The Pyramid of Global Competencies
The four dimensions described earlier in the previous subsection are categorized into a pyramid model composed of four main levels: 1 —generic, 2—domain specific, 3—subdomain specific, and 4—functional specific; see Fig. 2.2.
Level 1—Generic: The Dimensions II, III, and IV are global for twenty-first-century human talent; they can be needed in most disciplines and professions, and they are also considered as competencies for life, personal, and interpersonal relations. Dimension I in an abstract manner is generically applicable to all professions, but it functions as a differentiating dimension. The type of competencies in Dimension I will be different depending on the domain. This is what we call Level 1 in the competencies pyramid model shown in Fig. 2.2.
Fig. 2.2 Ontological conceptual framework of the relation among skills (from generic to specific)
Level 2—Domain Specific: Dimension I is a differentiating set of competencies depending on the discipline. For instance, in engineering the following competencies will be applicable for Dimension I: 1—sciences knowledge (math, physics, and science fundamentals), 2—disciplinary engineering fundamentals, 3—interdisciplinary engineering fundamentals, 4—multidisciplinary knowledge, 5—practical skills, and 6—ICT skills. In another field such as business, for instance, Dimension I competencies will be as follows: 1—sciences knowledge (math, physics, and science fundamentals), 2—disciplinary business fundamentals, 3— interdisciplinary business fundamentals, 4—multidisciplinary knowledge, 5— practical skills, and 6—ICT skills. Taking a discipline in engineering (Eng) and in business (Buis.) such as electrical engineering (Eng.) and accounting (Buis.), Dimension I competencies will be differentiating in these sets. For instance, practical skills in electrical engineering will be to a significant extent different from practical skills in accounting; science knowledge in engineering will be to a significant extent different from math and sciences knowledge in accounting. Electrical engineers will need to know interdisciplinary knowledge of other engineering disciplines such as mechanical and computer engineering, while accountants will need to know interdisciplinary knowledge of other business disciplines such as management or information systems. Electrical engineers will need to know apart from conventional software such as MS word, knowledge about engineering software tools such as MATLAB or CAD design, while accountants similarly need to know about MS word, but also other specific domain software systems for accounting.
Level 3—SubDomain Specific: Similarly, Dimension I competencies will get further differentiation as we move from a domain specific (e.g. engineering or business) into a subdomain specific (e.g. electrical engineering or mechanical engineering in the engineering domain, or accountant or information systems in the business domain).
Level 4—Functional Specific: This level will differentiate the competencies of Dimension 1 depending on the employability function. For instance, engineers in R&D will need more in-depth knowledge of math and science fundamentals, and disciplinary engineering knowledge, than engineers in design function. Engineers in design function will need more practical skills, interdisciplinary engineering knowledge, and multidisciplinary knowledge than engineers in R&D functions.
Overall, Dimensions II, III, and IV form a global space of competencies that operate in a sphere of a domain or subdomain, and are also differentiated depending on function. The relationship among the four dimensions is represented visually with a 3D space composed of Dimensions II, III, and IV, which are professional and interpersonal, cognition and thinking, and business and management. Dimension I (the differentiating dimension) is represented by a sphere in the 3D global competencies space; this is shown in Fig. 2.3.
The relationship among the different terminologies and concepts of skills reviewed in various literature has been systematically modelled and are shown in an ontological framework in Fig. 2.2. The analysis has shown that all of the 22 skills
Fig. 2.3 Twenty-first-century talent competencies
Fig. 2.4 The global set of twenty-first-century skills
are common between the two aimed dimensions, but topological differences in terms of emphasis have arisen; this will be highlighted in further details in this section. The global set of 22 skills are further defined and detailed later in Appendix B; Fig. 2.4 shows the developed model.