A skill is the
learned Learning is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, value (personal and cultural), values, attitudes, and preferences. The ability to learn is possessed by Human, humans, Animal, animals, and some machine learni ...

to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into
domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function, the set of input values for which the (total) function is defined **Domain of definition of a partial function **Natural domain of a partial function **Domain of holomorphy of a function *Doma ...
-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include
time management
time management
, teamwork and leadership, self-motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be used only for a certain job. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used. A skill may be called an art when it represents a body of knowledge or branch of learning, as in ''the art of medicine'' or ''the art of war''. Although
the arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scienti ...
are also skills, there are many skills that form an art but have no connection to the
fine art In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthe ...

fine art
s. A practice is when the learned skill is put into practice. An art or skill may be the basis for a
profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from r ...

, trade, or
craft A craft or trade is a pastime or an occupation that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted ap ...
. People need a broad range of skills to contribute to the modern economy. A joint
ASTD The Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), is a non-profit association serving those who develop talent in the workplace . Membership ATD has an international as well as US membershi ...
and U.S. Department of Labor study showed that through technology, the workplace is changing, and identified 16 basic skills that employees must have to be able to change with it. Three broad categories of skills are suggested and these are technical, human, and conceptual. The first two can be substituted with hard and soft skills, respectively.

Technical skills

Your ability to accomplish specific tasks like cooking, computer programming, or teaching, are called technical skills. They relate to a particular occupation. You may have learned technical skills from past work experience, school or training.

Hard skills

Hard skills, also called technical skills, are any skills relating to a specific task or situation. It involves both understanding and proficiency in such specific activity that involves methods, processes, procedures, or techniques. These skills are easily quantifiable unlike
soft skills Soft skills, also known as common skills or core skills, are skills which are desirable in all profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by t ...

soft skills
, which are related to one's personality. These are also skills that can be or have been tested and may entail some professional, technical, or academic qualification.

Holistic competencies

Holistic competencies is the umbrella term for different types of generic skills (e.g. critical thinking, problem-solving skills, positive values, and attitudes (e.g. resilience, appreciation for others) which are essential for life-long learning and whole-person development.

Labor skills

Skilled workers have long had historical import (''see''
Division of labor Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. The other operations are addition, subtraction, and multi ...
) as
electrician An electrician is a tradesman A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education ...

mason Mason may refer to: Occupations * Mason, brick mason, or bricklayer, a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork, or who lays any combination of stones, bricks, cinder blocks, or similar pieces * Stone mason, a craftsman in the stone-cutti ...

carpenter Carpenters in an Indian village Carpentry is a skilled trade A tradesman, skilled tradesman, or tradie refers to a skilled worker who specializes in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often fo ...

blacksmith A blacksmith is a metalsmith A metalsmith or simply smith is a craftsperson fashioning useful items (for example, tools, kitchenware, tableware, jewellery, and weapons) out of various metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέτ ...

baker A baker is a tradesperson who baking, bakes and sometimes Sales, sells breads and other products made of flour by using an oven or other concentrated heat source. The place where a baker works is called a bakery. History Ancient history Si ...

brewer Brewing is the production of beer by steeping a starch source (commonly cereal grains, the most popular of which is barley) in water and #Fermenting, fermenting the resulting sweet liquid with Yeast#Beer, yeast. It may be done in a brewer ...

cooper Cooper, Cooper's, Coopers and similar may refer to: Professions * Cooper (profession) A cooper is a person trained to make wooden casks, barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it ...
printer Printers may be: Technology * Printer (publishing) In publishing, printers are both companies A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal ...
s and other occupations that are economically productive. Skilled workers were often politically active through their
craft guild A guild is an association of artisan Wood carver in Bali An artisan (from french: artisan, it, artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional ...

Life skills

An ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (cognitive skills), things (technical skills), and/or people (interpersonal skills).

People skills

According to the ''
Portland Business Journal Portland most commonly refers to: * Portland, Oregon, the largest city in the state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States * Portland, Maine, the largest city in the state of Maine, in the New England region of the northea ...

Portland Business Journal
'', people skills are described as: * understanding ourselves and moderating our responses * talking effectively and
accurately * building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions. A British definition is "the ability to communicate effectively with people in a friendly way, especially in business." The term is already listed in major US dictionaries. The term ''people skills'' is used to include both psychological skills and
social skills A social skill is any competence facilitating interaction Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed t ...
but is less inclusive than
life skills Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable humans to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life. This concept is also termed as psychosocial The psychosocial approach looks at individuals in the conte ...

Social skills

Social skill is any skill facilitating
interaction Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect. Closely related terms are interac ...
communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...
with others.
Social rule A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom. In a social context, a convention may retain the character of an "unwritten law" of custom (for ex ...
s and
relations Relation or relations may refer to: General uses *International relations, the study of interconnection of politics, economics, and law on a global level *Interpersonal relationship, association or acquaintance between two or more people *Public ...
are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning such skills is called
socialization In sociology, socialization is the process of Internalisation (sociology), internalizing the Norm (social), norms and Ideology, ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus "the means by which social an ...

Soft skills

Soft skills are a combination of interpersonal people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes and emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) among others.

See also

Communication skills Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbols, and Semio ...
Deskilling In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant li ...
DISCO - European Dictionary of Skills and Competences Disco is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Category of being, categ ...
* Dreyfus model of skill acquisition *
Forecast skillIn the fields of forecasting Forecasting is the process of making predictions based on past and present data and most commonly by analysis of trends. A commonplace example might be estimation of some variable of interest at some specified future date ...
Game of skill A game of skill or game of wits is a game where the outcome is determined mainly by mental or physical skill, rather than chance. Alternatively, a game of chance is one where its outcome is strongly influenced by some randomness, randomizing devic ...
* Online skill-based game *
Procedural knowledge Procedural knowledge (also known as knowing-how, and sometimes referred to as practical knowledge, imperative knowledge, or performative knowledge) is the knowledge exercised in the performance of some task. Unlike descriptive knowledgeIn epistemolo ...
* Transferable skills analysis


External links

American Society for Training & Development Australian National Training AuthorityNCVER's Review of generic skills for the new economySKILLS EU Research Integrated Project
{{Authority control Learning Knowledge