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Communication and employability

In this article, Dr Trina Jorre de St Jorre outlines why communication skills matter, both in terms of employability and better rates of pay.
Female architects handshaking in office
© Deakin University
Communication is among the most commonly listed employability skills in job advertisements and is in demand across most industries, disciplines and professions. In this article, Trina Jorre de St Jorre presents some more interesting facts for you to consider.
Communication has always been important in the workplace, but with improved technologies, growing globalisation and the increasing complexity of modern workplaces, it’s even more important in terms of understanding who we’re communicating with and how, when and where we’re engaging with other people and organisations.
For example, it’s now commonplace to communicate with diverse individuals and organisations across regions, countries and time-zones. We’re no longer limited to meeting face-to-face or over the phone but can also collaborate with geographically-dispersed individuals through video-enabled meetings and a multitude of digital platforms.

Can you think of a job where no communication skills are required?

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that communication is one of the most commonly listed employability skills in job advertisements.
What you might not have noticed is that jobs requiring advanced communication skills, such as presentation skills, often pay more.
For example, according to one recent report, jobs requiring presentation skills were associated with a mean salary differential of AU$8,853 more than jobs without that skill.
Source: Adapted from ‘The New Basics’, FYA ‘New Work Order’ report series (2016).
The key message from this report is that employers are prepared to pay more for advanced communication skills.
In an increasingly sophisticated, digitally connected era where growth in service-based jobs is rapidly outstripping more traditional manual-based labour, the demand for effective communicators is only likely to grow.

Your task

Take a look at this report and consider the future trends of soft skills like communication in the workplace and how these may relate to your own career, organisation or industry.
What is your predication about the importance of communication to jobs of the future?
Drawing on your own experience, knowledge or research, share and discuss your thoughts in the comments.
© Deakin University
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