Few weeks back, a fellow tech entrepreneur shared a post on Facebook where he ranted about his recent experience interviewing some candidates for an open position at his startup. He was very disappointed because some of the candidates could not articulate the activities of said startup. It was obvious they had not done any type of research to get familiar with its key activities. What really got me however, was a comment on the post by the country manager of the top ride-sharing company in the world. She posted, “Our graduates are unemployable”. This statement shook me, especially because of who it came from. If more employers think this way, then we’re in a much bigger trouble, as the already high youth unemployment rate will continue to rise.
What are Employability Skills?
Simply put; “Career Capital” that people need to get a job!
There are job-specific skills that an employer requires in a potential candidate based on the stated job description. However, most employers will also want you to have some general skills.
There are eight skills that employers want you to have, no matter what industry you’re working in:
Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Initiative and enterprise, Planning and Organizing, Self-management, Learning, Technology
Basic Technology Skills: General technology skills that employers want include things like being able to use a computer for word processing and data analysis with excel spreadsheets, and email and so on.
Software: Some more specific technology skills relate to software, like social media (growth hacking), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web/graphics design or video editing software or knowing programming languages.
Hardware: Other technology skills relate to hardware, like knowing how to use EFTPOS, a cash register, a photocopier or scanner, a camera or a recording studio.
Examples of ways to develop or improve your technology skills include:
- Sign-up for web-based training courses on platforms like Coursera
- Sign-up for Webinars hosted by top tech brands like Microsoft, Google, Facebook etc
- Watch “how-to” videos on YouTube
- Attend training programs at places like Aptech and NIIT
- Take courses in school (university) that allow you work projects based on real life scenarios
*Be aware that these things vary based on individual interests and aptitude. And remember, “learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence”.