Hard Skills: Find Out What They Are and Why You Need Them

hard skillsNo matter what industry you work in, you have probably heard people talk about hard skills at some point. This is because many positions require a certain level of hard skills. Fortunately, they are not necessarily hard to learn. In fact, taking a few courses on the subjects you need for your field should suffice.

Know What Hard Skills Are

Essentially, any skills that can be measured, such as on a test, are considered hard. Most aspects of administrative, technical, and accounting knowledge involve hard skills. That means basically any career choice requires you to know at least some hard skills. More specifically, according to Investopedia, hard skills in the business world include the following:

  • Math
  • Typing
  • Writing
  • Use of software

Impress your employer with your knowledge of software by taking a course on Visual Basic for Microsoft Access!

On the contrary, soft skills include the ability to listen, participate in small talk, and generally get along with others. Soft skills are important in any industry, especially during job interviews, so they should not be neglected. However, hard skills are often necessary in order to even obtain an interview during your job search. In fact, your resume should be filled with details about your hard skills. For example, when you let employers know you are familiar with certain software programs or can speak a second language, you are making them aware of the hard skills you have.

Some Industries Rely More on Hard Skills Than Others

Though soft and hard skills are often both essential, certain jobs depend on the latter more than other positions do. For example, according to the Houston Chronicle, hard skills as a manager of a restaurant include budgeting and keeping the restaurant properly staffed. These require you to be adept at math and the use of software.

Become familiar with making spreadsheets and charts for scheduling and staying organized when you take a course on using Microsoft Excel for business.

According to Career Success, science is another industry in which hard skills are more important than soft skills. Physicists, biologists, and other scientists tend to spend most of the day researching, away from the general public. Being good at their job requires them to have knowledge of their field, not people skills. The same can be said of mathematicians, machinists, and computer programmers. This is in stark contrast to a salesperson, who relies more on soft skills to find success.

Not surprisingly, hard skills are also necessary for successful business administration, especially when it comes to top level executives. A free course on operations management can give you some of the same skills. You have probably noticed that many business owners are more focused on the bottom line, such as budgeting properly, than communicating well with everyone at the company. Of course, this is why they often hire managers with enough soft skills to handle employees and customers on a regular basis. Hard skills can get the job done behind the scenes, but dealing with the public usually demands soft skills.

Find Out How to Learn Hard Skills

Since hard skills are easy to measure, you need them in order to pass tests, both in school and in your line of work. In fact, exams and grade point averages in both high school and college generally show students’ hard skills. The tests do not always come to an end after graduation, since many careers require professionals to score well on tests before they can become licensed for their field.

School not only requires students to showcase their hard skills, but it is also one of the best resources for learning them, according to Career Success. So if you currently excel at displaying soft skills but need to work on your knowledge of math, science, software use, or writing as it relates to business, there are plenty of courses available.

For example, you can improve your business writing skills with courses that teach you to write effective business emailscraft persuasive copy, or even write your own website content. If you want to design and code your own website, as well, you can take free courses that focus on graphic design and coding for entrepreneurs.