In an era when software engineering and other technical skills are in high demand, a surprising new skill gap is emerging. On a recent podcast of the James Altucher Show, LinkedIn Editor in Chief, Dan Roth, said the skill that companies say they need the most of today – that they’re not seeing – is communication skills. Hiring managers report they’re not seeing people who can explain things well, write memos effectively and express ideas clearly.
Good news liberal arts majors: your skills are still highly necessary. We still need human skills. They’re quite simply irreplaceable. The skills you learned in college are relevant, and companies need them. If you can size up technical information, connect the dots and write about it – even better.
No matter how technical the world becomes, we will always need people to explain products, communicate company vision, to sell and to gain support for initiatives. Numbers need interpretation, software needs to be explained and companies always need to tell a story. Even in non-sales positions, we still need to sell in some way – whether it’s to get buy-in on a project, motivate someone to do their best work or accomplish some other form of persuasion.
In the book, The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education, George Anders explains how the tech sector is giving rise to new opportunities for liberal arts types. The New York Times elaborated on this trend in the August 2017 article below.
According to both Anders and Stross, the ever-expanding tech sector is now producing career opportunities in fields – project management, recruitment, human relations, branding, data analysis, market research, design, fund-raising and sourcing, to name some – that specifically require the skills taught in the humanities.