Military Colleges Craft Soft-Skilled Soldiers

August 12, 2019
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Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

Military colleges are home to some of the most academically gifted students, boasting cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or better. Beyond that, these institutions are doing quite a bit to develop soft skills for the future leaders of the world.

There are five military institutions spread throughout the US from the east coast to Colorado. The competitive process is ranked annually by U.S. News and World Report and Forbes as some of the most selective colleges and universities in America. While larger schools like the University of Wisconsin, for example, has an acceptance rate of 57.6 percent, none of the military programs have a rate above 16 percent.

Military School

The Requirements

Each military school maintains its own set of individual requirements. For example, the US Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs all require an applicant to submit an on-line file and proceed through pre-candidate qualification before an application is provided. Meanwhile, the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point New York requires an applicant to submit a 3-part application.

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, with a cumulative 3.92 GPA, may have different expectations of their students than the U.S. Air Force Academy, with a cumulative 3.83 GPA. They focus on providing an excellent education for their students while instilling strong character traits and values that will shape them into well-rounded individuals.

Refined Soft Skills

In a 2017 joint study from Boston College, Harvard, and the University of Michigan, there was a conclusion that soft skills training in areas like problem solving and communication will greatly increase productivity and retention by 12 percent.

The schools pride themselves on teaching their students valuable leadership and people skills needed to be successful in life such as character development, discipline, and leadership training. The latter proves to be the core of each school’s philosophy as they carefully design programs catered to maximizing each student’s potential.

Quick and sound reaction, resiliency, organization, adaptability and leadership are just some of the intangibles that military colleges develop in their students—which happen to be skills that will outlast the shifts toward automation and artificial intelligence in the near future. According to a Brookings Institute report, roughly 36 million Americans are currently employed in positions likely to be lost to automation.

“That population is going to need to upskill, reskill or change jobs,” said Mark Muro, lead author of the report.

The Future

While automation will strip jobs away from the American economy, it will do much to add to it—in fact, with the 75 million jobs projected to be eliminated by 2022, 133 million new roles will be created. Things like team building, problem solving, and emotional intelligence will most likely become requirements to fill the open positions. With that in mind, it appears that the Country’s military colleges are well equipped help fill the upcoming needs of the American economy.

Graduates from these prestigious higher education facilities are fully equipped to handle the upcoming changes to the workforce. As time goes by, we would all benefit if four-year universities took a page out of their book and adjusted the curriculums a bit. As soft skills become a premium over the next decade, America will look towards the military schools for more than just building future influential military personnel. They will be sought out, even more so than now, to become the next leaders of our generations.