Skills-Based Approach: An Evolving Concept

About six years ago, I created Skills-Based Approach – a methodology centered on the development of a skill set throughout a lifetime. Users work on an evolving skill set by constantly cycling through four stages throughout their education and career.  Skills-Based Approach was a key differentiating feature of a personal website platform I had been working on for about a year. The genesis of the personal website platform came from building one for a family member and through the process recognizing there was nothing in the market for personal websites – a hybrid of a multi-dimensional resume, portfolio to share work, and establishment of an online identity.

This personal website concept remains a relevant concept and opportunity. (There were two Superbowl commercials in 2016 targeting personal websites; average cost of commercial slot was 4.5 million dollars.) Much of my interpretation of a personal website is discussed on the website http://www.onlinepersonalbrand.org .

Skills Based Approach and Current Learning Trends
Skills Based Approach and Current Learning Trends

I continued to think, blog, and write about Skills-Based Approach in the ensuing four years. I also built a considerable following in social media (on all platforms), established being the originator of Skills-Based Approach (own domains, well indexed in search engine result pages), and developed a future vision that I back up with conviction and years of hard work.

For the past two years, I have been laser focused on designing and creating website and mobile applications to actually apply the methodology. I am convinced we should be thinking in skills to solve problems in education, higher education, and professional and career development. Skills-Based Approach is the platform to solve these problems.

There are many micro (for the individual) and macro (for the community, workforce) benefits of Skills-Based Approach.

Micro-Level Benefits

  • Simplifies education and career planning.
  • Way to track learning progress in and out of the classroom; way to track learning progress from one grade to another and subsequently from high school to college. Way to track lifelong learning.
  • Career onboarding and performance reviews are often ineffective for the recipient (and unstructured for the supervisor). Thinking in skill sets and moving through stages is a useful platform for career development.

Macro-Level Benefits

  • Easier to address ‘skills gap’. Professionals know what technical skills are in demand and can move through Skills-Based Approach to efficiently acquire them.
  • Lifelong learning has become a requirement for most professionals. Targeting relevant technical skills is effective.
  • Learning in grade levels is imprecise. Skill-Based Approach implies building skill competencies, so adaptive and personalized learning becomes part of an education plan.
  • Higher education costs are rising rapidly. A Skills-Based Approach suggests breaking down everything into skills, rather than degrees. Therefore, students can and should use alternative ways to build necessary skills.
  • Big disconnect between education (degrees) and career planning. Thinking in skills and competencies is advantageous because it is a ‘single language’ to bridge education with career expectations.

The advantage of Skills-Based Approach over other applications include its simplicity, longevity, and adaptability.

  • Simplicity. Being able to summarize education, employment, and other experiences into a fluent skill set, then move through four stages is simple. Always dealing with skills, behaviors, and values is simple.
  • Longevity. Effective in education (K-12), higher education, and professional and career development.
  • Adaptability. As the latest technologies and applications are adopted, simply plug them into related stage.

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