From Dr. Christopher Salute’s That Professor Life Blog

Have you heard of the Skill Gap? Skill Gap is the difference in the skills required on the job and the actual skills possessed by the employees. Skill gap presents an opportunity for the company and the employee to identify the missing skills and try to gain them (Skill Gap Meaning, Importance & Example | MBA Skool). 

An example of a Skill Gap would be someone graduating from their four-year university with a degree in creative writing and applying for a job at a popular blog. Do they understand how keywords and Search Engine Optimization work? Any graphic design background for images? How about social media if they want to promote that blog?  

Or how about an investment banker? You graduate with a Finance (or worse.. an Economics) Degree. Do you have your certifications and licenses? CFA? Series 7 or 63? Can you realistically analyze market trends and trade?

The answers is “no.” We call those “Hard Skills” and we’ve already written a post about the Hard Skill Gap. Most skills employers look for are actually Soft Skills. 

We conducted a brief scrape of employments sites (can your team do this quick?) and found the following (provide scraping? Instead, I just did a sample) soft skills that employers look for: 

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership and Persuasiveness
  • Curiosity and Learning Desire
  • Contextualize the Big Picture
  • Communication Skills
  • A Positive Attitude
  • A Strong Work Ethic

Very few (if any) college courses teach any of these skills. Most of these success dependent “soft skills” are caught… not taught. Internships can help! But, how does one actually earn that internship? Hmm….

That means that the University you’ve spent a lot of money on didn’t actually prepare you for the job you want. So what can you do to prepare yourself? 

Finding experiences outside of the college classroom can really help you gain the skills you need. For example, externships. What’s an Externship? Externships are short experiences to help you explore a profession and they are generally unpaid. Externships allow college students to shadow a professional or company when they most likely wouldn’t have enough time for an internship, such as during winter break

What else can you do? Join or start a club on campus or in your community? Absolutely! Have you considered a bootcamp?

Bootcamps provide the skills you need to fill your skills gap. But, they also can provide tons of extra soft skills like interview preparation, corporate culture, resume help, etc. 

Cogent University, for example, has a team of “soft skill” experts to prepare you for the job. So, think hard before you choose your mentors and who helps you fill your skills gap! Cogent University is a boot-camp-to-job-placement program specializing in Java Development, Data Analytics, and Cyber Security with over ten years of experience and success in training and placing 600+ candidates in 57 Cohorts.