The Importance of Social Skills for Tech Leaders

Dateline: November 27, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

We all know that technical skills are necessary for successful in the IT workplace, but social skills are as, or more, important for tech leaders.  Recently, Dr. David Deming, Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and faculty member of Harvard Graduate School of Education, published a research paper titled, “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market,” which highlighted the growth of tasks that require social skills (see Figure).


This research found that that high-paying, difficult-to-automate jobs increasingly require social skills. Nearly all job growth since 1980 has been in occupations that are relatively social-skill intensive, while jobs that require high levels of analytical and mathematical reasoning, but low levels of social interaction, jobs that are comparatively easy to automate, have fared comparatively poorly.

Further, Dr. Deming suggests that,

…the wage return to social skills is positive even after controlling for cognitive skill, non-cognitive skill, and a wide variety of other determinants of wages. He also finds that cognitive skill and social skill are complements in the determination of wages, and that skill complementarity has grown over time.

How does your organization encourage, and then reward, social skills?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend!

Speak Your Mind