A comprehensive and constantly updated

Skills Taxonomy

covering skills across industries and functions
available as


a powerful resource for HR Tech application
(job portals, HRIS, Learning Management Systems, Recruitment systems)

Explore skills in the taxonomy through this Skills Profiler frontend
Watch a video on richness of Skills Taxonomy

Enquire on the Skills Taxonomy now

The IYS Skills Taxonomy is available as

  • Categorized Skills CSV file (Know More)
  • JSON file with associations and other features (Know More)
  • API for complete and up-to-date access to the skills (Know More)

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    Skills Taxonomy Option 1

    Categorized Skills List in CSV

    A derivative of the Skills Taxonomy is provided as a CSV file that has skills under high level and next level categories. Example (IT >> Programming Languages >> C++)

    Download Sample of the Categorized Skills List

    To purchase the Categorized Skills List

    Skills Taxonomy Option 2

    Skills Taxonomy in JSON format

    The skills taxonomy is provided as a JSON file. This option provides for benefiting from the different relationships between the skills. Thus it can be far more useful for analysis and deriving insights

    View Sample JSON file

    To purchase the JSON file

    Skills Taxonomy Option 3

    Skills Taxonomy API

    The IYS Skills Taxonomy can be accessed through API. This provides two benefits. One, access to the complete richness of the Skills Taxonomy. Two, access to the most updated database. IYS enriches its Skills Taxonomy on a daily basis.

    Read Documentation on the Skills API

    To subscribe to the Skills API

    Wide Coverage

    ISOT as of July 2021 covers 34 high-level categories and over 100,000 skills or terms.


    Terms cover different aspects of skills including Functional / Technical Skills, Soft Skills, Activities, Certifications, Knowledge, Domain and Roles

    A common framework - contextualized

    When organizing skills in areas or functions or categories a broad level framework is used. For any function, role or occupation typically we would want to understand the above dimensions.

    But this cannot be strictly applied in all cases of categories, functions and occupations. In some cases some dimension(s) may not be relevant. Surely the terminologies of these dimensions vary.

    Three Layered structure

    Terms are organized at three levels. At Layer 1 terms are aggregated, normalized for spelling differences, acronyms and synonyms

    At Layer 2, terms are grouped together based on their similarity

    At Layer 3, terms and groups of terms are connected or associated with each other

    Three types of Associations

    One, where terms or group of terms are associated as children under a node

    Two, where terms or groups of terms are associated as surrogate children from another branch

    Three, terms or groups of terms are associated as relatives.

    The three types are also indicative of the closeness of relevance to terms

    Thus we have both, a hierarchical construct as well as a graphical construct in the taxonomy

    Proxy Names

    Sometimes the way a term is referred to within the tree structure can be different from the way one would search for the term. For example, within a tree we may have “Speaking Language” as parent and languages like English, Hindi, French as its children. However in search we would include Speaking English, Speaking Hindi, Speaking French as the search phrases. We call these Proxy terms.

    One to many relationships

    The corollary of the above is that there can be one to many relationships. A skill or a group of skills can be associated with one or more branches. This is reflective of the skills landscape as it is. An Electrician and his activities could be part of a tree or Engineering or Skills Trade. But then when we are in say Oil & Gas we could have occupations of Electrician. But the activities and skills are almost similar in both.

    This in fact is the beauty of the skills space. Skills given their contextual alignment bring enormous possibilities for deployment of human talent. Seen from another angle such multi-contextual application is complex when it comes to organizing skills.


    Not all the terms within ISOT is searchable so as to ensure smoothness in search or better discoverability


    Skills are tagged so that different type of properties can be assigned to a group of skills with similar behavior and classified under a tag.

    Proficiency Rating

    Proficiencies are a an important measure when it comes to skills. IYS uses a four point scale for indicating proficiencies. And the proficiencies vary based on the nature of the skill. For example domain experience is better differentiated based on years of experience. Whereas for Programming overall years of experience itself may not be a good measure.


    In ISOT different roles are assigned to different Areas. For example, in Software Development we may have roles such as Development, Architecting and Project Management. Activities performed in these roles are different. Also the soft skills required for these roles are different.

    ISOT recommends soft skills that could be relevant if one is playing that role.

    Note: Titles are not same as Roles. Titles are typically indicative of function and position in an organization hierarchy. Roles are typically centered around skills required for the role. We could have a Title of Software Developer but multiple roles within this such as Web Developer, Blockchain Developer

    Ordering of skills

    A group of skills under a node can be ordered in different areas. The ordering can vary based on context. In some cases we may want the order to be Alphabetical and in some cases based on popularity


    ISOT is modeled in such a way that the taxonomy can be scaled seamlessly horizontally and vertically. And gives flexibility to accommodate changes or edits to existing constructs and not just new constructs

    The design also gives room to accommodate specific requirements of organizations to add skills specific to their organizations and to be visible only to that organization.