Soft skills are viewed just as valuable as technical skills. As a BCS member, you become a part of our 60,000 strong community, who are here to help hone all the skills you need to get ahead.

What happened? The world we stand in today is not the one we envisaged less than two years ago. According to McKinsey, companies have accelerated their digital transformation by three to four years, while their digitally enabled products have accelerated by seven years. The pace of change is vast, and yet we must forge ahead with our personal development to ensure our skills remain up-to-date and relevant for this new world.

But it might surprise you to learn that the most essential skills required for the digital age are not technical - they’re soft skills, such as empathy and communication.

Don’t be fooled though. On the face of it, soft skills - like resilience, stress tolerance, time management and flexibility - may appear very simple, but are in fact tricky to master. In fact, 9 in 10 companies cite a lack of soft skills in candidates as an issue. Therefore, it’s perhaps unsurprising that research from the World Economic Forum highlights half of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 - listing critical thinking and problem solving at the top of the list of priorities.

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Are soft skills really that important?

It stands to reason that technical skills are essential when our world is ruled by digital innovation. But while technical skills are important, they’re not everything. Two-thirds of companies admit to rejecting an otherwise qualified candidate for an IT role, because of deficient soft skills.

Soft skills are so highly valued because they concern how we create personal relationships and professional connections. It’s the human element that makes soft skills most in demand (65% of employers), compared to computer and technical skills (50%).

And they’re proven to be a fast-track into the c-suite. A ten-year study by Harvard Business Review identified that individuals with exceptional soft skills were able to ‘catapult’ their careers forward, and reduce the average 24-years it takes to enter the c-suite. CIPD research has identified the top five soft skills managers need to get ahead as:

  • Open, fair and consistent.
  • Handling conflicts and problems.
  • Knowledge, clarity and guidance.
  • Building and sustaining relationships.
  • Supporting development.

The problem is that soft skills are harder to acquire. They require time, effort and practice to perfect. Unlike technical skills, which can be acquired through certifications, many soft skills are inherent - they lie within our DNA, which makes it very hard to retrain and rewire those cognitive connections. It’s why 92% of UK talent professionals say soft skills are as, or more, important when hiring than technical skills.

The best strategy to develop soft skills

Never underestimate the power of community. At BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, we currently have over 60,000 members located in 155 countries. Highly skilled professionals at different stages of their careers, they have vowed to share their skills, knowledge and experience, respect their peers and play a part in progressing our profession.

For you

Be part of something bigger, join the Chartered Institute for IT.

While you can acquire all the technical skills you need to advance your career through the 60+ certifications we offer, it’s the community that will help you to hone your soft skills.

Immerse yourself in the community to practice and perfect them. Talk to others and learn what does / doesn’t work in practice. Confide in them about areas where you struggle and ask for suggestions to help you overcome them. And get a mentor for some 1-to-1 support and accountability.

We don’t exist without you

Our community is the most valuable thing we possess, which is why we do everything within our power to support and advance the careers of our members, helping them to become the best version of themselves and achieve their career ambition.

We're creating a diverse and sustainable IT profession with opportunities for development and progression at every step. When three-quarters of people feel they aren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities, you can trust the BCS to fulfil all your needs and advance your career:

  • If you’re looking to get established... hone work-ready soft skills on our e-learning platform.
  • If you want to boost your credentials... fill a skills gap with our member CPD.
  • If you want to build your network... attend a BCS conference.
  • If you’re looking to share your expertise... speak at a BCS event.
  • If you want to be a thought leader... contribute to ITNOW.
  • If you want to be an influencer... give input on Government consultations.