A skill is generally referred to as a useful ability that can only be obtained through study and practice, usually under the tutelage of a mentor. Good examples of this include iron smithing, computer programming and foreign languages, all three of which require some amount of training and education. Other skills, such as public speaking and leadership, can be acquired through trial and error.

Skills V.S. Talents

Skills that are highly entertaining in nature are sometimes considered "talents", even though talents are also considered to be intuitive abilities unique to an individual that require little learning, if any, in the first place. For the sake of avoiding such semantical confusions, many have chosen to regard skills and talents to be part of the same spectrum of learned knowledge. Others, however, continue to hold talents as genuinely real, if misunderstood, concepts and thus advocate for their appropriate use.

In Business

Skills as marketable abilities are unequal in nature as many are far more valuable than others, depending on the industry. High-demand skills tend to be derived from the Sciences, although this is not always the case. Unique skills from other fields of study, such as Law or History, can also prove lucrative if marketed effectively and blends of lesser skills can be just as profitable as one (yet highly sought) skill alone.

The Importance of Perspective In Defining Skills

Because the term is somewhat subjective in nature, some learned abilities may not necessarily be regarded as skills by the general populace due to the fact that human beings tend to differ in how they view its usefulness. This is especially the case for the mentally and physically handicapped who tend to lack learned abilities so basic that, to most everyone else, are not skills at all yet invaluable skills to them and their families once they are achieved. This all goes to show that as universal as some words may sound, the limits of their definitions in themselves can occasionally act as paradoxes.