various people on various projects, to handle a team well exhibiting their leadership qualities, to always communicate effectively to get the desired results for the growth and development of the business organization. This is the prime reason, their level of skills and competencies, regarding dealing with people interpersonally matters a lot.

Ms. Dhanashri Kamble

Assistant Professor at Shree L. R. Tiwari College Of Engineering
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