Skills are a language for learning. We talk about skills: in education and higher education (though I think we should be doing it much more), as we think about career planning, to summarize professional experiences, and in employers’ forecasts of future demand.
I think it makes sense to bridge communication across these functions with skills, perhaps with the Skills Based Approach methodology. Furthermore, I think we should concentrate on defining learning with skills – the verb of knowledge. Here are some significant applications using skills:
(This week) LinkedIn came out with a publication saying: “members can add over 50,000 skills to their profiles…”. Skills have a focal point on a profile, where connections can endorse each skill. One new useful feature with skills is, as you apply to a job, the system immediately calculates and make suggestions on how your skill set stacks up to other applicants.
O-Net has built a comprehensive database for education and career planning where skills have a significant role. What is great about the platform is all the context; in fact, it feeds a countless number of applications across the US as it is free to access and use.
Monster has a prominent place on their online resume for skills. Employers use a search mechanism called Power Resume®, which uses various semantics (including a skill set) to derive a ranked list of candidates with links to their resume.
Common Core is largely based on applying standards to foundational skills, like mathematics, reading comprehension, written communication, science, etc. I know because I have built the standards seamlessly into the administrative and user interface of Skills Label.
There is little to no argument of the definition of a skill, whether you are viewing it in LinkedIn, O-Net, a personal website or resume, or a publication of top in demand skills. I think we should define learning in skills and their competencies, underlying methods and applications, and standards. This is precisely what Skills Label does.