UBC Applied Science provides a strong foundation of skills that employers highly value through academic programming, but success in the workplace requires more than just technical skills.
Employers are looking for people who can work in interdisciplinary environments, communicate effectively to diverse groups of people, and have the emotional intelligence and inclusive leadership skills to lead projects and people. Discover the different skills that employers value and the experiences at UBC that will help you build those skills.
Ability to share technical and non-technical information and exchange ideas with a variety of diverse audiences from managers to team mates and people inside and outside the workplace. Communication skills also include learning to persuade and build influence to gain buy-in for ideas, understanding non-verbal communication, listening to diverse perspectives, and presenting information and ideas in an organized and concise manner. Additionally, communication skills are required to market your own skills and experiences as you search for jobs and build your network.
The term emotional intelligence (or EQ) encompasses a wide variety of skills and attributes including empathy, optimism, the ability to set and commit to long- and short-term goals, building and holding relationships with people, and communicating thoughts and feelings openly and productively. Research has shown that strong emotional intelligence is linked to exceptional leadership and that great leaders understand how to manage their own emotions and use their EQ skills to support positive outcomes in the workplace. EQ skills can be built over time but require self-knowing and reflection to continue to improve.
Leadership skills are one of the most in-demand skills for people joining the workplace, and does not just mean managing people. Instead, leadership skills include recognizing your own strengths and the strengths of your team to be able to work toward a shared vision or goal, asking for and providing constructive feedback, and understanding how to motivate and support people from any position within an organization. Inclusive Leaders understand that each person on a team brings different viewpoints and experiences that strengthen that team, and that learning to communicate and embrace diverse opinions and ideas produces stronger results and creates stronger team cohesion. Inclusive Leaders also understand and apply principles and practices of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity to create inclusive and respectful teams and work environments.
Professionalism means being prepared and dependable, completing tasks on time or communicating to managers and team mates if you cannot complete them on time, showing that you are dedicated to your work, building productive work habits, and contributing to a respectful work environment. For engineers, professionalism is critical. Students take an oath both in their first year, as well as upon graduation to ensure that they are committing to the roles and responsibilities of the profession.
Ability to work with other people, in both technical and non-technical capacities, in a variety of settings to achieve a common goal. Collaboration includes building effective relationships with people and team mates, taking accountability for personal and team tasks and goals, managing conflict, embracing diversity of opinions and people, and understanding how your own strengths can be effectively used on a team of people.