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Developing Soft Skills for IT Specialists Advanced Professional Training Programs Portfolio

Student: Petr Grachev

Supervisor: Ilya Korshunov

Faculty: Institute of Education

Educational Programme: Management in Higher Education (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2020

Universities in Russia are striving for their new identity and relevance. Finding new business models and revision of the traditional ratio of sources and types of income to the priorities of its application are the major concern in the transformation of educational organizations. Studies show that realization of continuing vocational education programs could become one of the key strategic goals in the development of an educational (particularly nongovernmental) organization, turning into a key source of additional income. One of the modern popular topics of continuing education is soft skills competency. Ambiguity of soft skills definition, theoretical concepts, classifications, categorizations and description makes the mastery of this area of knowledge rather extensive, complex, long-term and continuous. However, it is important to bear in mind when drafting and implementing high-quality educational programs that learning content should be accurate, comprehensive, goal-focused, and tailored for the needs of students in accordance with their professional subject areas. Well-balanced various educational activities duration, their types, and use of specific pedagogical technologies is also a defining quality feature of a fine educational program. In other words, when organizing soft skills competency development continuing education programs, it is necessary to take into account in the first place the personality and personal needs of the students, what exact skills and competencies the program is focused on, the volume of content to teach and the chosen methodology. The above-mentioned is also crucial when building a portfolio of the soft skills for IT-specialists continuing education programs. The relevance is primarily determined by a variety of specializations, positions, roles and functions in IT, when each of the professional profiles requires a different set of both hard skills and soft skills. The present thesis describes a comprehensive research carried by the author, which resulted in the map of the highly demanded soft skills for IT specialists with respect to their specializations, professional levels and types of qualifications (grades) adopted in IT industry. The Soft Skills for IT map as a methodological tool allows for both flexible adaptation of the existing continuing education programs and building new educational products. Is also helps to expand the range of consulting services provided, thereby diversifying the income sources of an educational organization.

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