How-to-Go-Beyond-Your-Degree-to-Improve-Employability

A common assumption that many learners make even today is that their degree is enough to get them a good job. While this does hold to some extent—your degree is probably pivotal to getting hired—it might not be enough.

With the increasing competitiveness in the current job environment, looking for technical roles with just a college degree can be tricky.

Now, there are two caveats to this issue: one, where learners complain about the lack of industry-ready skills in the regular college curriculum; and two, experts argue the real-life issue is ‘attitude-gap,’ and not skill gap!

The question is, which is correct? Unfortunately, the answer is both!

Shivangi, the host of our podcast Fixing the Bug, delves into this pertinent skill gap (and attitude gap) issue in Episode 2. Continue reading to find the answer and get some incredible tips to showcase your talent.

Skill Gap and Attitude Gap: What are They?

When Rashid, from Allahabad, graduated from college with his B.Sc in Engineering degree, he was super confident that he would bag any job in the first interview.

Why not? For a guy who has scored excellent marks in his finals, it is legible to have the confidence of getting the best job out there. Isn’t it?

To some extent, it is. But in the long run, experts value the skill sets that candidates bring to the table, not just the knowledge base.

In the case of learners like Rashid, graduating from an excellent institution with good grades fuels their confidence. But this confidence gives rise to the ‘we’re already capable’ attitude without letting them fully realise the market demand.

So you see, the skill and attitude gap, to some extent, complement each other, and both are systematically fueling the fire to India’s skill gap.

“Studies show that there is a lack of skills between students, higher education institutes and companies, which is why students are losing their employability,” Shivangi explains in the podcast.

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How are they relevant? Some key points are:

1. Skill Gap

While college students can often obtain relevant degrees and base knowledge, many people in their competitive range are now going above and beyond.

This lack of skill, which can be caused by various factors ranging from minimal experience in hard skills to a lack of soft skills, is the cause of the skill gap in India.

2. Attitude Gap

The attitude gap is essentially a lack of an employable attitude. This could be the overconfidence of a candidate that they will indeed get hired with just their degree or a lack of willingness to learn more.

Nowadays, many interviewers are looking deeper into this attitude gap as they want people with a motivated attitude who can learn more.

So as you can see, these two gaps create massive hurdles for learners seeking a job right out of college. Specifically, they signify a lack of both hard and soft skills.

3. Hard Skills and  Soft Skills

To explain the topic more clearly, Shivangi indicates what hard and soft skills are.

In a basic explanation: hard skills are teachable traits that can be quantified, such as your ability to comprehend (read) or mathematical skills. While these are easy to develop with education, most people fall short in their soft skills.

Soft skills consist of non-quantifiable interpersonal skills, discipline, and other essential factors that make you a good employee.

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Now, while you might be able to display your hard skills efficiently, the question is: how exactly is this done for soft skills?

Well, to help you answer this question, Shivangi covers some of the top soft skills needed for IT jobs and what you can do to present them to your interviewer. So, let’s look at the tips:

Tips To Showcase Your Soft Skills and Improve Your Employability

Tips-To-Showcase-Your-Soft-Skills-&-Improve-Your-Employability

1) Develop your problem-solving and critical thinking ability

Problem-solving skills help your employer understand that you can tackle real-life situations and make the most of opportunities while working. That being said, as it is hard to quantify, how exactly can you display your problem-solving ability?

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Well, as explained by Shivangi, the best way to do this is to prepare a detailed explanation of a situation wherein you had to deal with a problem in real life. 

For example, if you have recently dealt with a software bug or error, explain how you managed the issue and fixed it to the interviewer.

2) Pay attention to detail

Having thorough and concise work is a benefit that many employers look for when hiring learners. Thus, presenting your attention to detail in a visible manner can positively impact your employability.

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A great tip Shivangi states in the podcast is that you should mould your resume according to the job description. This allows for a customised experience and will allow your interviewer to see that you paid attention to the role.

3) Communicate well

It is said that communication is key throughout personal and professional life. Good communication can help you think of ideas, take responsibility and work well in any role.

As a candidate, the best way to communicate is to avoid making mistakes in your interactions with interviewers.

These mistakes could be smiling at a serious question or not answering questions with relevant information. So, make sure you pay attention to what the person in front of you says and reply clearly and aptly.

4) Team spirit

When working in a professional environment, you must have team spirit to work with your colleagues. Thus, Shivangi states that being a good team member is essential. Although, how do we demonstrate this in an interview?

Well, similar to your problem-solving skills, share an experience wherein you were involved in a team task and managed to work well. This will create a quantifiable method to gauge your team’s working skills.

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5) Demonstrate leadership

Another soft skill displayed through life experience is leadership, an essential ability that employers look for. Essentially, taking command allows you to be given more responsibility and freedom in your work.

Industry Insights: How Much Does a Software Developer Make?

Using the help of these tips to boost your soft skills in addition to your pre-existing knowledge can improve your employability immensely.

Not only this, but they can also help you improve once you have been hired in your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

Takeaways

Some key takeaways from this session with Shivangi for anyone looking to land a job out of college are:

  • Use these soft skills to bridge the gaps in your hard skills
  • If you lack hard skills, try the CodeQuotient SuperCoders course to get ahead of the rest.
  • Figure out if you are in the skill gap or attitude gap to aptly find a solution.

If you are looking for more helpful information to guide you to the right job, check out the CodeQuotient blog to stay up-to-date on the latest news, tips, and more on the tech industry.

Tune in every week for fresh, fun, and informative episodes in Fixing The Bug.


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