Soft Skills Rule the Marketplace; Enhance Yours Through an Online Degree in Business Management.

When embarking upon an online degree in business management, it is important to recognize the value of soft skills in that program and career. I have a degree in business management myself, and I teach in an online business management degree program. One of the things that I find the most curious as a teacher is how many of my students balk at the idea of having to learn what they call "soft skills", when they just want to start learning about marketing, leadership, technology and business. Many of my students disdain the need to learn research, writing, ethics, and communications, thinking that these are things that simply come naturally, or perhaps are not much fun.  But without teaching soft skills, online degrees are worthless.

The scary part is that if you do a bit of research on the topic of getting a job in business management, you will quickly learn that most executives and human resources people list soft skills, sometimes called people skills, among the most important skills for their applicants to possess. Additionally, spend a bit of time on any popular job search engine and you are sure to see skills such as, "Good communications, ability to write, friendly, hard working, self-motivated, proactive, ethical, and leadership skills" all listed in the requirements for nearly every business management position. In short, it is absolutely imperative that your business management online degree include these soft skills that are so soft after by employers.

What are Soft Skills?

When most people think about embarking on an online degree in management they think of the management and marketing skills that they will learn. Likely they think about courses in risk management, marketing and advertising, company financials, technology management and the like. However, there are a variety of other skills that are usually included in an online degree in business management, skills that are just as important as these listed above. These skills, often called soft skills, include communications, writing, research, and ethics.

How Can I Learn Soft Skills in My Online Degree in Business Management Program?

There are two ways that you will learn soft skills in your online business management degree courses. First, you will learn them explicitly, through actual courses. Most high quality online business management programs will include a course in research and writing, and a course in ethics, at minimum. They will also likely require you to write papers in each of your courses, practicing your writing skills, and addressing ethical issues in each specific subject as you progress through your online degree in business management. You will also practice your research skills. Additionally, many courses will allow you to practice leadership and teamwork through group projects.

You will also learn these soft skills in your online degree in business management courses indirectly. For example, you will improve your communications and writing skills by engaging in classroom discussions with your peers. You will improve your virtual communications through these same discussions and through heavy use of email. You will also develop the ability to be proactive, manage your time and be self motivated, all as part of the nature of online learning.

What soft skills have you seen advertised in jobs that you have looked at?

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