How We Define “Skilled” Work

And the problems with our classification systems

What occupations are considered “skilled”? Maybe it’s the jobs that require a college degree. Or the ones with the highest wages. Perhaps it’s the level of judgement required.

Although “skilled” and “unskilled” remain common terms used to describe and analyze the workforce, there isn’t a consistent way to classify work into those categories. Whether or not it’s productive to define skills in this way, it’s useful to understand when we started categorizing jobs by skill level…