In India, engineering as a career option has always attracted students. Students from their early career are asked to focus only on mathematics and science subjects as they are the basis for engineering. There is no doubt that these subjects form the basis of engineering and students who are not good enough in these subjects will not be able to pursue a career in engineering. But what most of the aspiring engineers tend to ignore in the process is developing soft skills.
Having good soft skills has become increasingly valuable for the new graduates who are trying to get into a good company for job prospects. Soft skills not only include effective communication in English but also building positive relations with stakeholders, and portraying inspiring leadership qualities. It also includes decision making, negotiation, problem solving and reasoning, and conflict-resolution skills. This is why during the HR round; a candidate is evaluated on soft skills. The HR does not only search for the person’s ability to communicate his thoughts briefly and clearly but also tries to evaluate his personality and problem-solving skills.
Most of the top engineering colleges in Telangana and in other parts of the country have taken up this thing seriously and they ensure that all their students are prepared well not only in technicalities but also in the soft skill area. In fact, in certain engineering colleges, special classes are conducted which help the students to develop their personality, communication skill and leadership qualities. The well-known companies that visit these colleges for campus placements always choose those candidates who are not only good in academics but also have an attractive personality and good communication skills.
What soft skills does an engineer need to develop to work in a company?
- Communication skill: Of all the skills, the ability to communicate effectively is given the highest priority. It so because without good communication skills, presentations, meetings, emails and even reports cannot be prepared well. An engineer will need to communicate with colleagues, supervisors, managers as well as other departments and many of them may not be from the engineering background. So, an engineer will need to explain them the engineering terms and technicalities in a simple way which is not at all possible without good communication skill.
- Teamwork: Engineers usually need to work in a team and they need to collaborate with everyone to complete the work. In order to effectively work with a team, an engineer should be able to communicate efficiently and adjust to changing working conditions.
- Adaptability: Engineers need to be very much flexible and they usually need to work in challenging and unexpected work situations.
- Positive attitude towards feedback: Effective communication does not only include speaking with others but it also involves listening to what others have to say. You may receive feedback from your manager, supervisor or co-worker and you should listen to them and take appropriate action. Along with communicating effectively, it is also important to listen carefully as this is the method by which you can facilitate dialogue and endorse greater cooperation among your team members.
- Leadership skills: Engineers may need to manage teams, projects, individuals or entire organizations. Thus, they need to have good leadership skills. There are few people who have the inborn leadership abilities, but some need to develop these skills. With the right training; people can be nurtured into effective and efficient leaders.
So, for those who are already in the engineering industry or are in the final year of the degree course and preparing for campus placements, it is important to understand that a blend of technical ability and soft skills are required to make it to the top in the corporate world.