Previous discussions on skills mismatch or the future of work highlight the importance of skill demand to develop skill policies and an efficient linkage between skill development and skill use.

Guillermo Montt in his blog article on OECD's Skills and Work blog argues that skills demanded at work can be grouped in four broad categories:

  • basic information-processing skills,
  • advanced cognitive skills,
  • technical job-specific skills and
  • socio-emotional skills.

Of these four broad categories, what are the most relevant for work? Popular claims (see figure below) and a review of employer-based surveys suggest that employers pay special attention at soft skills when hiring. Surveys of job advertisements, on the other hand, argue for the importance of technical job-specific skills.