TODAY, an increasing number of employers, including top ones like Google and Deloitte, are putting soft skills over academic prowess when assessing candidates to hire.
In the 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report, released by the Graduate Management Admission Council, 92% of recruiters surveyed would consider a candidate based on their proven ability to perform.
The question that today’s employers ask of candidates is not their qualification but rather their competencies, which will ultimately land them the job.
Taylor’s University deputy vice-chancellor and chief academic officer Prof Dr Pradeep Nair said the job market is changing very quickly and if universities don’t change as quickly, there will be a major mismatch between the two.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution allows technology to make greater headway in the physical, digital and biological aspects of life.
“It will change the way we work, learn and live; and because of that, the skills needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will not be the same as what was needed in the Internet age.
“It will transform the workplace focus from task-based characteristics to human-centered characteristics.
“The Taylor’s Curriculum Framework aims to prepare our students to meet this head on and allow them to thrive in the future,” Prof Pradeep said.
With the new framework, students will be able to take up modules that will give them an experiential, practical platform to discover more about themselves.
Starting right with Taylor’s
Taylor’s decided to adopt this approach after hearing from multiple sources about the changing skills needed to survive in the 21st century and beyond, and it was imperative that the university provided those skills.
“We believe that because students are likely to occupy different jobs across different sectors in the future, we need to broaden the scope of what our students learn, beyond their specific field of study, and develop their ability to learn independently,” Prof Pradeep said.
He shared a finding by the Institute for the Future which found that in the future, by the time an individual retires, they are likely to have held at least 19 jobs across different sectors or fields.
So, instead of focusing on acquiring a job, students must look at work skills - proficiencies and abilities - that will let them thrive across different jobs, work settings and cultures.
“We wanted to ensure that our students would be able to fully utilise their university experience and realised it would be best to have a separate team look after the much-needed soft skills.
“As such, we appointed a specialised team, called the life skills coaches or facilitators. Among the 10 full-time facilitators, we have a humanitarian, a clinical psychologist, certified coaches, corporate trainers, a mindfulness expert, educators and a registered counsellor,” Prof Pradeep said.
The team will deliver life skills modules; which gives first year students the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery, learn foundational life skills, develop their emotional intelligence and tools that will help with one’s emotional well-being.
Educators out to make a difference
Leading the charge for this group of passionate educators are Jagmohan Singh, formerly the Field HR Director for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hong Kong Section and Subashini Thuraisingam, who holds a Masters of Applied Psychology in coaching and is a certified coach.
For Jagmohan, empowering youth has always been a personal aspiration.
“It has been my desire to be involved in initiatives that assist in nation-building.
“I see this effort by Taylor’s as contributing towards growing the next generation of leaders and decision makers, who are capable of steering the country towards greater governance,” said Jagmohan.
Subashini agreed, sharing that the end aspiration of the two modules; Life Skills for Success and Well-Being and Millennials in Malaysia: Team Dynamics and Relationship Management; is to empower the next generation with the skills they would need to help push Malaysia into its next phase.
The duo shared that they are excited to assist students take a step closer to finding what drives them.
For more information about discovering your full potential with Taylor’s University, visit university.taylors.edu.my.
This article is brought to you by Taylor’s University.