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The Link Between Extracurricular Activities and Soft Skills

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Soft skills are in high demand, but the number of candidates possessing such skills in the talent pool seems to be shrinking. Data show employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit employees straight from the classroom. The reasoning seems to be that while formal education leaves graduates technically and academically prepared, their soft skills—communication, empathy, and teamwork—are severely lacking. One potential solution is measuring students' participation in extracurricular activities. Research has shown that these activities can function as important tools in developing soft skills, and universities and employers both should pay attention to the extent that students, and potential employees, participated in them. Nonacademic activities demonstrate a young person’s level of commitment to personal growth that goes beyond the norm and should be very attractive to future employers as a predictor of well-developed soft skills.

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