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6 Soft Skills that Contribute to Career Success

Jul 5, 2021

It’s commonplace to focus on tangible goals, whether that be to earn a degree, enhance your resume, or completely reroute your career toward a new profession. Reaching these goals requires the development of hard and technical skills that are learned through education and repetition rather than revealed through a student’s character.

Students often hone in on the hard skills when striving for a degree, yet they tend to devalue the intangible soft skills that can’t be learned in a classroom. While 72.2% of WGU Indiana students are adult learners with career experience, it’s important to place value on the unteachable skills that help you stand out in the classroom and the workplace.


There are many things we want to leave behind in 2020, but adaptability is not one of them. Adaptability was the root of those who were able to persevere through the pandemic’s curveballs. WGU Indiana offers flexible and remote learning already, but this doesn’t completely eliminate obstacles and the need to pivot while students juggle work, life and school. Being able to consistently adapt to change can help prepare students to succeed and survive no matter what comes their way.

Work Ethic

Work ethic is a skill that cannot be taught, but is developed over time. To reach a level where no one has to keep you accountable shows ensured commitment to doing better, which translates to success in coursework and career work. Committing to and completing each task assigned will develop discipline that will take students to the heights they want to reach in their education.

Information Management

While pursuing your degree, you are often overloaded with information from the different courses and hands-on experience. Handling and organizing the information that is presented to you in a way that you can understand is critical to student success. Mentors, peers and leadership will quickly recognize your ability to maintain organization of content, tasks and more, as it often translates into results-driven work.


Online learning thrives with consistent and effective communication between staff and students, as well as university partners. This important skill remains primary in professional settings as well. Technology has allowed communication to evolve beyond traditional face-to-face communication. Effective communication skills result in better relationship building, increased productivity and less stress. Presentations, essays and speeches, and using social media for discussions are all a part of professional communication that will benefit career readiness.  


There are leaders, and then there are people who are put in a place of authority. As a skill that can change lives when used properly, leadership is not something that should be overlooked. Leaders are proactive, self aware, influential, encouraging and possess many other qualities that people would want to follow. Leadership requires a willingness and independence to take responsibility for making things happen in a positive way. They lead by example and without ego. 


Nothing happens in a vacuum. Collaboration is an underestimated skill that can be crucial to educational success. While the ability to work independently and be self-sufficient plays a role in student success and career readiness, being able to effectively work in a team environment is equally important. Collaboration encompasses leadership values, empathy and communication. It leads to productivity between others in the versatile environments that we participate in with the current digital age.

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