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Skills vs. Competencies – What You Need to Know to Advance Your Career

Today is World Youth Skills Day!

This day celebrates the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. This World Youth Skills Day is the second to take place during a global pandemic. Today, we acknowledge the resilience and creativity of youth worldwide, committed to advancing your skills and kick-starting careers throughout COVID 19. This is a crisis that, without question, has created new challenges and changes to the employment landscape.

As Canada’ s platform connecting university and college students or recent graduates with skill development and job opportunities, we’re celebrating all the students and graduates across Canada working toward your hopeful career paths. We’re giving away two Starbucks gift cards with $100 value to two lucky winners on Instagram and outlined below you’ll find our run-down of skills and competencies and the types that employers on OCC are seeking now. Happy World Youth Skills Day everyone!

Skills vs. Competencies


Skills: The specific learned abilities required to fulfill a given job. Skills are components of competencies and are often categorized as ‘hard skills’ or ‘soft skills’. Hard skills are learned through education and improved through experience. Soft skills are also called ‘human skills’ in that these are abilities that can be cultivated but are also deeply connected to your personality and to how you interact with others.


Competencies: The knowledge and behavior that empowers you to be successful (competent) in your career.


Examples of hard skills employers are seeking in their next hires include:


  • web development
  • data interpretation
  • social media marketing
  • programming
  • content creation
  • linguistics
  • presentation skills
  • editing
  • forecasting
  • proposal writing
  • lead generation
  • brand strategy
  • user interface design
  • quality assurance
  • google analytics
  • troubleshooting
  • design
  • Microsoft Office


Examples of soft skills employers are seeking in their next hires include:


  • teamwork
  • communication
  • adaptability
  • empathy
  • patience
  • cooperation
  • friendliness
  • determination
  • accountability
  • showmanship
  • multitasking
  • emotional intelligence
  • self-awareness
  • accountability


Employers across Canada are recruiting students and recent graduates through Outcome Campus Connect (OCC). Check out the hundreds of roles currently online and see which one is right to develop your skills and ignite your career path!