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hard-vs-soft-skills

Differences Between Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

In school and in the workplace an individual’s abilities are grouped into the general categories of soft skills vs hard skills. Let’s look at the difference between these two skill sets.

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills Examples

Hard Skills

Hard skills are learned through school or on-the-job training. These skills are specific to a particular job. For example:

  • A hard skill for a cashier is using a cash register.
  • A hard skill for a teacher would be lesson planning.
  • A hard skill for an electrician would be the ability to use specialized tools and machines.

Every job requires an individual to have a particular set of hard skills in order to perform their duties.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are non-specialized skills that may be useful no matter what an individual does for a living. You may also hear them referred to as “transferable skills” because you can transfer them from one job to another. Soft skills are often used in everyday situations as well, not just in the workplace. Examples of soft skills include:

  • The ability to work with a team
  • Communicating with others effectively and efficiently
  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Multitasking

As you can see, soft skills can be used in a variety of everyday situations. That’s the greatest difference between soft skills vs hard skills. The ability to use a cash register is really only useful while working as a cashier, whereas the ability to multitask is useful at just about every job.

As you may also gather from the above soft skills and hard skills list, while the two sets of skills are different from one another they are both necessary to be successful on the job.

Developing Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

Hard skills are more objective and concrete that soft skills. That means that once you learn how to do a particular task you would then possess that skill. Soft skills, on the other hand, are more difficult to develop. They are not learned through training sessions, rather, they are acquire over time by practicing them in the real world with other people.

Hard skills are easy to measure, as employers can get a fairly good idea of an individual’s hard skills by looking at their education, previous work experience, and certifications. Soft skills are more difficult to evaluate as they cannot be simply communicated through a cover letter or resume. Employers typically cannot evaluate soft skills without going through a job interview, or seeing how an individual performs during their first few weeks on the job.

One thing that soft skills and hard skills have in common is that a particular skill may come naturally to some people, while others do not have such an easy time with them. So an individual should not be discouraged if he or she feels they don’t possess a particular soft skill. Just as a teacher can become more efficient at lesson planning over time, a person can also become more efficient at multitasking over time.

Another way to understand soft skills is by comparing them to executive functioning skills, as they are all technically soft skills. Executive functioning skills are learned in the same way as soft skills, they are not easy to evaluate, and they take time to develop. Like executive functioning skills, soft skills are also versatile and transferable from school, to work, to social situations, and to independence at home. For example — skills like pacing, self monitoring, taking initiative, and prioritization can be used at various times throughout one’s life.

By contrast, hard skills are specialized abilities and difficult to transfer outside of the situations in which they’re most useful. Cooking is a great hard skill to have, but it’s only useful when you’re in the kitchen preparing meals. Knowing how to build a computer is another skill that, while nice to have, is not something that can be transferred to other tasks.

That brings us to another term you may be familiar with — generalization. In terms of acquiring skills , generalization is the concept of using past learning in present situations. It allows people to transfer knowledge across multiple situations. This is something everyone can relate to, and it is directly tied to both soft skills and executive functioning skills. Take self monitoring and editing, for example. You may discover, in various situations, that using manners such as “please” and “thank you” evokes a more positive response than omitting those words. Knowing that, you would become conscious of using good manners more often.

In Summary

By now you should have a better idea of the differences between soft skills vs hard skills. Believe it or not, one way to evaluate a child’s soft skills and hard skills is through fun activities like computer games. We encourage you to introduce your son or daughter to Identifor’s unique selection of games, which can help identify the strengths in their skill sets.

Identifor Announces Release of Platform, Mobile Apps and New Games

Identifor released the following Press Release at 8:44 a.m. this morning.

WEB AND MOBILE APP IDENTIFOR LAUNCHES TO HELP IDENTIFY
STRENGTHS AND ABILITIES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM

(Mendham, NJ): Identifor today launched its groundbreaking web- and mobile-based platform to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) identify their unique strengths and abilities.  The platform is accessible free of charge through Identifor’s website (www.identifor.com). iOS and Android apps can also be download at no cost from the App Store and Google Play.

Identifor was created in 2014 by husband and wife team Cuong Do and Lori Rickles, who searched in vain for an analytical tool that would help them understand their autistic son’s abilities and strengths so that educational and vocational plans can be pursued. Their mission to prepare him for a future that realizes his maximum potential led to the creation of Identifor.  “We’re motivated by the stories of how parents stumble upon their child’s abilities and are then able to pursue schooling or jobs that build on those strengths. We want to help make this stumbling effect reality for all individuals and families with special needs,” said Do.  Finding nothing available in the marketplace, they developed Identifor in an effort to help all individuals identify their strengths – regardless of where they live or economic means.

Do and Rickles teamed up with leaders in education, psychology, technology and artificial intelligence to develop their revolutionary approach. Identifor makes it possible to identify the unique abilities of an individual with ASD and provide guidance on crafting individual education plans (IEPs) and transition plans to remove the stress and uncertainty of the transition from high school to adulthood.

Their work is based on landmark research by prominent professors Howard Gardner of Harvard, George McCloskey of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), and John Holland of Johns Hopkins University.  They worked closely with Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization, and with Celebrate the Children (CTC), a school in Denville, NJ that focuses on children with various emotional and intellectual differences.  They also partnered with Florida International University (FIU) and Dartmouth College to initiate research on the effectiveness of the tools and a variety of other organizations to support teens and adults using their tools in schools, workplaces and housing settings.

Unlike other systems of testing and measurement, which can be tedious, difficult or impossible to perform for someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Identifor’s digital platform features a series of games that are specifically designed to capture and maintain the attention of those with ASD. Identifor’s games ensures a high level of engagement amongst users and, in turn, yield the most relevant results. From there, a unique dashboard for each user shows the individual’s abilities, strengths and career interest and the jobs others with similar interest have enjoyed.

The algorithms the platform uses for student assessments were developed by an award-winning team of psychologists with decades of experience assessing and developing talent for large corporations.  To analyze the data it collects, Identifor employs objective and quantifiable performance metrics based on Multiple Intelligences (based on research by Harvard’s Howard Gardner), Executive Functions (based on research by PCOM’s George McClosky) and Holland Occupational Themes (or RIASEC, based on research by John Holland).  This information provides parents, educators and clinicians a common language for discussing individual education plans (IEPs) and transition plans.

In announcing the Identifor platform, co-founder Cuong says, “Whether you are a parent trying to understand your child’s skills and interests better, an educator measuring student performance against IEP goals, or a clinician trying to measure a patient’s progress, the Identifor platform is a valuable and effective tool to help everyone understand an autistic individual’s abilities so that you can build upon it to pursue fulfilling futures.”

Cuong also added, “every parent we met along the way asked us not to limit this platform to just autistic individuals as they believe our work could benefit every child.  This helped set an aspiration that someday our tool would be used by every high school student.”

To learn more about Identifor or to set up an account visit www.identifor.com.

Contact

Dakota Digital for Identifo
Press contact: Rebecca Appleton
Email: rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk
Tel UK: 01623 428996
Tel US: 917 720 3025

ABOUT IDENTIFOR: Identifor is a company and non-profit that works to help identify the abilities and interests of individuals so that fulfilling educational and vocational plans can be pursued.  Identifor uses innovative gaming technologies, big data analytics and artificial intelligence to help parents, educators and professionals understanding children in their care.

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS: Cuong Do is Executive Vice President and head of the Global Strategy Group for Samsung.  He was the former Chief Strategy Officer for Merck (known as MSD outside the U.S.), Tyco Electronics, and Lenovo.  He was also a senior partner with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he helped lead the healthcare, high tech, and corporate finance practices over his 17 year career with the firm.  He currently or formerly serves on a number of non-profit boards, including Autism Speaks, Profectum Foundation, Celebrate the Children, The National Youth Science Foundation, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth’s MBA Board.  Cuong currently or formerly serves on various company boards, including WuXi AppTec, True Image Interactive, Nano Antibiotics, and Renal Sense.  Cuong was also the founder of Callidus Biopharma and Lysodel Therapeutics.

Lori Rickles is a former attorney specializing in helping French clients conduct business in the U.S.  She was also Professor of International Law at Ewha Women’s University in Seoul and was chair of an international arbitral tribunal under the auspices of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France.

Download Press Release here:  Identifor Press Release – 2016-05-11.

The RIASEC Test

RIASEC stands for realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional. A RIASEC test is designed to help children discover which careers are most suitable for them according to their unique abilities, interests, skills, and traits.

The results of a RIASEC test can be used to help kids and teens develop a plan for courses to take in high school and college that are most conducive to achieving one of the careers they were determined to be a match for. 

How a RIASEC Test is Conducted

A RIASEC test is similar to other aptitude tests. It has no time limit, and there are no “right” or “wrong” answers as long as the questions are answered truthfully.

Identifor created a visual approach to administering the RIASEC test.  Instead of using pen-and-paper to rate whether a person like or dislike a task, an Identifor Gamer simply chooses between two tasks.  Based on 30 such comparisons, we are able to code the choices to a list of jobs and careers that are most suitable for that particular child.

A RIASEC test groups the results into six categories based on John Holland’s six types of personality:

  • Realistic: You may do best in mechanical and athletic jobs.
  • Investigative: You like to observe, learn, analyze and solve problems.
  • Artistic: You would like to work in unstructured situations where you can express your creativity.
  • Social: You prefer working with others.
  • Enterprising: Enjoy working with and persuading others.
  • Conventional: You are detail-oriented, organized and like to work with data.

Implications of a RIASEC Test

The RIASEC test helps a person understand how he or she likes to spend their time. At Identifor, we go further to identify the types of jobs that other people with similar RIASEC profiles have found rewarding.

Identifor created a novel approach to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to determine their RIASEC profile without having to use pen-and-paper tests. Instead, they can play computer games!

When a player starts a game, they are shown two different images of jobs and/or activities. They are then asked to select which one is more desirable. Based on the player’s choices, our analytics engine generates the RIASEC profile.

Whether or not your child has completed a traditional RIASEC test before, we ask that you also introduce him or her to our games. Our games are designed to help you identify your child’s skills and abilities in a way that can’t be accomplished through simply writing a test.

Best of all, Identifor is always free for gamers. Sign your child up today for free today and start gaining new insight into your child’s personality.

#AutismChat: Creating A Community of People Touched by Autism

 

autism_chat_revised_1024Identifor is hosting a live Twitter chat about autism this week and we’d love to have you join us! The popularity of our last twitter chat means we already have another one ready for Thursday at 7pm est/ 4pm pst.

We’re expecting a lively discussion amongst people from all walks of life — doctors, medical professionals, those with autism, those on the spectrum, friends and family of those with autism, and the list goes on.

As part of our extended Identifor family, yes you, we’d love to see your face alongside our hashtag #AutismChat on Thursday at 7pm est / 4pm pst.

Knowing what we know about autism, we understand if you’re asking yourself right now, “What is a Twitter chat and why should I be a part of one?”

If you’ve never done something before, it helps to know what kind of benefits you can expect from it. Why should you attend? Frankly, it wouldn’t be much of a chat if you didn’t join us, now would it?

Humor aside, a Twitter chat about autism is an opportunity for you to connect with other like-minded people and discuss topics surrounding autism that are important to them. Our goal is to create a community of people touched by autism.

We typically begin each chat with a list of 8 topics. One by one, we take our time discussing the topics while appending the hashtag #AutismChat at the end of the tweets.

You can easily keep up with the conversation even if you’re not following everyone by using a website that’s designed for Twitter chats. We recommend www.tweetchat.com.

Simply go to that site, enter the hashtag, and click “Yes” when the prompt comes up asking you to authorize your Twitter account. Then you’ll be able to actively participate in the conversation, and maybe make some new friends and connections along the way.

This Week’s Autism Chat

If you weren’t able to make it to last week’s Autism Chat, you can catch up on what you missed here and get a feel for what to expect in this week’s.

Here are some sample topics that we may cover in this week’s chat:  

  • Q1. What have you done to understand your child’s issues and abilities?
  • Q2. Have you received an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, for your child?
  • Q3. If so, how much did the IEP help you to help your child?
  • Q4. Have you sent an email/letter to your child’s teacher outlining your child’s strengths?
  • Q5. What have you done to build a support system so that you are calm in front of your child?
  • Q6. Have you considered keeping a binder for any bullying/teasing issues that arise with your child?
  • Q7. How do you keep up with new services available to your child?
  • Q8. Have you ever considered being an advocate for special-needs children?

Please keep in mind, especially if you’re new to Twitter chats, that when you’re responding to a specific question it works best if you preface your tweets with A1, A2, A3, etc.

Again, Autism Chat occurs each week on Thursday at 7pm est/ 4pm pst. We look forward to having you join us. If there’s a topic you want to discuss that you don’t see listed, please let us know and we’d be happy to look into using it in future Autism Chats.

multiple intelligences learning styles

Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles

When it comes to multiple intelligences and learning styles, it’s believed that each learner has a primary learning style, and he or she can be taught how to study in a way that compliments their particular learning style.

In addition, the theory of multiple intelligences and learning styles suggests that people also have a secondary style of learning which can be used to reinforce their primary learning style.

According to studies, students have been proven to learn more effectively when multiple intelligences and learning styles are considered. When educators teach in a way that complements a student’s primary and secondary learning style, that student has the potential to perform better in their studies.

A person’s learning style can be determined through a variety of ways — for a list of resources see www.learningstyles.net — and once determined can be used as the person’s strength that will enable them to master new and difficult information.

Matching multiple intelligences and learning styles with educational models compatible with an individual’s preferences has been proven to be beneficial to that person’s academic success.

When considering multiple intelligences and learning styles we’re about to go over in this article, keep in mind that at no time are we suggesting one is better than the other.

Instead, what we’re aiming to do with this article is examine how multiple intelligences and learning styles are different and complementary.

When multiple intelligences and learning styles are matched together this can lead to an increase in student learning.

In a book titled “Developing Students’ Multiple Intelligences”, author Kristen Nicholson-Nelson proposed that people who are smart in an intelligence learn best through methods associated with that intelligence.

That being said, here is a list of Howard Gardner’s eight multiple intelligences and complementary learning styles.

List of Howard Gardner’s Eight Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles

  • Verbal-linguistic: learn best through reading, hearing, and seeing words and speaking, writing, discussing, and debating ideas.
  • Math-logical: learn best through working with patterns and relationships, classifying and categorizing, and working with the abstract.
  • Spatial: learn best in working with pictures and colors, visualizing and using the mind’s eye, and drawing.
  • Bodily-kinesthetic: learn best touching, moving, and processing knowledge through bodily sensation.
  • Musical: learn best with rhythm and melody, singing, and listening to music and melodies.
  • Interpersonal: learn best through sharing, comparing and relating with others, interviewing, and cooperating.
  • Intrapersonal: learn best through working alone, doing self-paced projects, and reflecting.
  • Naturalists: learn best when working in nature, exploring living things, and learning about plants and natural events.

Howard Gardner strongly believes people can develop each of the above multiple intelligences and learning styles to varying degrees. All people are different and have different combinations of the above learning styles, each of which are important.

To help identify your child’s learning style we welcome you to browse through some of the game on our site, all of which have been designed to identify multiple intelligences and learning styles. Show them to your child and watch how they interact with the games. Best of all, gaming is always free at Identifor.