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Skill – why do we need it?

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Skill is the ability to perform an action and provide desired results within a given time, energy or both. As per the dictionary, skill means the ability to use one`s knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance. Therefore, skill generally needs positive environmental stimuli and circumstances to evaluate the level of skill being shown and used.

It is an integration of both art and science. Skill is referred to as an art and science. Art is in broader aspects having several skills. Art or skill may be the basis for a profession and, trade or dexterity.

Considering the importance of skill as it is a necessary personification of human intelligence comprising artistic, musical, linguistics, social, scientific, and technical expertise to athletics, economics, scientific investigates which covers an impressive array of human virtuosity. It has been a major subject in philosophy.

Need for differentiation

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Skill encompasses a wide range includes job skills, communication skills, labour skills, life skills, negotiation skills, marketing skills, combat skills, etc, but with the advent of transformation of the entire world, on unprecedented advancement of science and technology.

 All kinds of skills are coming under the above category. 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. The third hinges on digital, artificial intelligence, and the invention of smart products.

Hard skill

Have technical knowledge, ability to apply the knowledge more proficiently by experience and training, i.e., skills through the transfer of knowledge. Technical knowledge is gained through teaching and study of books but skills come from training. It is a  trilogy of knowledge, skills, and applications (applications being a means for proving our ability to utilize our skills). It is a  domain-specific skill that would be used only for a certain job comprising methods, processes, procedures, or techniques. It is measurable. These skills can be or have been tested and may require some professional, technical, or academic qualification.

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We can draw from above that it is an individualistic accomplishment, like Doctor, engineer, professor, teacher, trainer, carpenter, electrician, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and so on.

Soft skill

Soft skill comprises not only basic skills and hard skills but also more than that which makes our personality better, to develop leadership quality, to work cohesive in a team, etc. It gives us the ability to interact wisely with people in an empathic way, prominently in a business enterprise.

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. 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

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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. It is also establishing a relation of trust, respect and productive interaction.

Smart skill

It is an improved version of soft skills with additional attributes and much more. It is coined in the present  4th Industrial Revolution which gave unprecedented momentum of transformation of the industrial and technological ecosystem which made rapid pace arrival of improved artificial intelligence(ai), internet of things (IoT), daily needs smart products. We are now entered into an information era described as the cyber world also called the virtual world.

COVID-19 worldwide pandemic became a catalyst and necessitated digital transformation unparalleled in history. According to Satya Nadala, CEO of, Microsoft “We have done digital progress which could have been happened in the next ten years.”

It is a perplexing question that baffles career professionals, employers, academics, and practitioners that what would be our strategy to be adopted to remain competitive whether it is AI, Coding, bitcoins, fintech or we develop communication, negotiation and managing people, etc.?  On account of this, it is still undecided to invest more in Hard Skills or how to improve Soft Skills.

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Ashutosh Kumar
Ashutosh Kumar
A banker by profession Ashutosh Kumar is a freelance writer and analyst. He writes on contemporary subjects and is a lyricist, philosopher and thinker. Above all, he is always eager to learn. The views expressed are his own.


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