Skills Assessment

Skills are established procedures that lay the foundation to work with knowledge and is learned through experience and training. The Skills taxonomy we use is from O*NET(Mumford et. al., 1999) . Skills areas as they are gained by experience we limit the assessment of these for college students and professionals.

It is important for the counselor to guide the test taker that the questions represent his/her desire or willingness to gain or acquire these skill areas and not the current levels. An example question may ask an individual to mark how important or unimportant to acquire skill for using Scientific rules and methods to solve problems or for critical thinking etc. Recommendation of career are provided based on the responses and matching desirable skills with the occupational requirements.

The details of the 35 different skill areas assessed in our assessment are organized under the different type of skills and sub skills and are provided below 

Basic Skills — Developed capacities that facilitate learning or the more rapid acquisition of knowledge

Content — Background structures needed to work with and acquire more specific skills in a variety of different domains

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Process — Procedures that contribute to the more rapid acquisition of knowledge and skill across a variety of domains

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Cross-Functional Skills — Developed capacities that facilitate performance of activities that occur across jobs

Social Skills — Developed capacities used to work with people to achieve goals

  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.

Complex Problem Solving Skills — Developed capacities used to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings

  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Technical Skills — Developed capacities used to design, set-up, operate, and correct malfunctions involving application of machines or technological systems

  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Technology Design — Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • Equipment Selection — Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Systems Skills — Developed capacities used to understand, monitor, and improve socio-technical systems

  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Resource Management Skills — Developed capacities used to allocate resources efficiently

  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

You can browse the different careers requiring different skills on the ONET site and can use examples of suitable careers while interpreting report to candidates.

In the next post we look at the Work Context Assessment


  • Mumford, M. D., Peterson, N. G., & Childs, R. A. (1999). Basic and cross-functional skills.