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Pulse of the Profession: Career-Ready Soft Skills

Pulse of the Profession: Career-Ready Soft Skills

Engineers are increasingly expected to flex an adaptive mindset in virtual meetings, emotional intelligence while navigating asynchronous communication across language barriers, and cross-functional problem-solving that blurs the usual boundaries of specialties. In other words, the supremacy of technical knowledge has softened somewhat, with a growing emphasis on cultivating a multifaceted array of competencies.

Despite the clear and rising value of soft skills in the future of work, the vast majority of workplace training dollars are focused on technical skills—a reality the National Soft Skills Association calls “the soft skills disconnect.”
Still, the tide may slowly be turning. ASME notes that, among employers that provide upskilling opportunities, 50% focus on both hard and soft skills—but a full 30% exclusively target soft skills. That’s a clear sign that more organizations—and the mechanical engineers they employ—are recognizing the importance of soft-skills to build a future-ready workforce.

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