Difference between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Updated on February 24, 2018

Most people, especially job seekers, tend to miss out on the difference between hard skills and soft skills. Nonetheless, when determining your value, these are the two major grounds of assessment. And these two categories of skills differ highly from one another. Hard skills may refer to your abilities and intelligence, and may include your area of specialization such as data analysis or your technical expertise. Soft skills indicate your behavior and emotional well-being, including your problem-solving capacity, communication skills and time management.


Hard Skills

The term “hard skills” is used for knowledge of professional techniques or methods which help you carry out your professional work with proficiency. For an example, software development, typing, spoken English, etc. fall under the category of hard skills.

Your IQ may define how good you are at hard skills. When you take into account these types of skills, the rules hardly face any changes from company to company or from place to place.

As far as the term “soft skills” is concerned, it indicates your social, managerial and communicational skills all together. These skills not only prove helpful for you when it comes to working more effectively, but also make you more adaptable to the work environment. For  example, your integrity, your attitude, and ethical behavior are counted among your soft skills.

Whether or not you are good at the soft skills can be decided by an assessment of your EQ or emotional intelligence. While you make a change regarding the people you work with or the company you work for, you may equally find changes in the rules defined for soft skills. Soft skills are also referred to as interpersonal or people skills.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

You can hardly decide which of the two you must choose to learn to lead a successful life, but you must still know the difference between hard skills and soft skills. Both types of skills are of equal prominence in real life, though soft skills may still weigh in a little more when it comes to going through life.

While hard skills are easier to compute as they comprise your professional proficiencies, soft skills are a little harder to calculate. Soft skills include your behavioral competencies. The irony here is that soft skills are more critical to successful business careers.

Comparison Chart

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
You can learn hard skills in school or with the help of books.Soft skills are hard to learn, whether in school or outside. You develop them as you grow and start working.
Hard skills help you carry out a job.Soft skills are not job-specific and help almost everywhere.
These help employers evaluate whether you are eligible for the job position being offered.These help employers decide whether you will be able to adjust to their working environment.
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