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Difference between Knowledge and Skill

We are often confused between several terms that catch our attention. These terms can spell the same or mean the same. Still, there are several terms that we find confusing, like complement and compliment, capital and capitol, confident and confidante, etc. There is a complete list of such work. Now, today we will be discussing the terms that are different in spelling, but we feel that they have the same meaning. However, it is not so. These two terms differ in meaning and various other aspects. So, let us discuss the basic meaning of knowledge and skill.


Knowledge is defined as the process of having an understanding of something, like an object, person, etc. It is basically the skills acquired through practice and education. Awareness of something or someone is often labelled as knowledge. Knowledge might be practical or theoretical, based on the understanding of the subject. Examples of knowledge include the ability to navigate or find a location, the ability to learn alphabets, etc. Well, there are four significant types of knowledge. These are factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, metacognitive knowledge, and procedural knowledge. Knowledge plays a key role in our lives. We learn a lot and gain knowledge about certain things.

Knowledge vs Skill


Skills are slightly different from knowledge. A skill is defined as an ability that has been acquired through practice over time. For instance, if a person is good at dancing or singing, then it is their skill. If they enhance their skills through practice, it can become a profession for them. There are many skills that a person acquires. But in the professional field, there are some skills that the recruiters look for. These skills are:

  • Leadership
  • Communication (Oral & written)
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism
  • Critical Thinking

These are some skills that the recruiters look for. Now, let us look at the difference between these two terms.

1. Knowledge is defined as the process of acquiring a skill through education. Awareness of anything is labelled as knowledge. On the other hand, skill is defined as the process of acquiring ability through a lot of practice and hard work.
2. Knowledge can be theoretical or practical based on the understanding of a particular subject. Skills are the abilities developed over time through practice and experience.
3. Knowledge is acquired through education, i.e., learning. On the other hand, skill is considered as a practiced behaviour.
4. Knowledge results in having an experience of certain things. Skill is increasing an ability about the things one likes.
5. Knowledge can be increased through information and facts. Skill can be enhanced through hard work and practice.
6. Knowledge gives us the required ability to know whether a particular fact is true or not. On the other hand, skill gives us the ability to focus and enhance our professional life.
7. Knowledge can be transmitted from one person to the other. Skills cannot be transmitted; rather, they are acquired.
8. Knowledge is acquired over time. Skills are developed and enhanced over time.
9. Example:
Knowing to bake a cake.
Baking a cake after having years of training and experience in cooking.

So, these are some of the differences between knowledge and skill. People acquire both skills and knowledge over time. For instance, a person having the ability to communicate with other people easily is an acquired skill. Another example can be a person having knowledge of the historical period of India. Well, there are several types of knowledge and skills developed over time by people. So, let us discuss a few of them.

Types of Knowledge

Apart from the four types of knowledge given above, there are several other kinds of knowledge. They are:

  1. Prior Knowledge: Prior knowledge is defined as the knowledge of facts. One does not have to develop it over time. A person can readily draw conclusions by just reading about them. For instance, a person knows instantly that a bridge can take the weight of heavy trucks and cars. The knowledge of readily drawing conclusions is called prior knowledge.
  2. Dispersed Knowledge: Dispersed knowledge is defined as knowledge that cannot be grasped by any one person. The knowledge is distributed among several people. For instance, a physician can treat for common cold, cough, or flu, but he cannot do surgeries related to the heart. Medical science is a vast arena of knowledge and cannot be grasped by any one person.
  3. Expert Knowledge: Expert knowledge is defined as the knowledge a person has an expertise over a particular subject. A person having expertise is quite knowledgeable. For instance, a history professor will have all the knowledge regarding the histories of several countries.
  4. Empirical Knowledge: The knowledge that has been gained through the sense organs is called empirical knowledge. For instance, most research works are empirical, i.e., a researcher writes whatever he sees or experiences.
  5. Explicit Knowledge: Explicit knowledge is defined as knowledge that is easy to understand and to explain to other people. For instance, the travel guides or manuals are understood by everyone. One can easily understand how to travel or how to start a particular gadget.
  6. Imperative Knowledge: The knowledge of carrying out the tasks effectively is called imperative knowledge. It is the basic understanding through which a person can achieve anything. For instance, in business organizations, the tasks are carried by managers that ensure the smooth running of the organization.

So, these are some of the types of knowledge. There are many other significant kinds like descriptive knowledge, situated knowledge, meta-knowledge, etc. Now, let us look at some of the types of skills.

Types of Skills

Skills are required in every field of life. Therefore, it is necessary to acquire some skills based on the field one is willing to go into. The types of skills are listed below.

  1. Commercial Awareness: Commercial awareness is the process of knowing how a particular business or a company works.
  2. Communication: Communication is an essential skill required in every field. A person has to be clear, concise, focused, and determined.
  3. Teamwork: A person who works efficiently within the team is bound to yield profits for the company. A person must be a team player, i.e., he/ she must contribute enough to achieve the company's goals.
  4. Negotiation & Persuasion: A person must be smart enough to persuade anyone so that both the company and the employee are able to achieve what they want.
  5. Leadership: A person must acquire leadership skills, i.e., one must be able to motivate and inspire his/ her colleagues to reach a particular goal/ task assigned to them.
  6. Ability to work under Pressure: A person must keep calm when there is a workload and must not become distressed or disheartened.
  7. Confidence: One of the major skills that a person must possess is confidence. However, it is important to note that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. One must not be arrogant in his speech or work. One must be humble and confident in their approach.

So, these are some of the types of skills that people must acquire. Knowledge and skills are both imbibed by a person through learning and practice. Thus, knowledge and skills are essential for career development.

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