To celebrate the achievements of this year's graduates, we decided to share 7 "soft" skills that hiring managers are looking for when they consider science and engineering graduates for entry level jobs. These secrets are not in a particular order because they vary in importance to every manager.
- Intuition: A good engineer/scientist understands that technology can "snowball" small errors into big disasters. They can check their designs and calculations by hand when necessary.
- Interpersonal skills: Engineering and science projects are a collaborative process. It is important for engineers to be able to work with people from different backgrounds in order to solve problems.
- Listening: One senior engineer told me " Engineering is about solving problems by listening to input from others." Good listeners usually make great leaders.
- Design skills: Those who cannot perform the basic calculations and skills their discipline are vulnerable to layoffs. make sure you keep your basic skills sharp throughout your career.
- Presentation skills: Engineers and scientists deal with people on a daily basis and should be adept at presenting their ideas to technical and non technical audiences.
- Creative/Innovative Thinking: "Out of the box" thinking is a skill engineers and scientists should cultivate early and use often because many complex problem require creative ideas and tools to solve.
- Writing: Believe it or not writing is still a major form of communication. Those who cannot express their ideas on paper are at a disadvantage in the workplace.
Why These Are Important
The competition for entry level technical jobs is still very heavy. Graduates not only have to overcome competition from their peers. They also have to contend with experienced workers from other countries. Building these skills can set you apart from the field.
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