BROWSE

Hard Skills

What are 'Hard Skills'

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs. By contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk. In business, hard skills most often refer to accounting and financial modeling.

Explaining 'Hard Skills'

Hard and soft skill sets are highly valued in the workforce for performing at top levels.

Characteristics of Hard Skills

Hard skills are quantifiable, such as proficiency in a foreign language, earning a degree or certificate, operating a machine, or programming a computer. Hard skills are often listed on a job applicant's cover letter and resume so employers know the applicant's qualifications for an open position.

Characteristics of Soft Skills

Soft skills are more personality-oriented interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, flexibility, patience, persuasion and time management. Because employers have an easier time teaching new hires hard skills, employers often look for job applicants with specific soft skills instead.

Differences Between Hard and Soft Skills

Possessing strong hard skills typically requires the left brain, or logic center. In contrast, strong soft skills are typically formed in the right brain, or emotional center.

Hard Skills in Accounting

Hard skills in accounting include proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite, especially Excel, and familiarity with industry-specific software such as Great Plains, QuickBooks, Peachtree, SAP and tax preparation software. Accountants should know how to prepare and interpret financial statements and other accounting reports, develop efficient financial reporting mechanisms, and plan and implement accounting controls. Accountants need to collaborate with regulators and external auditors, stay updated with current issues and changes in industry regulations, and ensure strict adherence to regulations, procedures and practices.


Further Reading


Graduate employability,'soft skills' versus 'hard'business knowledge: A European study
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Planning for uncertainty: soft skills, hard skills and innovationPlanning for uncertainty: soft skills, hard skills and innovation
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Essential hospitality management competencies: The importance of soft skillsEssential hospitality management competencies: The importance of soft skills
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Determinants of skills shortages and hard-to-fill vacancies in the hospitality sectorDeterminants of skills shortages and hard-to-fill vacancies in the hospitality sector
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

What employers look for: the skills debate and the fit with youth perceptionsWhat employers look for: the skills debate and the fit with youth perceptions
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Economic transition and management skills: the case of ChinaEconomic transition and management skills: the case of China
books.google.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Soft skills and hard numbers: Gender discourse in human resourcesSoft skills and hard numbers: Gender discourse in human resources
journals.sagepub.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Impact of risk management on project performance: the importance of soft skillsImpact of risk management on project performance: the importance of soft skills
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …

Soft Skill Competencies, Hard Skill Competencies, and Intention to Become Enterpreneur of Vocational GraduatesSoft Skill Competencies, Hard Skill Competencies, and Intention to Become Enterpreneur of Vocational Graduates
www.irjbs.com [PDF]
… “Graduate Employment and Underemployment: Opportunity for Skill Use and Career Experiences amongst Recent Business Graduates”. Education and Training, 45(7): 371–383 … Business Specific Issues: Hard Business Knowledge and Skills …



Q&A About Hard Skills


How do you quantify soft skills?

You cannot quantify soft skills as easily as you can quantify hard skills.

What is an example of a soft skill?

An example of a soft skill would be getting along with others.

What is an example of a hard skill?

An example of a hard skill would be typing or writing.

What are some examples of general skills?

Some examples include teamwork and leadership, self-motivation, and others.

How does one acquire the ability to develop strong soft skills?

One must practice developing strong interpersonal relationships by working on their own personality and behavior.

Are skills general or specific?

Skills can be either general or specific.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured.

What is a skill?

A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both.

What are some examples of specific skills?

Specific skills include those used in a certain job.

How can you assess your level of skill?

Skill assessment usually requires environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used.

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