Soft Skills Matter for Technology-Focused Employees, Too | Edcor

Soft Skills Matter for Technology-Focused Employees, Too

Provided by Herzing University

In an increasingly digital economy, many organizations are making digital transformation a priority. In fact, the IDC estimates that 40 percent of all technology spending (more than $2 trillion) will go toward digital transformation in 2019.

This increased investment in technology and digital transformation will create new opportunities for career growth and enhanced or new roles. While employers look to gain technology-focused employees, they must also develop employees beyond “hard” technical skills. Like other career roles, today’s technology positions, particularly management and leadership roles, require “soft” skills. Today’s “soft” skills include customer service, active listening, adaptability, ability to work under pressure, and the ability to motivate and coach employees.

But it’s challenging for employers to find employees in the technology space who possess both “hard” and “soft” skills. A recent report from LinkedIn and Capgemini shows that the digital talent gap is widening. More than half (54 percent) of survey respondents agreed that the digital talent gap is hampering their transformation programs and that their organization has lost competitive advantage because of a shortage of digital talent. The majority (59 percent) also agreed that the talent gap in soft digital skills is more pronounced than in hard digital skills.

Here’s where they’re lacking:
1. Customer-centricity – Strong client management and customer service skills are important, especially if an organization is digitizing its services and processes. Understanding and optimizing the user experience can go a long way towards retaining existing customers and winning new customers. Additionally, it’s important for employees to understand client needs in order to help clients reach their goals. Employees that are adept at solving client challenges can help build long-lasting customer partnerships, benefiting the organization as a whole.

2. Data-driven decision making – Using data to inform business strategy is at the heart of any digital transformation strategy and a key skill area for digital leaders who want to help their organization gain a competitive edge. Exceptional data analysis skills are extremely important for digital marketers and business analysts and can help employees advance to leadership and management roles within an organization.

3. Collaboration – A siloed approach to digital strategy will not be as effective as one that engages the whole organization. A leader who works well with others – both within his or her own department and across departments – can help spread knowledge and resources, develop new leadership and make an organization’s digital transformation a success.

It’s not enough to earn a technology-focused degree at just any college or university. Colleges and universities that offer a well-rounded educational experience, with practical application, leadership development and real-world insight from faculty will help talent garner the necessary “hard” skills and critical “soft” skills needed to be successful in the changing economy.

Career-focused technology programs at Herzing University help graduates sharpen or develop their digital skills and prepare them for the demands of a high-tech career. Group work, presentations and capstone projects help technology students cultivate fundamental soft skills, such as communication and collaboration. In addition, Herzing’s educational and organizational philosophy – known as the P.R.I.C.E. of Success – is focused on helping students develop soft skills. The core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, caring and engagement are the foundation for a successful, meaningful career.

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