Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Hard skills are the job-related knowledge/abilities that employees need to perform their duties effectively. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the personal qualities that help you identify technically sound candidates. Soft skills indicate which candidates are good in person.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Hard skills are easily documented and formed, easily articulated, and constitute knowledge in a company. Hard skills can be created, written, and transferred between company activity units.

They are skills related to technical aspects to perform several tasks in workplaces. Hard skills are cognitive and are influenced by intellectual quotient.

Soft skills are knowledge in the human mind and are very personal. Naturally, they are difficult to share and formulate.

These soft skills are rooted in action and experiences; including idealism, values, and emotions. Soft skills are categorized as personal knowledge or in other words, knowledge obtained from individuals or individuals.

Comparison Table Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Parameter of ComparisonHard SkillsSoft Skills
AvailabilityHard skills are not naturally given, and so have to be taught. Some courses teach candidates hard skills.Soft skills are referred to as interpersonal/intrapersonal/technical skills, this is because they are found in an individual naturally
ExecutionHard skills are technical knowledge or training that you have gained through any life experiences, including your career and education.Soft skills are personal attributes that influence how well you can work or interact with others e.g. relationships with people.
HierarchyHard skills require you to follow a particular process to gain a particular skill. This is the learning process.Soft skills are personal skills that are exercised when two people or a group work together toward a similar goal.
SkillHard skills are regarded as technical skills. They grant you the skill to understand and run the software, Software learning.Soft skills grant you the skills to communicate with others. Communication leads to an understanding that in turn causes teamwork.
IntelligenceThe intelligence that is involved with hard skills is called acquired/artificial intelligence since it entails learning/studying them.The form of intelligence involved with soft skills is called emotional intelligence. This is because it comes from within an individual.

What are Hard Skills?

Hard skills are the more technical aspects of an individual. Generally, they involve the creation of a tangible deliverable e.g.

  1. Work breakdown structure.
  2. Project schedule.
  3. Critical path diagram.
  4. Earned value reports.
  5. Project budgets.
  6. Dashboards.

Hard skills are more technical in nature. They often incorporate the use of tools such as project scheduling, software, spreadsheets, modeling tools, and a variety of deliverable templates.

Hard skills are the mastery of science, technology, and technical skills related to their field of knowledge. Therefore, hard skills are more oriented toward developing the intelligence quotient (IQ).

It can be concluded that hard skills are the ability to master technical knowledge and technical skills in developing intelligence quotient related to their fields.

Hard skills can be created, written, and transferred between university activity units. The transfer of hard skills between candidates is more easily driven by a conducive mechanism and university culture.

Hard skills are a type of knowledge that can easily be documented and shaped, easy to articulate, and usually inherent knowledge in higher education.

Therefore, hard skills are cognitive and are influenced by intellectual quotient (IQ). In the context of project management, hard skills are generally referred to as processes, procedures, tools, and techniques.

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are defined as skills that are used in dealing and collaborating with other people or are said to be interpersonal skills.

Soft skills are a person’s skills in dealing with other people (interpersonal skills) and self-regulating skills (intrapersonal skills) which can develop to work optimally.

Thus it can be concluded that the definition of soft skills is a person’s ability to regulate himself (intrapersonal skills) and a person’s additional ability to trust/care for both the creator and other people (extra personal skills).

Some of the skills included in the soft skill category are ethics/professionalism, leadership, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. There are 23 attributes of soft skills that are dominant in the employment field.

The 23 attributes are sorted based on priority interests in the world of work, namely:

  1. Initiative.
  2. Analytical skills.                                              
  3. Ethics/integrity.
  4. Coping with stress.
  5. Critical thinking.
  6. Self-management.
  7. Willingness to learn.
  8. Solving problems.
  9. Commitment.
  10. Time management.
  11. Motivation.
  12. Being able to summarize.
  13. Enthusiastic.
  14. Cooperating.
  15. Argued logically.
  16. Flexible.
  17. Reliable.
  18. Working in teams.
  19. Oral communication.
  20. Independent.
  21. Creative.
  22. Listening.                                       
  23. Tough.

Individual knowledge is categorized as soft skills.

Main Differences Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

  1. Hard skills are mainly skills that rely on listening and speaking. They are the more technical aspects of an individual.
  2. Soft skills are the ability to resolve problems. They are the skills used in dealing with and collaborating with other people.
  3. Hard skills are skills that are taught in institutions but some individuals have a higher range of hard skills compared to other people.
  4. Soft skills are naturally acquired and every individual has them and can understand them.
  5. Hard skills are skills that are required to be worked on e.g. Reading, writing. Soft skills are skills that are within an individual and the individual acts them out e.g. leadership, and entrepreneurship.
  6. Hard skills require a hierarchy. You learn one hard skill at a time and move up the ladder of knowledge. Soft skills are built and executed through teamwork.
  7. Hard skills are regarded as artificial intelligence. Soft skills are regardless as emotional intelligence.


Based on the research done, several conclusions can be drawn among others. First, there is a significant relationship between the availability of soft skills in some work.

However, soft skills have to go hand in hand with hard skills to have the perfect job done. Secondly, is that hard skills and soft skills naturally are opposing each other.

This does not mean that they cannot work well together. Hard skills combined with soft skills are a perfect combo to produce excellent results.

Thirdly, is that hard skills can be taught to anyone and understood, but they need the practice to stick. Lack of practice means that some individuals forget some of the hard skills they learn.

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