Hard Skills VS Soft Skills: The Career Learning Curve

Hard Skills VS Soft Skills: The Career Learning Curve

Skill is a mix of knowledge, ability, and confidence. There are two major skill types: hard and soft skills. In a person's career, skills typically develop over time. People call this process a “career learning curve.” A career learning curve is a way to understand how you are progressing. The idea is that the more you do something, the better you'll be.

A career learning curve involves two phases: technical and political. Both offer benefits to doing your job effectively. However, there are drastic differences in learning them.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Hard and soft skills are both useful in improving skills at work. However, they have key differences. Namely, soft skills take more time to learn.

Hard Skills

Hard or technical skills are abilities you can have and show in a measured way. Technical skills are the first things you learn to do and finish your job.

Typically, you can learn hard skills during the technical learning curve. At the start, learning may seem hard due to the high understanding required to excel. However, once you reach a certain level, things will start to get easy. You can assess your hard skills progress through tests or certifications. Employers often value hard skills because they clearly show a person's expertise.

Some recruiters even require certain hard skills to be considered for a job. There are a lot of hard skills to learn, depending on your career. These are just some prominent hard skills that generally apply to most industries:

  • Computer skills
  • Design
  • Licenses
  • Marketing
  • Tool usage
  • Writing

Most hard skills involve a process. No one is born knowing how to work a computer. Rather, you develop these skills through proper education or schooling. These skills are teachable as long as you're driven to learn them.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are character traits that show how you interact with other people. Specific soft skills are just things you're naturally good at doing. However, they also have a particular learning curve, the political learning curve. The political learning curve is more on philosophy than developing skills. It also involves how you get work done.

Unlike hard skills, soft skills focus more on your interpersonal, delegation, and leadership abilities. Soft skills development often starts while you learn the job's technical side. Here are a few core soft skills usually found at work:

  • Budgeting
  • Focus
  • Follow through
  • Research
  • Scheduling
  • Teamwork

You often develop these traits through time and experience. Soft skills are also more challenging to gauge compared to hard skills. Since these skills are intangible, there's no exact or correct way to teach them.

The Value of Learning

Skill development is a necessary part of job success. Therefore, knowing the kinds of career learning curves is imperative. However, knowing what skills you excel in and what needs improving is also essential. This information allows you to understand what to include in future applications.

As discussed, there are two skill types: hard and soft. While they differ in many ways, both are crucial to do your job effectively. Suppose you're planning on improving your skills at work. In that case, let this article serve as your career skill guide.

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Written by Career Specialist Jun 07, 2023
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