Skills employers want and how to get them
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Skills Employers Want and how to get them. Lisa Boniface The Centre for Continuing Education McMaster University November 3, 2010. Agenda. Skills employers want Lifelong learning – the concept Career planning Types of education. Skills Employers Want. Technical skills Soft skills.

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Skills Employers Wantand how to get them

Lisa Boniface

The Centre for Continuing Education

McMaster University

November 3, 2010


Agenda

  • Skills employers want

  • Lifelong learning – the concept

  • Career planning

  • Types of education


Skills Employers Want

  • Technical skills

  • Soft skills


Skills Employers Want

  • Employers can train for technical skills

  • Soft skills take many years to develop

  • Soft skills trump technical skills

  • Reported by employers as difficult to find


How many are doing the job today that you thought you would be doing when you were 23?


Lifelong Learning – the concept

A typical career path

  • Get your first “adult” job - through your network

  • Exposed to a field of work or type of position

  • Likes and dislikes - Leads to projects, other jobs

  • Develop skills, understand strengths and preferences


Lifelong Learning – the concept

  • Years of service ≠ job security

  • Portfolio of skills

    • Current and relevant to the market

  • Constantly develop yourself

  • Technical + soft skills

  • Employee and employer need to invest


Career Planning

Assess your current position

  • Do a SWOT analysis

  • What are you good at, what do you love

  • Where do you need to develop

  • Look at performance appraisals

  • Talk to your supervisor, colleagues, family, friends

  • Reflect on your career


Career Planning

Establish goals and plan

  • Be purposeful

  • Where do you want to be in 1, 3, 5 years?

  • Identify skills for development

  • Decide how and when you will do this


Career Planning

  • Do this every 3-5 years

  • Cyclical – learn from experience

  • Do it yourself or get help

    • Spouse, friend

    • Career counsellor

    • HR resource person


Stay Informed

  • What is going on in your field of work?

  • Read the newspaper and journals

  • What new skills are going to be required?

  • Look at job postings

  • What are other people doing?

  • Who is getting ahead?


Types of Education

Formal education

  • Value of a University degree

  • College diplomas

  • University certificates and diplomas

  • Graduate, professional school

    Do something formal a few times throughout your career


Types of Education

Professional development

  • Workshops

  • Non-credit courses

  • Lots of soft skill development

  • Free stuff through your employer

  • Conferences


McMaster Continuing Education

  • Certificate and diploma programs

    • Many lead to professional certification

  • Professional development courses

  • Custom training


Types of Education

Informal learning

  • Join a book club

  • Volunteer

  • Sports teams

  • Take on projects – put your hand up

  • Professional journals

  • Learn as a staff team

  • Mentoring


Closing Thoughts

  • Learning for the sake of learning

  • Be purposeful and invest in yourself

  • Develop your portfolio of skills

  • Be proud of your accomplishments

  • Be a good example – for your kids


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