Hard and soft knowledge are both important in the working world but employees who lack the ability to manage their lives, take responsibility for their own success, and follow through on commitments need to learn soft skills along with the hard skills required for a job so they understand how all aspects of their lives connect. Soft skills provide a way to get the highest return on investment when considering human capital. They can build great people. Few individuals are fired because they lack technical knowledge. Most are fired because of a deficit in soft skill knowledge. This happens most in Malaysia for institution of higher education, especially university students. Many universities worldwide are currently focusing on producing graduates who possess knowledge about their disciplines of study and adequate soft skills. Undoubtedly, the acquisition of soft skills is crucial for Malaysian graduates to enhance their employment marketability. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job. Today, even positions in task-oriented fields such as accounting and information systems require soft skills, in addition to technical skills. Indeed, a study conducted by the Stanford Research Institute and Carnegie Mellon Foundation involving Fortune 500 chief executive officers found that 75% of long-term job success depended on people skills, and only 25% on technical knowledge. In short, technical skills often have little value if one has poor soft skills. “Employees that are hardworking and have a strong work ethic are likely to be promoted the fastest within an organisation according to the new employer online poll series conducted by the Middle East's number one job site, Bayt.com, with 30% of employers agreeing that those committed to their work are likely to be most eligible for promotion. Leadership ability was also found to be a very desirable trait in an employee when it came to deciding which staff members to promote, with 19% of employers agreeing natural leaders are the fastest to move up the organisation's career ladder. Surprisingly, possessing a high IQ was considered less important among the employers surveyed - just 6% agreed that the most intelligent employees are promoted fastest, and contrary to popular belief, visibly putting in long hours does not guarantee a promotion; just 8% of employers agreed that those who stay after hours will be promoted faster than those who don't.” The above facts showed that soft skills are more important than hard skills. Soft skills are observable, quantifiable and justifiable; it helps to prove a person’s capabilities in communicating, leading, managing and team building. Soft skills at Malaysia’s institution of higher education is in alarming state, we students are bound to this serious problem and take the responsibilities to possess good soft skills because it facilitates the growth, development, culture and even economic of the country.
Numerous articles have been written in the Malaysian newspapers and education journals within the last two years on a common matter of grave concern - the declining soft skill of graduates today. There were allegations that our local Malaysian graduates lack the basic skills and knowledge that they were supposedly trained in local universities and private colleges. The allegations were mostly made by academicians, employers and, more continuously so at the highest level, the Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources. This attitude and practice engenders beliefs and attitudes that the “soft skills” are secondary, even unimportant. As a result, university students are often equipped with technical knowledge and hard skills, but a lack of the “soft skills”, leaves them under-prepared for the real world of work. On the part of academicians, two very much preferred criteria on ensuring the presence of quality could be an ever-flowing stream of research grants and high academic...