What is KSA?

First-off, a definition: (Source: Wikipedia)

A KSA, or Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities, is a series of narrative statements that are required when applying to United States Federal government job openings. KSAs are used to determine, along with résumés, who the best applicants are when several candidates qualify for a job. KSAs are meant to be brief and focused on one’s career and educational background that presumably qualify one to perform the duties of the position.

The terms Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities sound so similar that one may think they are interchangeable (or at least overlapping). However, they are distinctly different dimensions of an individual’s qualifications. (Source: The Balance Careers)

  • Knowledge focuses on the understanding of concepts. It is theoretical and not practical. An individual may have an understanding of a topic or tool or some textbook knowledge of it but have no experience applying it. For example, someone might have read hundreds of articles on health and nutrition, many of them in scientific journals, but that doesn’t make that person qualified to dispense advice on nutrition. 

  • Skills are the capabilities or proficiencies developed through training or hands-on experience. Skills are the practical application of theoretical knowledge. Someone can take a course on investing in financial futures, and therefore has knowledge of it. But getting experience in trading these instruments adds skills.

  • Abilities are often confused with skills, yet there is a subtle but important difference. Abilities are the innate traits or talents that a person brings to a task or situation. Many people can learn to negotiate competently by acquiring knowledge about it and practicing the skills it requires. A few are brilliant negotiators because they have the innate ability to persuade.

  • Although the role being a Mother consists of performing hours of work (primarily of unpaid nature), Mothers are not viewed as workers by any State. Therefore, no Job Description or KSA exists for the role.
  • One of the goals of this space is to help form KSA for Motherhood.

  • Featured Photo: Joao Tzanno (Unsplash)