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Yesterday’s Skills Will Not Meet Tomorrow’s Needs


#SmartXSharp #onlyatASB

Yesterday’s Skills Will Not Meet Tomorrow’s Needs


#SmartXSharp #onlyatASB

At ASB, we transform students into Extraordinary, Unconventional, Future-Ready, and Market-Ready leaders.

This is the ASB promise and DNA! But what do we have to teach to reach this goal? Soft skills? Hard skills?

Dictionaries define the word “soft” as mild, gentle, and weak. But what’s soft about navigating competing perspectives and cultures, pitching high-stakes projects, and dealing with office politics?

Analogously, “hard” is defined with words like firm, rigid, and resistant. But should today’s “hard” skills, from engineering to finance, AI, and machine learning —be defined by these attributes, given constant technological change?

At ASB, we have updated how we think about these fundamentally important skills. We call them smart andsharp, along with a pedagogical change to reflect the linguistic change (Padurean, 2019).

Top 10 Smart X Sharp Skills for Market-Ready Leaders e-Book

The “hard” and “soft” skills terminology dates back almost 50 years ago, when the US Army coined the terms to differentiate people with strong machine operation skills from those who could manage and lead teams. ​

But in today’s fast-evolving, disruptive, and unpredictable environment, those terms are simply not enough to describe the breadth and depth of what is required for someone to lead with success.​

What are the top Smart X Sharp skills needed to successfully lead a diverse array of people and sharpen one’s technical capabilities? Find out by downloading the e-book.

Download the e-Book Now

Smart skills are co-developed with other humans, Sharp skills are co-developed with computers.

ASB’s degreed and non-degreed programs exposes students to highly diverse cultures, differing perspectives, and exciting opportunities to test their growing Smart X Sharp skills by addressing real-world businesses challenges. ​

We’ve embedded the nuances of these terms deeply within our curriculum, especially in our unique applied learning experiences that give students to get their hands dirty and practice their new skills.

Would You Rather be Soft & Hard or Smart & Sharp?​

Half a century ago, the US Army observed that a platoon’s success resided not only in having people with the ability to operate machinery well, but also those who could do paperwork and manage people. They called these two skillsets “hard” and “soft” skills. ​

In today’s post-pandemic world, we’ve seen that change is a constant. “Hard” skills are not rigid and inflexible. We cannot say once you have learnt these skills, you are done. Skills like digital literacy need to be sharpened constantly – hence we call them Sharp skills!​

Likewise, we believe there is nothing “soft” about responding to unprecedented challenges with intelligence and diplomacy, while negotiating with and managing people. That’s why we call them Smart skills.​

So why be Soft and Hard? Let’s get Smart and Sharp together!


Our promise: To build transformative and principled market-ready leaders ready to face an unpredictable world. To deliver on it, we equip our graduates with sharp and smart skills that constantly get activated by learning in action.​

Discover our extraordinary and unconventional approach – Download our program brochures today!


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