Soft skills more important than exams, according to research

Soft skills more important than exams, according to research

Research by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has found 95 per cent of senior managers believe soft skills are more important than exam results.

The research surveyed 506 senior managers and found 98 per cent believe young people should invest more time developing soft skills such as communication and leadership.


The research also found 82 per cent of employers, including British entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor, Sarah Willingham, believe the term “soft skills” doesn’t reflect how important these skills are, and they should be renamed “core skills” or “real-life skills” to indicate their true value.

Over 90 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to employ someone with achievements outside of their studies, with 86 per cent revealing they favour candidates who use social media to show they have participated in extracurricular activities such as volunteering.

The research also indicated a link exists between soft skills and career progression, with candidates who have displayed soft skills moving up in the workplace much more quickly.


Commenting on the research, the DofE’s Chief Executive, Peter Westgarth, said: “The results demonstrate a young person’s potential shouldn’t be measured solely on academic achievements.

While grades are important, they don’t showcase a person’s full potential. Evidence of soft skills helps employers see that a young person is more employable, and they will adapt to workplace culture more easily and progress faster.”

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