Let’s Talk About: Skills (and how to build them)

Soft Skills.  Hard Skills. Transferrable Skills.  Career-Ready Skills.  You Need Them.  If you haven’t heard a staff member in the Knowtlon Center, an employer, a faculty member, or President Weinberg talk about the importance of skill-building, then you may just be living under a rock.   The right mix of skills will make you more likely to land the internship or job your want.  Keep reading to learn more or skip right to some skill-building opportunities with our new initiative, Denison Edge!

  • Soft Skills are a combination of skills that enable you to navigate your environment, work well with others and meet your goals.   You are building your soft skills every single day on campus.  When with a group of peers on a class project for class, you are honing your teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills.  When you plan out your week to fit in athletic practice, your work schedule, class time,  homework and other commitments, you are building your time management skills.
  • Hard Skills are specific skills related to a specific task, subject or situation. Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are generally easy to quantify.  You are certainly learning hard skills daily as well, like when you use PowerPoint for a class presentation, Adobe Creative Cloud for your club flyer or Project Management Skills to successfully plan an upcoming event.
  • Career-Ready Skills and Transferrable Skills are a combination of Soft Skills and Hard Skills that are most needed when you graduate to successfully enter into your career ready to succeed.  According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), these are the 8 Career Ready Competencies that employers emphasize as essential for new college hires. Candidates who can demonstrate and articulate these skills will gain a competitive advantage to help them stand out from their peers.

Take a look at any internship or job posting and I guarantee you, you will find the employer requesting applicants who bring a mix of all of these skills to the table.   Employers are expecting you to bring skills to the table, on day one.  So what’s the answer to building that mix of hard, soft, and career-ready skills that will set you up for success?  Denison Edge.  A new Knowlton Center Initiative, Denison Edge, is laser-focused on giving you the hard, hands-on skills you need to land your dream job or internship.   The staff in Denison Edge have their finger the pulse of industry leaders to understand the skills and experience employers are looking for in a candidate and then partnering with top industry leaders and instructors based on these needs and offers stackable, credentialed programs to prepare you for what’s next in your career.    There are many options to choose from at many different levels including: Foundations, Accelerators, Credentials, and Certificates.

These programs are primarily for Denison students and Denison alumni, but we also offer sessions for students currently enrolled in other liberal arts colleges, young professionals, and more seasoned professionals looking for a career pivot.  The best part is that MOST of them are FREE for you!  After you take an Edge Course, make sure to meet back with a Knowlton Center Career Coach to articulate your experience, update your resume and integrate it into your career planning.

Denison Edge Programs Offered Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 – More Coming Soon

Use Promo Code EdgeCredential when registering for FREE registration.  

Upcoming Foundations
Foundations allow you to explore different careers and begin to acquire skills. Courses are offered virtually and in person. Most courses provide project-based learning opportunities. Time commitment: 2-3 hours over 2 weeks.  FREE

Upcoming Accelerators
Accelerators expand your learning in a virtual setting, combine insights and skills led by industry professionals. Time commitment:  8-12 hours over 2 to 4 weeks. FREE

Upcoming Credentials (In-person, downtown Columbus)
A combination of in-person and virtual deep dives provides critical skills and knowledge with a specific industry focus. Time commitment: 30 contact hours over 10 weeks.  FREE

Denison Edge partners with Pathstream to provide industry-recognized certificates that help you keep pace with the changing job market. Time commitment: Varies, based on the certificate program. These programs will have a cost but we will provide significant discounts to Denison Students.   

By Melanie Murphy
Melanie Murphy Director, Career Communities and Coaching