Can Human Capital replace skill?

Paula Villegas- HB

If we were stripped of everything we owned and were forced to make our way back into the real world successfully we would do that using our human capital. According to Naked Economics, human capital consists of “education, intelligence, charisma, creativity, work experience, and entrepreneurial vigor.[1]” In the analogy of making it back on our feet using only talents or advantages we have over others I realized that in certain situations, our human capital can offer more and be more useful than intelligence. An example is being bilingual, it gives you an advantage in your career maximizing your usefulness anywhere you go. CNN Money stated that employers looking to hire for their company look for bilinguals and consider it a very important skill to have that will put them at an advantage over the other applicants. [2] Therefore, a company could be more inclined to hire a bilingual applicant over a person who only speaks English even if he or she is more intelligent and qualified for the job.

Although it could be seen as discrimination, news anchors and other people on television tend to always look attractive and presentable. Their looks become their human capital using their physical appearance as a way to draw an audience’s attention, rather than the actual information being said. Another common time where human capital has an advantage over talent is in the medical field. Doctors visit with many different patients every day, and chances of some of them not speaking English are high in certain areas of America. Bilingual doctors have a higher chance of being hired because of their advantage over only English speaking doctors. Of course a hospital would not hire someone simply because they are bilingual but they will definitely benefit in the long run because of it.

Human Capital can be almost anything that we are either born with or born into, like culture. Physical appearances and languages are only two examples of many that illustrate situations where human capital gets your further than intelligence and skill alone. This benefits those who have certain qualities that help them, but it can be seen as a major problem for those who only have intelligence and lack human capital. All of this answers the question asking, “Can Human Capital replace actual skill and qualification for jobs? ¨, and yes I believe it does. Those seeking jobs will benefit from having all of these certain advantages, and thus will be more likely to be hired.


[1] Naked Economics Undressing the Dismal Science. Paw Prints, 2008.

[2] “Language News.” 6 Ways Bilingualism Can Further Your Career. Accessed June 22, 2016.

Picture- “Human Capital – Google Search.” Human Capital – Google Search. Accessed June 22, 2016. capital.


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