Students Should Study Technical Fields – But Not at Expense of Soft Skills

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While salaries in STEM fields continue to outperform the national norm, the most successful candidates in technology fields have top-notch communication skills and business savvy.

Data from Lannick Group’s 2016 Salary Report shows that the supply of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics graduates still falls short of demand, with employers paying significant premiums for technically-proficient employees, even at the entry level. But to achieve the very highest salaries, communication, interpersonal and strategic skills—so-called “soft skills”—are critical.

“Candidates possessing the specific skill sets to meet the evolving needs of today’s employers are in short supply,” says Kevin Jeewan, Vice President, Permanent & Search Services of Lannick Group, one of Canada’s largest regional finance, accounting and technology recruitment specialists.

According to Lannick Group, students should strongly consider STEM fields, but not neglect the left side of their brain, which will be critical later in their careers.

“The data shows that, despite technical skills being in extremely high demand, both companies and candidates need to adjust their strategies to deal with today’s job market,” says Peter Jeewan, President and CEO of Lannick Group. “Ssavvy entry-level job seekers – and students – can tailor their certifications and degrees to maximize their earnings, and position them well in the future.”

Employees are looking for strong organizational structures, better opportunities and progression leading to a strong career track. They want to learn about new business sectors and be able to move both laterally and upward while contributing to their employer’s success.

Those earning the most competitive compensation and garnering the highest salary increases possess well-developed interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic, according to Lannick Group. They work equally well in stand-alone or team settings and can effectively engage at all levels of the organization. Proven experience in making compelling business cases to stakeholders that deliver effective results are of high value to employers.

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