What Are the Hard Skills Employers Seek?
If you’ve ever spoken with a career counselor, or spent much time learning about the job search process, you’ve probably heard of hard skills. But what are hard skills, and how are they different from soft skills?
Hard Skills Defined
Hard skills are part of the skill set that is required for a job. They include the expertise necessary for an individual to successfully do the job. They are job-specific and are typically listed in job postings and job descriptions.
Hard skills are acquired through formal education and training programs, including college, apprenticeships, short-term training classes, online courses, certification programs, as well as by on-the-job training.
Employers also seek applicants with good soft skills. These are the interpersonal skills that enable you to succeed in the workplace. You’ll often hear these referred to as “people” skills, and while they’re absolutely necessary for success on the job, they’re harder to quantify and less often taught formally in schools and vocational programs.
Both hard skills and soft skills are important in the workplace. Here’s information on both, with examples of each type of skill.
Types of Hard Skills
Hard skills include the specific knowledge and abilities required for success in a job. Examples of hard skills include computer programming, web design, typing, accounting, finance, writing, mathematics, legal and other quantifiable skills that are included in the requirements for a job.
These types of skills are learned and can be defined, evaluated and measured.
They are most commonly used during the hiring and interview process to compare candidates for employment. In some industries, employers may even test candidates’ hard skills, to make sure that they can really do what their resume claims they can do.