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For other uses, see Skill (disambiguation).

A skill is the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both[citation needed]. In other words the abilities that one possesses. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include time management, teamwork and leadership, self motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be useful only for a certain job. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used.

People need a broad range of skills in order to contribute to a modern economy. A joint ASTD 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.[1]

Labor skills[edit]

Main article: Skill (labor)


Skilled workers have long had historical import (see Division of labor) as masons, carpenters, blacksmiths, bakers, brewers, coopers, printers and other occupations that are economically productive. Skilled workers were often politically active through their craft guilds.

Life skills[edit]

Main article: Life skills

Life skills are problem solving behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via learning (teaching) or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life. The subject varies greatly depending on societal norms and community expectations.

People skills[edit]

Main article: People skills

According to the Portland Business Journal, people skills are described as:[3]

  • understanding ourselves and moderating our responses
  • talking effectively and empathizing 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.”[4] The term is not listed yet in major US dictionaries.[5][6]

The term people skills is used to include both psychological skills and social skills, but is less inclusive than life skills.

Social skills[edit]

Main article: Social skills

Social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning such skills is called socialization.

Soft skills[edit]

Main article: Soft skills

Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[7] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

Hard skills[edit]

Hard skills are any skills relating to a specific task or situation. These skills are easily quantifiable unlike Soft skills which are related to one's personality.[8]

Mastering skills[edit]

Mastery pertains to perfecting a particular skill set. To reach mastery, authors Malcolm Gladwell and Robert Greene claim that 10,000 hours of work will have to be put into training.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ joint ASTD and U.S. Department of Labor study -Retraining 50 Million Americans: The Electronically Mediated Solution". Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  2. ^ Cowan, Ruth Schwartz (1997), A Social History of American Technology, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 179, ISBN 0-19-504605-6 
  3. ^ Rifkin, H. “Invest in people skills to boost bottom line” Retrieved on 2009-10-14
  4. ^ “Macmillan Dictionary” Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  5. ^ Dictionary.com definition. Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  6. ^ Encarta dictionary definition. Retrieved on 2009-08-18
  7. ^ Career Opportunities News, 2002
  8. ^ http://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hard-skills.asp
  9. ^ Robert Greene (American author)#Mastery

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill — Please support Wikipedia.
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Tue, 02 Sep 2014 07:28:16 -0700

The report revealed that many people fear that their current IT skill set will become obsolete, with 59 percent of respondents employed in the IT industry reporting concern. A little more than one-third of respondents (34 percent) said they weren't ...
Hindustan Times
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 02:33:45 -0700

Muna Salih Meky, Senior Education Specialist, The World Bank, said,”Skill development is now a global issue and collaborative efforts of international skill development councils will help in shaping skills of youth. What we need at the moment is cross ...
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:41:15 -0700

But, W-P returns all of its skill-position players. “The strength of our team is the depth at skill-position — running back, wide receiver, slot, quarterback,” coach Bartlow said. “Anytime you have skill guys back, that is good. “We have to fill in ...
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:10:01 -0700

It's a common conversation between parents and their children these days, as Iowa employers tout the need to fill middle-skill labor positions that require less than a bachelor's degree and often only weeks of technical training, and as college ...

Pocket Gamer.Biz

Pocket Gamer.Biz
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:18:29 -0700

With this strategy in mind, I've decided to write a series of three articles outlining the basics that every person curious about real money skill gaming would want to know in order to engage with and safely benefit from the massive income and ...
Pittsburgh Pirates News
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:45:00 -0700

ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Tony Sanchez, right-hander Stolmy Pimentel and, at least technically, Gerrit Cole on Monday led off the gradual influx onto the Pirates' expanded roster. Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, Pimentel (sprained right ...


Mon, 01 Sep 2014 02:40:05 -0700

In our Haswell-E coverage we did some basic 24/7 type overclocking suitable for the system under the desk, and there will be users with custom loops willing to go a bit further. Overclocking beyond this requires a level of skill and exotic coolants not ...
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Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:00:00 -0700

The Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver earned a coveted spot on the 53-man roster largely because of his ability to excel on special teams as well. Smith. "I love it, man," Smith told the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal. "I look at myself as a football ...

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