Hard Skills and Soft skills for High School Student
And Tips on How to Develop Them

There are two types of skills that both colleges and future employers are searching for in any candidate - a balance of hard and soft skills.

The two skillsets will be beneficial to recent college graduates looking for a job as well as advantageous for current high school students looking at applying to their dream college.

Having a well-balanced level of expertise of hard and soft skills will work alongside students during the college application season and even long after they have graduated from college.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Imagine your high school experience as a thrilling construction project, where you are the architects of your own success. 

Building a strong foundation of hard and soft skills is like constructing a sturdy bridge, ensuring a smooth journey towards achieving your goals.

Think of hard skills as the rock-solid pillars and beams, giving you the technical know-how in specific areas. Meanwhile, soft skills act as the graceful arches and cables, connecting those pillars and enabling students to navigate diverse contexts with ease.

By constructing this balanced bridge of skills, high school students can confidently traverse you'll confidently leap over the hurdles of academic challenges, career opportunities, and personal growth.

5 Best Hard Skills and Soft skills to Develop as a High School Student

Acquiring a range of hard and soft skills during high school is essential for students' holistic development and future success. While hard skills provide technical expertise in specific areas, soft skills encompass interpersonal abilities and personal attributes that are valuable in various contexts.
By nurturing a balanced combination of both, high school students can enhance their academic performance, career prospects, and overall personal growth.

Hard Skills

  1.  Technical Proficiency

    Think of technical proficiency as becoming adept at using the tools of the digital age. Just like mastering popular apps and software, high school students who excel in computer programming languages like Python or Java, and have a good understanding of software such as Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office, become skilled navigators in the digital realm.

  2. Money Management and Financial Literacy

    High school students who develop money management and financial literacy skills gain the ability to make informed financial decisions and set a strong foundation for their future. These skills involve effective budgeting, tracking expenses, and saving for short-term and long-term goals. By understanding concepts such as credit, debt, investments, and financial planning, students become empowered to navigate personal finance successfully, ensuring a secure and prosperous financial future.

  3. Design Skills

    Design skills encompass the ability to conceptualize, sketch, and create visual representations of ideas. Whether it's graphic design, product design, or interior design, high school students who cultivate these skills become proficient in translating concepts into aesthetically pleasing and functional designs. By acquiring design skills, high school students enhance their creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking. They become equipped to pursue careers in design-related fields or utilize their design skills in various aspects of their personal and professional lives.

  4. Mathematics and Quantitative Skills

    By developing quantitative skills, they gain the ability to analyze and interpret numerical data, make accurate calculations, and apply mathematical concepts to real-world situations.

  5.  Foreign Language Proficiency

    Foreign language proficiency is a key to unlocking global opportunities. High school students who are proficient in a foreign language gain the ability to communicate with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and connect with people from different cultures, enhancing their understanding of the world and opening pathways to exciting opportunities in our interconnected world. 

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          Soft Skills

          1. Leadership and Initiative

            By nurturing leadership qualities and demonstrating initiative, students become the driving forces behind positive change. Whether it is organizing events, leading clubs, or spearheading community projects, they develop the ability to take charge, motivate their peers, and drive positive change in their school or community.

          2. Decision-Making

            High school students who develop strong decision-making skills become confident and effective in navigating complex situations. These skills involve gathering information, analyzing options, considering consequences, and making informed choices. By mastering critical thinking, problem-solving, and risk evaluation, students can identify challenges, assess potential outcomes, and make thoughtful decisions aligned with their goals. Acquiring decision-making skills empowers students to make informed choices, adapt to different situations, and take ownership of their actions, contributing to their academic success and personal growth.

          3. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

            Developing strong communication and interpersonal skills transforms students into charismatic leaders, effective team players, and empathetic listeners. With these skills, they become adept at building positive relationships, collaborating with others, and conveying their thoughts and ideas with empathy and clarity.

          4. Perceptiveness

            High school students who develop strong perceptiveness skills become adept at understanding and interpreting the world around them. By sharpening their observation, active listening, and empathy, they can pick up on subtle details, recognize others' needs, and respond with compassion. This enhances their communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities, fostering personal growth and preparing them for success in the future.

          5. Time Management and Organization

            Students that are skilled time managers can balance their responsibilities and commitments effectively. By honing time management and organizational skills, they become adept at prioritizing tasks, managing their schedules, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

          3 Tips on How to Develop Hard and Soft Skills

          Developing both hard and soft skills requires dedication, persistence, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. Embrace the journey of skill development and continually seek ways to challenge yourself and grow.

          Seek Diverse Learning Opportunities

          To develop hard skills, actively seek out learning opportunities that provide hands-on experience and practical application of knowledge. Attend workshops, take online courses, or participate in relevant projects to enhance your technical expertise. Similarly, for soft skills, engage in activities that foster communication, teamwork, and leadership.

          Join clubs or organizations, volunteer, or participate in group projects to develop interpersonal abilities and personal attributes.

          Embrace Continuous Learning: 

          Skill development is an ongoing process, so adopt a growth mindset and embrace continuous learning. Stay updated with industry trends and advancements in your field of interest to keep refining your hard skills. For soft skills, practice self-reflection, seek feedback from others, and actively work on improving areas that need development. Stay open to new ideas, perspectives, and feedback, as they provide valuable opportunities for growth.

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          Apply Skills in Real-Life Situations

          Put your skills into practice by actively seeking opportunities to apply them in real-life situations. By applying your skills in practical settings, you gain valuable experience and build confidence in your abilities.

          For hard skills, look for internships, part-time jobs, or projects that allow you to utilize your technical expertise.

          For soft skills, take leadership roles in group projects, engage in public speaking or presentation opportunities, and actively engage in team-based activities.

          In conclusion, developing both hard and soft skills during high school provides a significant advantage in college admissions and future employment.
          Acquiring hard skills showcases technical expertise and practical knowledge, demonstrating a commitment to learning and contributing to academic programs. Simultaneously, the cultivation of soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, highlights an individual's ability to adapt, collaborate, and lead in dynamic environments.
          This well-rounded skill set positions high school students as competitive candidates for colleges and universities, and later as desirable employees in the professional world. Investing in the development of both hard and soft skills opens doors to a successful future filled with endless opportunities.

          Schedule an information session with 7EDU.

          Learn more about the 7EDU counseling program and how we can support your learning and development. 

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