What does it take to develop the soft skills that today’s youth require? According to common sense, most soft skills, such as communication, social skills, empathy, and even having a positive self-image, should be developed through connection with other people. Therefore, experiential learning and role modelling are two of the six guiding concepts for developing soft skills at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Is on-site training, however, our only option? With this topic in mind, World Learning dug into Google Play’s app store, looking at dozens of free smartphone apps to improve soft skills and employability abilities to determine if they could be a viable replacement.
Even though most soft skills apps are still text-only, we concentrated on interactive apps that provide a fun and immersive approach to soft skill development. Here are our best five picks that have been chosen and organised, keeping the goals in mind that workforce development programmes frequently target.
1. Career OneStop
Career OneStop, developed by the US Department of Labor, provides career research and job-hunting tools. You can begin searching for a certain career or job type, which will lead to more information such as training, certifications, growth prospects, income, to name a few. You may also use the interest profiler and skills matcher tools to locate careers that are a good fit for you. Although the data is limited to the United States job market, there is a wealth of additional information that could be of interest to a global audience.
2. Job Scout
Job Scout, similar to Career OneStop but comprises an improved graphics-based design. The app focuses on evaluating your interests and probable career paths. First, take quizzes to determine which careers or fields are suited for you, then learn more about a career in that industry through on-the-job videos and similar resources.
3. Virtual Speech
This Virtual Reality (VR) app is designed to help you practise public speaking — whether in front of an interviewer, a few dozen people in a conference room, or even a few hundred people in a stadium. The app gives you the impression and experience like everyone is present in the same room.
This app, which requires any VR headset, also has a terrific selection of movies that offer advice and valuable lessons on speaking and using your voice.
Nowadays, artificial intelligence plays a major role along with Virtual Reality.
Bonus: If you decide to utilize Virtual Speech, Competencies is a similar app that asks genuine interview questions in various subjects and records your practice answers for later reference.
4. JobPro: Get prepared!
Another app, from the creative startup SimCoach Games, approaches interview preparation from a role-playing perspective. You investigate your target employer, update and print your CV, choose a dress, and more in JobPro: Get Prepared! To prepare for your interview and arrive on time, you must spend your time carefully.
5. JobPro: Get hired!
If you succeed, move on to JobPro: Get Hired!, another game in the SimCoach Games JobPro series. You must now maintain your composure, avoid becoming distracted during the interview, pay attention to your body language, and answer questions to the best of your ability. The game, like the other JobPro apps, tells you how you did at the end.
Overall, the experiential soft skills apps we discovered have a lot of potential for soft skill development, but there is still a long way to go. We’d want to see more alternatives for improving communication, conflict resolution, and social skills in particular.
Author Bio: Abhyank Srinet is a passionate digital entrepreneur who holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe. He started his first company while he was still studying at ESCP and managed to scale it up by 400% in just 2 years. Being a B-School Alumni, he recognized the need for a one-stop solution for B-School to get in touch with schools and get their application queries resolved. This prompted him to create MiM-Essay, a one-of-a-kind portal with cutting edge profile evaluation and school selection algorithms, along with several avenues to stay informed about the latest B-School Updates.