Honing the top five skills every management student needs

Management graduates need to rigorously upskill and reskill themselves in order to meet the demands of the business world.

The paradigm of soft skills has been ever-changing as per the requirements of the industry.
The paradigm of soft skills has been ever-changing as per the requirements of the industry.

By Daviender Narang

The concept of soft skills has been used extensively since the year 1900s. Since the inception of the concept of employability, the concept of soft skills is being referred to as the area that is enhancing employability up to a great extent. ‘Soft skills are rather very catchy words used to draw attention to the much-required skills in the corporates these days. Possessing just the hard skills, that is technical or domain knowledge won’t help in the procurement of a job. In the current industry paradigm, having soft skills is a prerequisite. As per the research undertaken by Thompson et al, soft skills are the non-technical skills involving reasoning, interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities that facilitate efficient performance. The paradigm of soft skills has been ever-changing as per the requirements of the industry.

Post the industrial revolution 4.0 and the onset of the pandemic, soft skills required at work have changed drastically. The management graduates now need to equip themselves with the following skills:

Problem-solving skills

The current era is the era of uncertainty. Anticipation is the key element in businesses nowadays. Managers now need to possess problem-solving skills along with anticipation skills. The challenge that the industry is facing these days is that even top-notch organisations cannot anticipate the changes that are on the way due to the changes that are witnessed on an everyday basis. Procuring the designation of a manager requires daily spotting and solving of problems. A manager requires attention to detail with observational skills. In many organisations, a problem, if not catered to transforms into a crisis. A manager requires to be on his toes in order to resolve the problems faced by the organization. Being able to understand the situation and weighing the pros and cons is salient.

Critical Thinking

Instead of mindless mechanical learning, the management graduates need to focus on the ability to learn, repeat and retain the information given in the books. Implementing the knowledge learned all across the management course is a prerequisite. Thinking critically in order to work upon the wicked problems faced by the industry is important. Managers, now need to develop the capability to think critically in order to design the solutions for the problems. Critical thinking is a domain-specific general skill, critical thinking also encourages creativity and facilitates autonomous learning. Critical thinking not only helps in improving the grades of the students but also helps to fetch them a sustainable career.

Decision-making skills

Proficiency to choose between two equally efficient alternatives is important. Making decisions after processing the ample information available about a case is important. In order to hone the decision-making skills, developing reasoning is important, reviewing the pros and cons of the decisions that an individual is considering making along with monitoring the short term and long-term impact on the business is salient. Management graduates in order to hone their decision-making skills must take the help of case studies regularly used in their curriculum. Case studies facilitate up to a great extent.

Commercial awareness

Commercial awareness is a much-required skill in the industry today. A well-aware management graduate is the need of the company today. According to many of the recruiters, commercial awareness is one of the skills that management graduates lack. Understanding a marketplace is a prerequisite for working in any industry today. One of the major tips that management graduates must follow in order to be commercially aware of an organization is, knowing the mission and the vision statement of the organization. Other than this, having an in-depth understanding of the sector in which the company is operating, and understanding the sector to which a company belongs will also aid. B-graduates should also pay proper attention to the political and economic landscape impacting the businesses in order to be commercially aware.


In order to present the above-mentioned skills, one requires the skill of communication. If articulated well ideas can do wonders. In order to present themselves in the corporates, management graduates require to hone their communication skills. It is not just verbal communication that creates a deep impact, it is non-verbal communication as well. Body language plays a huge role while presenting self in front of others and so does the manner in which the content is delivered. In order to connect, share, inform and motivate others communication skills are paramount, making it one of the areas that management graduates must work upon.

Management graduates need to rigorously upskill and reskill themselves in order to meet the demands of the business world. With the shifting paradigm of the industry, management graduates must be well equipped to face the challenges arising in the industry today.

The author is director, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad.

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