Definition and Overview
Skill is ability or capacity
acquired through deliberate, systematic and sustained effort to smoothly carryout activities or functions involving ideas, things and/or people. Skill development is the method of detecting skill gaps and improving these skills to perform a job related activity contributes to effective performance of a task, structural transformation and economic growth by enhancing employability and productivity and helping countries to become more competitive. Skills development, when done rightly, can improve standards of living.
Global trends such as the rising role of technology, climate change, demographic shifts, urbanization and globalization of value chains are changing the nature of work and skills demands. Skills can be classified mainly into two parts, (1) soft skills and (2) hard skills.
Soft skills are personal attributes linked to works and interactions with others which are necessary for success and career development and make it easier to form relationships with other people unlocking more career-related opportunities.
Hard skills are abilities directly linked to the job, usually called job-specific skills, such as, computer programming, data analysis, etc. These skills are easier to learn compared to soft skills.
Some of the following soft skills students learn at school and college level and assess from these and other below mentioned skills where they stand and can find ways to improve themselves in the areas in which they can excel.
Communication skills: These skills include listening, public speaking and writing that help students to interact effectively with all people they encounter at work and build strong relationships.
Teamwork: Students must work well in order to achieve a common goal and use their individual strengths and skills together in collaboration with each other.
Leadership/management skills: Student with these skills work independently as a leader with his/her team, taking initiatives and responsibilities, influencing and motivating others to work towards their goals.
Time management: Time management is a way of delegating time for specific activities to manage workload and time effectively to be as productive as possible.
Problem-solving skills: Students with strong problem-solving skills can face difficult challenges and prove to be good performers.
Adaptability/Flexibility: Students with an ability to manage multiple assignments at the same time, being flexible enough to work under ever changing conditions, management and environment are more acceptable at workplaces.
Work ethic: Students very passionate about their work, committed to their assignments, arriving at work on time and having willingness to work with responsibility are always successful at their workplaces.
Ethics and Integrity: Maintaining ethics in public life help students enhancing their integrity and moral values and they are highly respected in their workplaces.
Creative thinking skills: Newer ways to solve problems, visualization, thinking of new ideas etc. help students to get promotions at the workplaces.
Logical and analytical skills: Students with strong logical and analytical skills are more successful in life than others.
Organizational Skills: Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work is very valuable. Knowing which tasks to prioritize and which ones to leave for later is an important skill.
Social skills: Includes collaboration, teamwork and building good relationships with others, respecting others’ values and culture.
Emotional skills: Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses, controlling emotions as well as empathy for others.
Technology skills: Using various computer software and apps for getting things done, because almost all jobs nowadays require some basic understanding of computers and electronics in general, help easy adjustment at workplaces..
Personal development skills: Qualities and abilities that help to grow both personally and professionally are known as self-development or personal growth. Communication, organization, problem-solving, self-confidence, adaptability, work ethics and leadership skills students commonly practice to facilitate personal growth. Students can enhance their personal development skills by taking classes, learning from the people around, gaining new talents and improving upon the existing ones.
STEM skills: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and STEM skills means the individual skills needed to do science, mathematics, and engineering, and needed to use technology effectively. Problem-solving, creativity, math and science skills, engineering-design thinking and critical thinking skills etc. are some of the essential STEM skills one would want to develop and/or enhance.