Accounts: allows you to do basic mathematics and keep up to date books. In addition it helps you know where to look for areas of fraud.
Astrogation: is the skill dealing with navigation in space, generally in low earth orbit (LEO). You will be able to plot basic course trajectories and docking procedures. A very useful skill if you don't trust computers very much. Reading star charts is also covered by this skill. Calculating detailed trajectories and velocity changes will require at least +4 maths.
Astronomy: allows you to plot the movements of the stars and planets. You will be able to work out which stars and planets will be visible or in a specific area, depending on the date.
Biology: is the study of biological organisms from the smallest microbes to us. It allows you to use typical lab apparatus, and carry out various tests, for example, forensics or drug tests.
Botany: is the study of plants and other fauna. The skill allows you the work out what family the plant belongs to, what its use is (if any) and its typical habitat.
Computer Use: is the ability to use general application packages as well as not be baffled by a terminal. People with this skill would make use of word processors, electronic mail, art packages or spreadsheets, for example, on a daily basis.
Diagnose: allows you to work out what ails the patient. Do they have in infection, a wound or even what killed them. On the spot diagnosis is made easier with the right equipment (a lab at best or a suitable tech gadget at worst).
Decking: this deals with accessing, controlling or targeting the programs in your deck's memory by mental command. Without this skill you are not a decker. This skill is used to fight other programs and other deckers, but does not allow you break into computer fortresses (that is the intrusion skill).
Evaluate: is the skill of appraising goods. Typically this will be used by midmen and other streetscum. In that context it would allow the user to estimate how much a certain item (like that dead guy's ICS laptop) would fetch on the black market. If coupled with streetwise, it would also allow reasonable prediction of how much an item would cost / fetch and its availability.
Gambling: is not only the ability to play cards but also work out the odds. A successful roll would help you determine how likely you are to succeed at a given task.
Geology: covers the study of rock and mineral types and geological formations. It would clue you in to how likely a given mineral is to be found, how old the area is, if the structure is really man-made, or the strength of the cavern you are in.
History: covers your character's knowledge of his / her homeland or a specific time period (ancient Greece or the first dark ages). It will allow you to recognise famous landmarks (and why they are famous), specific events (and their cause) or famous people from that era.
Intrusion: is a the skill of decrypting codebarriers and cracking password locked files. Without this skill a decker will be unable to use ICE breaker programs effectively. For more details on its use refer to the "On The Wire" section.
Investment: allows you to make sensible investment plans. You will be able to wheel and deal on stocks, shares and commodities markets. At high levels you will be able to spot junk bonds and become more successful financially.
Language (specific) (varied): this allows you to read and write in your chosen language. At low levels, +2, you will only be able to ask very simple and basic questions. At +3 or more you will be able to read and write in this language. At +6 you will be fluent enough but you won't fool a local. At +8 you speak the language like a native.
The vast majority of languages are standard exp cost skills. Esperanto and also the very basic pidgin english are slightly easier, costing 10% less exp than normal skills. Very old languages, such as anicent greek, latin or egyptian are (A) rated skills.
Law (A): deals with the legal system of a specific country, or more often, a group such as the EFC, GFS and the States. However the american system varies from state to state.
Library Use: this skill covers the ability to search both library's and databases for specified information. For investigators and especially deckers, where vast files need to be summarised, this skill can be invaluable.
Literary Study (A): covers the field of great works or literature, modern writing, philosphy, poetry and some ancient myths. This is a must for budding occult conspiracy theorists and English professors.
Occult: is the study of the occult and the paranormal. All would be magicians have some occult knowledge, as you cannot study a science without learning some of the background. Successful rolls will help you identify demons, spells or clues to (in)famous sorcerers.
Maths: deals with not only simple mental arithmetic but at higher skill levels, calculus and even devising your own formulae.
Physics: This skill requires at least +3 in Maths. This allows you to calculate mechanics, pressures and trajectories.
Physiology: is the study of the standard - and non-standard - human body. It covers how the skeleton, muscles and organs work.
Planetology: This skill is the study of planets. It covers their general terrain, basic atmosphere and geological lay out. It will allow you to find the best place for certain mineral deposits, where to dump a workshack and if that warm glow to the surface is a lava flow or not.
Programming: is the ability to write computer programs. It allows you to write software such as utilities, killers or even virtual realities. It only allows you to create software, so you will be unable to fix your deck, as that is a hardware problem (time to buy a computer tech chip?).
Research: this skill is similar to the contacts and library use skills, in that it allows you to find information on a given subject. It allows you to find information on a target from street, library or legal sources on a successful roll.
Specialist (type): is a skill dealing with your knowledge of a specific area. It is just a knowledge skill or hobby, although more advanced topics may be covered. Talk with your ref for details.
Survival (type): is the ability to survive in the specified environment be it wilderness, space or even the urban environment. Wilderness survival will help you find what things to eat, or not to, where to find water, shelter and even some hunting tips. Space survival covers emergency drills, how to a apply a patch (to prevent depressurisation) or how to get into a skinsuit really quickly. Urban survival deals with safe water supplies, if that junk food from the dustbin is really off and what places are safe to sleep in.
Systems (type): this is similar to a specialist topic although it deals with systems. Systems: netspace would help you find out where to get certain software from, or where ICS's computer system is (so you don't stumble into it). Other systems include roads, law (at least the red tape part) and air or space traffic routes.
Stim Recording: is much like a rigger's interface ability. This is used by dreamrunners to keep their mind clear and focus on the "play" of a stim recording. The higher the 'runner's concentration the better the quality and sensations recorded.
Teach: this skill is the ability to teach someone else what you know- which is NOT an easy task. The higher your teach skill the easier people will find things to pick up when you teach them. As a rule of thumb passing an average  teach roll will grant your student a number of EXP (ref's allocation and decision). How long this takes is up to the referee and you must have at least +5 in the skill you are trying to teach.
Write: is the skill covering your writing ability. It deals with grammar and spelling but also the style of the piece and how well it is written (ie: boring or interesting). Language processors may be able to spell and grammar check but most AI's are hard pressed to write interesting, or moreover, innovative pieces.
Video: is the ability to record and produce a "film". Trid, 3D video and flat video production is covered by this skill. You could produce a report, or short film, of broadcast quality (in terms of editing and filming at least).
Zoology: is knowledge of animals. Successful use will allow you to know what animal made those tracks, what animals are likely in this climate, how dangerous they are and other information.