Research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center has all concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills, and only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge (hard skills). These statistics were extrapolated from A Study of Engineering Education, authored by Charles Riborg Mann and published in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation. The cited figures come from the data on pages 106‐107.
That is not a typo, it is correct—1918. So we have known for almost 100 years that soft skills are critical to the success of any organization. So why is it that in another study by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) The State of the Industry Report (Green and McGill, 2011), U.S. employers spent $171.5 billion on employee learning and development in 2010, and 27.6% of those training dollars went to soft skills training?
If soft skills are six times more important than hard skills for job success, why is almost ¾ of all the training dollars going to hard skills?