On the importance of soft skills

February 26th 2019

ULB's continuing education centre HuSci offers short courses and certificates in human and social sciences, developing skills that are especially valuable in the biotech industry.

Soft skills, i.e. skills involving interpersonal relationships, are increasingly sought after by both employers and employees. And for good reason: ‘Social and human skills are essential when it comes to effectively managing projects as well as people,’ says Pierre Artois, director of HuSci, ULB's centre for continuing education in human and social sciences. ‘This is also true in the biotech industry: in small organisations such as spin-off companies and SMEs, the human factor is fundamental. Companies that develop their staff’s soft skills see an increase in their teams’ efficiency… and productivity!’

Some forty courses
Soft skills are not taught in depth during regular study programmes, if at all. This is why ULB's continuing education centre offers some forty short courses and certificates in social sciences and humanities (SSH): project and team management, conflict management and prevention, diversity and interculturality, etc.
Training centres HuSci and HeLSci work in close collaboration in order to offer social sciences and humanities courses adapted to the health and life sciences sector. HuSci and HeLSci can thereby create custom courses, tailored to the specific needs of biotech companies.

A worthwhile investment for businesses
Soft skills have long been overlooked, but they will become increasingly important in the future. ‘According to estimates, 40% of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not yet been invented,’ explains Pierre Artois. ‘This means that soft skills will be as important—if not more—than degrees. The young generation is well aware of this, and millennials(1) already attach great importance to lifelong learning. As a result, businesses that invest in training are especially attractive to them.’

In practice
• Duration: Most short courses in SSH last two days, spread out over two weeks.
• Place: Brussels, Charleroi or Gosselies.
• Calendar: 3 to 4 training sessions each year
• Pricing: based on status (job seeker, academic, business, etc.)
• Information and registration:

(1) Millennials are people born between 1980 and 2000.