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A significant number of employers now prioritise professional skills over academic results in specialist degree programmes. The most important of these professional skills are identified as being oral or communications skills, repeatedly being cited by employers as being of highest value in selection criteria. Additionally, learning, critical reasoning, problem solving, lateral thinking, organisational culture, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills are ranked highly on employers’ requisites for employee skill sets. The reasons for these developments are varied:
• As technology dominates organisations, there is a need for a counter balance as a means for testing organisational ‘realities’;
• With the proliferation of different means of communication there is an increased requirement for new strategies of communicating in organisations;
• People are the most important assets in organisations and must, therefore be seen as critical human resources. In this instance, their skills, and ultimately their effectiveness, become a vital concern;
• As online processes force us towards convergent solutions, communications concepts emphasise divergent solutions and are, therefore, critical; and
• Professional and learning skills are both transferable and lifelong whereas technical learning has a short shelf life and becomes quickly obsolete.
This module presents a theory based but practical approach to a set of fundamental skills that will lead the student to a state of confidence and empowerment, enabled to use a core set of professional and learning skills to thrive in today’s organisational settings