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Novice teacher perceptions of the soft skills needed in today’s workplace

Soft skills complement hard skills and have a significant impact on the ability of teachers to do their job and on their employability. Soft skill components acquired by future holistic human capital are communicative skills, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, teamwork skill, life-long learning and management of information, entrepreneurship skill, ethics, moral and professional skill, and leadership skill. This research aims to investigate gaps related to soft skills obtained from their teaching professional training compared to the soft skills needed in their workplace among the novice teachers. A total sample of 250 novice teachers was selected from all secondary schools in Malaysia by employing purposive sampling. This study employs the quantitative method to collect data from novice teachers during their induction year. The findings showed that teamwork skill and communication skill were the two most important soft skill components, not only very much needed in their workplace but also gained from their teaching training program. However, entrepreneurship skill was the least capacity soft skill component needed in their workplace as well as gained from their teaching training program. According to the results of t-test analysis, there is a significant difference between the gained and needed level of soft skill components. In addition, the mean score for all the soft skill components needed in their workplace are higher than what they gained from their teaching training program.