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The Future of Well-defined Competencies

New technologies and business practices are making many skills obsolete but also requiring new skills, to perform new tasks within new working environments. To remain relevant, we must remain agile and learn new behaviors and skills.

Individuals need to make informed choices and learn the competencies they need, rather than developing skills that are becoming redundant. And employers need to communicate the skills and behaviors they need to help employees, potential employees, education, and learning platforms make informed decisions.

To enable a new era new systems, underpinned with well-defined competencies, can provide useful tools to communicate the:

  • skills and behaviors required to perform in the workplace

  • and the new topics to be taught by schools, colleges, and universities

  • and the competencies and skills that individuals can acquire from online courses

  • and the competencies being represented by electronically authenticated credentials such as open badges

  • and provide insights into the skill gaps of individuals, teams, organizations and communities

For many years, competency definitions have been developed by trade and professional associations, employers, governments, and vendors. However, these are often being distributed in formats that are not easy for machines to read.

With the use of standard data formats and new technologies, competency definitions can be more easily developed, maintained, discovered, and used. Using open data standards competency definitions can:

  • Be easily traded within new types of marketplaces.

  • And be transformed to align with learning systems, assessments, job postings, job descriptions, and tasks to be performed.

  • And enable a new generation of software to develop, maintain, de-dup, and publish competency definitions, and provide new integrations to align talent management systems.

  • And linking competency definitions to competency frameworks for occupations, job postings, learning opportunities and credentials.

As the future unfolds our competencies will be a currency. Just as currency comes in all shapes and sizes so do competencies. Micro-credentials and credentials let individuals understand and represent their competencies easily.