10 most in-demand business skills by 2027

Author: David Hailstones, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report predicts that by 2025, 50% of workers will need to acquire new skills. Core skills, once considered stable, are set to change, affecting 40% of current workers within a year. The report also predicts that the new technology advancements will cost 23% of people their jobs.

Whether you’re a student looking for a programme which will help you jumpstart your career or are already advancing in your career or contemplating a switch, embracing the acquisition of fresh cognitive, motivational, and social-based skills is crucial.

In this article, we delve into the essence of these future skills, underline their importance, and provide examples of projected in-demand skills.

Why are future skills important?

Understanding the importance of future skills is key to navigating today’s dynamic professional landscape, especially in the era of rapid technological advancements and the pervasive influence of artificial intelligence (AI).

In a world shaped by global changes, staying competitive means staying ahead, and future skills serve as a guide for professionals to remain relevant amid industry transformations.

Top 10 skills needed for the future

As we look to 2027 and beyond, the following skills form the blueprint for a successful career.

Let’s elaborate below on how these top 10 skills apply across various industries, from business development to the dynamic sectors of cruise lines, health and wellbeing, airports, tourism, and hospitality:

Creative Thinking: Fueling Innovation

Innovation starts with creativity. It’s the cornerstone of problem-solving in complex scenarios.

Real-life Examples:

Cruise Line Entertainment: In the fiercely competitive market of cruise line entertainment, success hinges on the ability to craft engaging and unique guest experiences. Creative thinking in this context means going beyond the expected, developing innovative shows, events, and interactive experiences that set a cruise line apart and create lasting memories for passengers.

Health and Wellbeing Industries: The health and wellbeing sector thrives on innovation, particularly through the development of wellness programs that cater to diverse client needs. Creative thinking in this industry involves designing personalized, adaptive approaches to health, incorporating technology, and addressing the unique requirements of individuals to promote overall wellbeing effectively.

Analytical Thinking: Critical Analysis in a Data-Driven World

In today’s data-driven decision-making landscape, the ability to analyze information critically is more vital than ever. Analytical thinking serves as the compass guiding professionals through the complexities of vast datasets, enabling them to extract meaningful insights and make informed choices.


Real-life Examples:


Airport Operations: In the realm of airport operations, where efficiency is paramount, analytical thinking takes center stage. Airports leverage complex data analysis to optimize logistics, enhance security protocols, and streamline passenger flow. For instance, data-driven insights may lead to improved scheduling, minimizing wait times, and maximizing operational efficiency, ultimately creating a smoother and more secure travel experience.


Hospitality Industry: Analytical thinking plays a crucial role in the hospitality sector by shaping personalized and exceptional guest experiences. In this industry, analyzing customer feedback and market trends is key to tailoring services. For example, hotels and resorts use data analytics to understand guest preferences, anticipate needs, and adjust offerings accordingly. This analytical approach not only fosters enhanced guest satisfaction but also cultivates a competitive edge in a market driven by personalized service.


Technological Literacy: Navigating the Tech Landscape

In an era of constant technological advancement, the skill of technological literacy has become non-negotiable. Understanding and leveraging new tools is not just an asset but a necessity in staying relevant and competitive in the modern professional landscape.

Real-life Examples:

Business Developers: In the realm of business development, technological literacy is a game-changer. Professionals in this field harness Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and data analytics tools to predict market shifts, identify trends, and make informed decisions. For instance, utilizing CRM platforms allows businesses to manage and analyze customer interactions, ultimately enhancing relationships and optimizing strategies to align with market demands.

Cruise Lines: The cruise industry exemplifies the importance of technological literacy in optimizing operations and guest experiences. Cruise lines leverage advanced navigation and reservation systems to streamline logistics and enhance overall guest satisfaction. These systems not only facilitate efficient route planning but also enable seamless reservation processes, contributing to a more enjoyable and well-organized cruise experience for passengers.

Curiosity and Lifelong Learning: The Learning Journey Never Ends

In a world that constantly evolves, the learning journey is perpetual. Staying curious and committed to lifelong learning is not just a virtue but a necessity to remain relevant and thrive in a dynamic professional landscape.

Real-life Examples:

Health and Wellbeing Professionals: For professionals in the health and wellbeing sector, staying abreast of the latest research is imperative. The landscape of health is ever-changing, with new discoveries and advancements shaping best practices. Health and wellbeing professionals who embrace curiosity and lifelong learning can provide optimal advice to their clients, integrating the latest evidence-based approaches for better outcomes.

Tourism Industry: In the realm of tourism, staying curious about new destinations and cultures is fundamental. The travel industry thrives on innovation and evolving traveler preferences. Professionals in tourism continually learn about emerging destinations, cultural nuances, and travel trends to offer compelling and unique travel packages. This curiosity-driven learning ensures that their offerings align with the ever-changing desires of the modern traveler.

Resilience, Flexibility, and Agility: Adapting to Change

In an unpredictable world, adaptability is the key to thriving amidst change. The ability to bounce back, stay flexible, and respond with agility is not just advantageous but essential for professionals navigating dynamic and uncertain environments.

Real-life Examples:

Hospitality Industry: The hospitality sector demands quick adaptation to changing customer needs. Resilient professionals in this industry embrace flexibility by continuously adjusting services and offerings to align with evolving guest expectations. Whether it’s introducing new amenities, refining customer experiences, or adapting to industry trends, their resilience allows them to stay ahead in a competitive and ever-changing market.

Airport Personnel: In the aviation sector, airport personnel exemplify agility in the face of unforeseen events such as weather disruptions or security incidents. From rearranging flight schedules to implementing security measures swiftly, their ability to adapt in real-time ensures the safety and satisfaction of passengers. This resilience and flexibility are crucial components in maintaining the efficiency and security of airport operations.

System Thinking: Understanding the Big Picture

In the realm of holistic problem-solving, seeing the big picture and understanding how individual parts influence one another is indispensable. The ability to comprehend and navigate complex interconnections is a fundamental skill for professionals seeking comprehensive solutions.

Real-life Examples:

Business Development: For professionals in business development, understanding the interplay between different business units is paramount. A systems thinking approach allows them to grasp the intricate relationships within an organization, facilitating strategic decision-making that aligns with overarching goals. By comprehending how various departments and functions influence one another, business developers can create synergies that drive overall success.

Cruise Lines: Coordination among diverse elements is essential for the seamless operations of cruise lines. A systems thinking mindset enables cruise industry professionals to understand the interdependence of departments such as crew management, catering, and entertainment. By recognizing how these components interact, cruise lines can ensure a harmonious and enjoyable experience for passengers, showcasing the importance of systems thinking in the intricacies of their operations.

AI and Big Data: Shaping the Future with Technology

In the ongoing evolution of industries, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data are emerging as transformative forces, reshaping the way professionals operate. Mastery of these technologies is not merely a skill; it is a key to navigating and influencing the future.

Real-life Examples:

Health and Wellbeing Sectors: The health and wellbeing sectors leverage Big Data to personalize healthcare. Through the analysis of vast datasets, healthcare professionals can tailor treatment plans, predict health trends, and provide personalized interventions. For example, patient data analytics enables the customization of wellness programs, ensuring that individuals receive healthcare services that are precisely suited to their unique needs.

Tourism Businesses: In the tourism industry, businesses are harnessing the power of AI for personalized travel recommendations and automated customer service. AI algorithms analyze vast amounts of data, including travel preferences and behaviors, to offer tailored suggestions to travelers. Additionally, automated customer service systems powered by AI enhance efficiency, providing quick and personalized assistance to travelers throughout their journeys.

Motivation and Self Awareness: Driving Success

In the pursuit of success, understanding oneself, pushing boundaries, and maintaining a relentless drive to achieve are fundamental principles. Motivation and self-awareness serve as catalysts for individuals striving to excel in dynamic and challenging professional environments.

Real-life Examples:

High-Stress Airport Environments: In high-stress airport environments, self-motivated individuals stand out. Whether managing flight schedules, handling passenger inquiries, or addressing unexpected challenges, those who possess a deep internal drive can navigate the fast-paced and demanding nature of airport operations with resilience and determination. This self-motivation not only fuels personal success but also contributes to the overall efficiency of airport services.

Hospitality Industry: In the hospitality sector, self-awareness plays a pivotal role in fostering better team dynamics and leadership. Individuals who are conscious of their strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles can navigate diverse and dynamic team environments more effectively. This self-awareness enables them to lead with empathy, adaptability, and a collaborative spirit, contributing to a positive and cohesive work environment within the hospitality industry.

Talent Management: Nurturing Skills for Success

At the core of all operations lie people, and the ability to lead and develop talent is a skill that commands respect and attention. Effective talent management is the key to cultivating a thriving and successful professional environment.

Real-life Examples:

Cruise Lines: Cruise lines exemplify the importance of effective talent management in their diverse crews. Coordinating a team from various cultural backgrounds and skill sets requires adept leadership and talent development strategies. Successful talent management in this context ensures a harmonious work environment, contributing to the overall satisfaction of both passengers and crew members.

Health and Wellbeing Industry: In the health and wellbeing sector, leading teams is paramount to business success. Talent management in this industry involves not only recruiting skilled professionals but also fostering their growth and well-being. Effective leadership in health and wellbeing organizations ensures that teams are motivated, well-supported, and capable of delivering high-quality services to clients.

Services Orientation and Customer Service: Excellence is Timeless

Exceptional service stands as a timeless cornerstone, the essence of customer retention, and the catalyst for business growth. It is the unwavering commitment to providing outstanding service that not only satisfies but creates lasting impressions in the hearts of customers.

Real-life Examples:

Business Development Sector: In business development, customer service excellence forms the bedrock of strong relationships and repeat business. Professionals who prioritize exceptional service skills not only attract clients but also cultivate trust and loyalty, laying the foundation for sustained business growth.

Cruise Lines: Cruise lines heavily depend on a strong service orientation to create memorable experiences and foster customer loyalty. Exceptional service is not just about meeting expectations; it’s about exceeding them. It’s this commitment to service excellence that transforms a cruise journey into a cherished and unforgettable adventure.

Health and Wellbeing Professionals: Exemplary service skills in the health and wellbeing sector build trust and retain clients over the long term. Whether in healthcare, fitness, or wellness, professionals who prioritize service excellence create an environment where clients feel valued and supported on their health journey.

Airport Customer Service: In the high-stress environment of travel, airport customer service plays a critical role. Ensuring passengers feel supported and valued amid the challenges of air travel contributes significantly to managing the stress of travel and fostering positive experiences.

Tourism and Hospitality: In tourism and hospitality, exceptional service is the cornerstone of guest satisfaction and can distinguish a brand in a crowded marketplace. Whether it’s a luxurious resort, boutique hotel, or a guided tour, exceptional service elevates the overall guest experience, creating loyal patrons and positive word-of-mouth.

Each of these skills stated through the WEF research are crucial for adapting to the fast-paced changes and unique challenges presented in these diverse industries. By cultivating these competencies, professionals can lead their respective fields toward innovative growth and unparalleled service excellence.

How to acquire these future skills?

At BVIS Switzerland, we pride ourselves on an academic ethos that is in constant dialogue with the pulse of industry innovation and leadership. Recognized globally for our dynamic curriculum that adapts to market trends, we prepare our students to be the vanguards of the future workforce.

In a nation celebrated for its security and ground-breaking advancements, we ensure that our educational strategies are not just responsive but proactive and always moving forward strategically. How do we do that?

We listen, research, and collaborate with thought leaders across sectors to integrate the ‘Top Skills for 2027’ as identified by the World Economic Forum (WEF) into our programs.

This commitment positions our graduates not just to meet but to exceed the demands of a rapidly evolving professional landscape.

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