I am looking for a single word or term that describes "competences I want to acquire" or "skills I want to learn".

This stands opposite to "things I already know or can do", as in "my competences" and "my skills"; which are things I already learned. Opposite to that, are the things I still want to learn.

Objectives, and Goals come to mind, but to me (being a non-native English speaker) those don't entirely fit, I might be wrong. Goal seems more of a target, a 'place' where I want to end up. And objective is far broader, it can be used for "skills I want to learn" but also for "today's objective is to finish before 5".

  • 4
    Are they aspirations? Jul 8, 2020 at 14:54
  • @YosefBaskin: I am not entirely familiar with that word, but yes! It seems to fit. Unclear to me, if whether it is "positive": as in: is it something I want to learn (and become a better person?) as would be the case with "intentions"?
    – berkes
    Jul 8, 2020 at 14:55
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    If you can truthfully say that you are at least slightly engaged (e.g. looking at course catalogs) toward acquiring each of these skills, I would say In Progress. Jul 8, 2020 at 15:01
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    Thanks @WeatherVane, I've fixed the spelling.
    – berkes
    Jul 8, 2020 at 15:18
  • @berkes How could an aspiration (from the verb aspire: "to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal") be negative in any practical way? Why would anybody aspire to have a bad thing happen to them—especially if they didn't want it to happen to them? Jul 8, 2020 at 22:00

1 Answer 1


This had been a comment, but I'm adding it as an answer, since, after clarification, it satisfies the question.

Competencies that you want to acquire, objectives and goals in a subjectively positive sense, are aspirations:

1 a : a strong desire to achieve something high or great
       // an aspiration to become famous
—usually plural
       // a young man with political/literary aspirations
2 b : an object of such desire
       // An acting career is her aspiration.

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