Are Soft Skills Important in Analytics?

How Important Are Soft Skills In Analytics?
How Important Are Soft Skills In Analytics?

As the growth of data continues to rise, so does the demand for knowledgeable professionals who can communicate the meaning of it. Job seekers often overlook the importance of soft skills, but they play a vital role in successful collaboration with colleagues and clients. In fact, 61 percent of worldwide professionals believe soft skills in the workplace are just as crucial as hard skills—and recruiters agree.

Programs such as Michigan Technological University’s online applied statistics graduate degree prepares graduates for success with requisite hard skills such as predictive modeling, computational statistics, and programming languages, in addition to advanced soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and time management.

Stand Out in the Job Market

Though technical skills are essential in analytics, employers recognize the importance of candidates having specific soft skills—it could make a difference in you getting the job. LinkedIn recently found that most job postings across the globe included soft skills such as leadership, communication, and strategy. It appears that soft skills are becoming a requirement across industries.

Recruiters agree that soft skills are essential no matter what industry or role you seek. Before the pandemic, a LinkedIn Global Talent Report found that 92 percent of hiring managers believed that soft skills are more important than hard skills when recruiting top talent. Since the pandemic, it appears that the skills gap between employers and job seekers is widening. However, soft skills are still a top consideration. Monster’s The Future of Work 2021: Global Hiring Outlook found that 80 percent of hiring teams have difficulty filling roles. The top skills employers want are highly-transferrable such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-Solving

Soft skills can be challenging to quantify and grow. They have varying measures of correlation with each other. For example, teamwork and communication require interpersonal skills. If an individual cannot self-manage, it is challenging to meet deadlines.

What Soft Skills are Important in Analytics?

Technical and hard skills are indeed the first factors that human resource departments and recruiters look for on resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Tableau, one of the leading data visualization tools, released a list of essential skill sets in data science. Developing the following skills will not only help to make an impact in analytics but also transcend industries and stand out to recruiters:

  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Proactive problem solving
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Business sense

Like any other skill or habit, soft skills can diminish if they become unused. The first step in identifying your strengths and soft skills is gaining self-awareness. You may get things done, but are you good at time management? Discussing this with a leader, colleague, or friend may help you to learn more about your skill strengths and blind spots. The best part? Practicing communication, listening, and effective feedback will help you improve those skills by starting the conversation.

The very nature of analytics is a soft skill. Analytical thinking requires the ability to identify and solve complex problems. In fact, the increase in virtual work environments is blurring the lines between soft skills and analytics. According to LinkedIn, managers are using analytics to identify problems in the workplace and monitor patterns that could lead to burnout or stress on soft skills. This shift and the new focus on mental health and employer understanding open up additional training, feedback, and conversations that can help you refine your soft skills.

Sharpen Your Soft Skills with Michigan Tech

In a world driven by technology, Michigan Technological University will prepare you for the future with our fully online Master of Science in Applied Statistics. The online format gives you flexibility for your schedule while allowing you to navigate the current virtual landscape of the workplace. The coursework will empower you to analyze and interpret data and also practice and build your soft skills. You will communicate with instructors and other students from across the country. Online degree programs are particularly demanding regarding organization, self-management and time management.

Michigan Tech’s online MS in Applied Statistics is a nationally ranked STEM degree program designed to build on your experience to add depth and longevity to your career. Our faculty are experienced and dedicated to building skills that can be applied to real-world settings, such as:

  • Advanced Statistical Methods — Combine tested techniques with emerging technologies
  • Programming and Technology — Improve familiarity with industry standards software and tools such as R, SAS, S-Plus, and Python
  • Real-World Problem Solving — Work with real datasets to overcome common challenges and drive decision making
  • Communication and Leadership — Build the professional skillset to present outcomes with confidence and clarity

Connect with us and discover how Michigan Tech’s online MS in Applied Statistics can help advance your skill set and career.

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