We are taught that there are two sorts of skills:
Hard skills or technical skills
Soft skills - which covers everything else
The implication is that technical skills are vital and soft skills may just be optional.
And yet every time I speak to Managing Partners they complain that people lack Business, Development Skills, Commercial Skills and People Skills. All of these would be defined as "soft" but actually aren't they harder to find and more important than technical skills?
By misdefining ‘vocational’ and focusing on the apparently essential skills, we’ve diminished the value of the skills that actually matter. Most of the textbooks business students experience and the tests business students take are about these vocational skills, the checkboxes that have to be checked. But we give too little respect to the other skills when we call them “soft” and imply that they’re optional.