Engineering and computer science students need to develop soft skills if they want to compete in today’s global market, according to Hofstra alumnus Don Balducci, vice president and senior advisor of talent development at CA Technologies.
“If you are applying for a job and competing with people who have the same technical talents, the person with superior communication skills will be promoted every time,” Balducci said.
Balducci’s presentation, Solid Communication Skills Take Your Technical Skills to Another Level, was the third Executive Speaker Series lecture hosted by the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science this year. The series offers engineering and computer science students the opportunity to gain valuable career advice from industry professionals.
Balducci began his career 38 years ago as a high school math teacher. After developing an interest in computer programming, he changed careers and is now using his talent for “understanding technology and knowing how to teach it” to run CA’s worldwide Leadership Development Program. His goal is to teach employees how to develop leadership, communication and presentation skills that help CA compete in a rapidly changing global marketplace.
“Students need to be prepared for jobs that don’t even exist yet,” Balducci said. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) will outperform humans in many positions over the next 10 years and a combination of technical and people skills will help you survive.”
Balducci shared strategies students can use to deliver effective and persuasive presentations, including defining their objective, using visual presentation aids and practicing how to speak to an audience with “authority, energy and ease”.
“Mr. Balducci’s recommendations on how to lessen public speaking nerves and anxiety are not only applicable for presenting projects and research but valuable in real life interviews and elevator pitches,” said Mechanical Engineering major Tony Williams ‘20. “Most engineers work in collaborations, so it is important to know how to communicate and effectively get your point across.”
CA Technologies, formerly known as Computer Associates International, Inc., is headquartered in New York City and is one of the largest independent software development companies in the world.