Organizational pundits often talk about the difference between “hard” and “soft” skills.  The idea is this: hard skills, or technical skills, are the competencies that companies pay for.  If you are hired as an engineer you had better demonstrate expertise in computing, data analysis and modeling, and systems design.  Hard, or technical skills, are directly relevant, must have, easily measurable, certifiable through degrees or certificates of qualification, and differentiated depending on the field and specialty.