Analysis of soft skills requirements for manufacturing jobs

Nicholas Cocolin, Andrew DeVarney, Faisal Aqlan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Soft skills, also known as professional skills, are as important as technical skills. The ability to solve problems, use one's time efficiently, and communicate with and lead others are essential skills in any job setting. This study analyzes soft skills in the manufacturing industry and identifies which skills manufacturing companies desire in prospective employees. No universal list of specific soft skills exists. This study identified and focused on ten skills and their appearances in 501 U.S. manufacturing job listings. Several prominent job search websites were used to collect data on soft skills, for both higher and lower-level manufacturing positions. Data relating to the number of soft skills and level of education desired by U.S. manufacturing companies was also collected and analyzed. Results show that the top soft skills required by manufacturing companies are problem solving, communication, and teamwork. The study also discusses the integration of soft skills into manufacturing simulation hands-on activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1451
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Issue numberSEP
StatePublished - 2018
Event3rd North American IEOM Conference. IEOM 2018 -
Duration: Sep 27 2018Sep 29 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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