Key Difference – Knowledge vs Skills
Knowledge and skills are two words that are often confused although there is a clear difference between these two words. First let us define knowledge. This refers to information or awareness gained through education or experience. For example, when we read a book or go through a newspaper we gain information. This can be considered as knowledge. Skills, however, refer to abilities that we have to perform various tasks. Computer skills, presentation skills are some such examples. Skills are mostly developed as we gain new experiences or practical exposure. Hence, the key difference between knowledge and skills is that knowledge is gained through education, unlike skills that develop with practice.
What is Knowledge?
The Oxford dictionary defines knowledge as information or awareness gained through education or experience. There are many ways through which we can acquire knowledge. For example, by reading books, going through newspapers and browsing the internet, we can gain knowledge about various subjects. Other than these, schools, colleges and universities are also places where knowledge is instilled into students.
Knowledge includes various aspects of theoretical information that we study in a subject. For example, in psychology, there are many theories, concepts, and approaches. These are considered as scientific knowledge. Now let us have a look at what is denoted by skills.
What are Skills?
Skills are abilities that we have to perform something well. Developing and improving our skills can be a rather tedious task as it requires much practice. In different fields, different skills are given prominence. For example organizing skills, presentation skills, technical skills are some examples.
When a person is equipped with theoretical knowledge, he can use this knowledge to develop his skills. Let us comprehend this through an example from psychology. As we mentioned earlier, psychology is an academic discipline that produces scientific knowledge. A person who studies psychology can use this knowledge to develop his skills as a counselor. Here, the knowledge that the individual has already acquired is transformed into skills that will assist him in practical situations. The theories that he has learned, the various perspectives, and approaches are given a practical significance. For instance, in psychology, we learn of a concept called empathy, which allows us to understand the other person’s point of view. The person has to develop this as a counseling skill if he wishes to be effective. As you can see, knowledge and skills are two different concepts although there is a connection between them.
What is the difference between Knowledge and Skills?
Definitions of Knowledge and Skills:
Knowledge: Knowledge refers to information or awareness gained through education or experience.
Skills: Skills refer to abilities that we have to perform something well.
Characteristics of Knowledge and Skills:
Knowledge: Knowledge comes through education or experience.
Skills: Skills come through practice.
Knowledge: With reference to a particular subject, knowledge includes theory.
Skills: Skills include the practical abilities that we develop with the assistance of the knowledge that we have gained.
Knowledge: Knowledge is usually gained through education. Hence it is not inherent.
Skills: Some skills can be inherent.
1. “SanDiegoCityCollegeLearningResource – bookshelf” by Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA – Flickr. [CC BY 2.0] via Commons