Transferable skills (or competencies) are skills you have acquired from past experiences that are transferable to a different type of career, industry or environment.
Transferable skills may have been developed in many different areas — from your past work experience, academic endeavors, volunteer activities, or in various avocational settings which may include hobbies, clubs, community organizations, associations, etc.
In order to better understand transferable skills, let's look at skills in general. Skills are the building blocks of a job and ultimately a career, and can be divided into the following three areas:
A skill also typically consists of two parts:
For example, a skill with information is "writing lesson plans for a secondary (high school) Biology class." "Writing" is the verb, and "lesson plans" is the noun in this skill example.
The verb is the most transferable part of the skill and the noun is the least transferable part of the skill. Directly related to the transferability of skills is the degree of change of environment in which the skill is used.
For example, if we wanted to transfer "writing lesson plans for a secondary Biology class" to another environment — say out of education altogether — "writing" is the most transferable portion of this skill. In this case writing may be transferable to writing reports, presentations, or proposals in a business environment.
In career planning, it is important to identify skills you already have, and to determine if you have an interest in using that skill in a new occupation.
Identifying your transferrable skills can be accomplished with a Skills Inventory designed to help you discover and prioritize the various skills you have acquired, ranking them from the skills you enjoy the most through the skills you enjoy the least. Skills are the building blocks of a job and ultimately a career.