hard skills, technical skills, behavioral skills, higher education, personal branding, traditional education
NO CATEGORY / 14 December 2016
Developing Hard Skills Beyond Traditional Education
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Andrew Bingham

There’s a growing understanding that degrees just don’t mean what they used to. Contrary to the fervent belief of past generations, traditional education does not always make you employable. As discussed here, one of the huge reasons behind this trend is that there is a growing skills gap, where employers are struggling to find graduates who possess both technical and behavioral skills for the jobs they need to fill. 

With plenty of open jobs available for candidates who possess the right set of skills, where do you gain the necessary experience in this new economy? 

Before we answer that, we’re going to need to burst your bubble: You probably won’t acquire the necessary skill-sets at that $100,000 a year Ivy League School you are attending. As MIT’s Michael Schrage put it, “Higher education institutions do decently with knowledge transmission. Unfortunately, they do dismally transmitting skills.” 

All this isn’t to downplay the role or importance of higher education and knowledge acquisition on your potential career path, but it does severely challenge the notion that higher education and knowledge are the most necessary, or even most desirable traits for employers in our current economy. 

So, if higher education can’t teach you what you need to know, who can? 

Again, Schrage offers some important insights on the importance of online personal branding: 

“When I look at who is getting hired, purported knowledge almost always matters less than demonstrable skills. The distinctions aren’t subtle; they’re immense. How do they manifest themselves? These hires don’t have resumes highlighting educational pedigrees and accomplishments; their resumes emphasize their skill sets. Instead of listing aspirations and achievements, these resumes present portfolios around performance. They link to blogs, published articles, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts and webinars the candidates produced." 

He goes on to discuss that this is not something they teach you at school or that many actually learn in school. Not while "resume workshops" are still heavily relied upon at many learning institutions anyways. Shrage suggests that in order to define your brand identity and succeed in this new economy, you’re going to have to develop a suite of hard skills that you can integrate into your higher education achievements. 

ProSky is entirely dedicated to providing you with real-world skills development you need to succeed beyond traditional education.By working with real people on real projects, you will gain real life skills that will help set you apart from the crowd and help add on experiences and skills to your resume.  We’re confident we can help you prepare to take on the new job market and develop your own strong brand identity. So I want to encourage you–to look for opportunities to gain experience on your own. Perhaps online classes at ProSky work for you or being a virtual assistant, or starting your own blog. 

Take a look here at some of our current course offerings and learn some new skills.