Lightcast Open Skills Taxonomy

The only skills library you need. Free to use and ready right now.

A comprehensive, current, crowd-sourced common skills language. Our free and accessible library of 32,000+ skills comes from real-world use cases, honed by in-house experts, so you don't have to create a list yourself or rely on one you can't trust.

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For skills to be useful, everyone needs to understand what everyone else is saying.

Nobody can fully understand a job without understanding the skills it requires—meaning a skills-based approach is crucial for everyone at every level of the labor market. 

The Lightcast Open Skills Library delivers clarity by allowing everyone to speak the same language. Use our free open standard API to articulate your skills needs, and leave the details to us: our dedicated team of taxonomists and engineers cleans, checks, and updates each entry so that you always have the most accurate and up-to-date picture of the labor market.

Open Skills is freely available because we believe in using data for good and creating a labor market that works for everyone. Through the shared language of skills, we can enable a world where every worker and every job can find their best fits as efficiently as easily as possible.


Ready to get started?

Access and plug in our skill library of over 32,000 skills. Each has a unique machine-readable identifier and a defined relationship to other skills in the taxonomy—guided by real-world job postings and profiles, refined by human experts. All for free.

What Are Your Options?

We'll be honest: Lightcast Open Skills isn't the only library available to use. There are guides and tools available to build your own, and The World Economic Forum has an interactive taxonomy available as well. The advantage of Lightcast Open Skills is that it's based in the real-world, with understandable connections between skills, and easily accessible right away—and if you need to add something specialized to your organization, we can add it. Just like the taxonomy itself, submissions are open.

See For Yourself

With every release, between 30 and 50 entries are added to Open Skills—defined and assessed by in-house experts, with clear relationships to the other skills. Adding skills so frequently is how we stay on top of emerging trends in the labor market and stay ahead of slower releases like those from government agencies.

But don't take our word for it—the Skills Taxonomy Changelog is freely accessible, so you can see exactly what we've been up to. You can also read more about how our data taxonomies are organized.


Lightcast Open Skills: Under the Hood

Created by Experts

Lightcast Skills is created by a team of economists and labor market analysts who have worked with real-time labor market data for over 20 years. Nobody knows skills better.

Real Life Insight

We’ve gathered over 30,000 skills from hundreds of millions of online job postings and profiles from multiple sources—more than any other data provider. We also meticulously clean up and fact-check each skill before adding it to the library.


Each skill has a machine-readable, unique, identifiable skill ID. Use our free skill-tagging prototype to translate your syllabus, resume, or your job posting into the common language of skills.

Always Fresh

We’re constantly updating our skills library so it reflects the latest changes in the labor market. We add new skills, remove old ones, and tidy up terminology as necessary.

Open to Feedback

We love collaboration and need your help. Don’t see a skill? Suggest a new skill.

Connecting The Dots

Send one or more skills to the API and it auto-populates related skills that show up together in the real world. This feature is limited to 50 free API calls per year.

Pages and Pages

Every skill has its own unique page in the Lightcast Open Skills Library. Each page displays related skills, the top job titles and top companies posting for that skill, the job postings trend line over the last twelve months, and live job postings that you can click into to view that skill in real time (and most also have a Wikipedia definition for further clarity). Here's an example page for Javascript Programming Language Skills.

Define The Relationship

Skill categories and subcategories act as a way to logically group the skills in our library and create a hierarchy to easily view related skills. Categories are broad areas of expertise that map to career areas, and subcategories provide a group of skills specific to performing a specific aspect of a job. Learn more about Lightcast data taxonomies.

Meeting You Where You Are

Using Open Skills can be the first step to becoming a skills-based organization, but it's up to you. We're happy to provide exactly as much data as you need for however long you need it.

Try it out! Explore the tools on this page to see what Open Skills can do.


More To Explore

Our skills solutions don't end with the taxonomy API. Everyone involved with the labor market at any level—from individuals and educators to communities and businesses—can put skills to work. There's more to explore.

Let's get started.

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