The most in-demand skills for the future

Welcome to the future of work.

“Workers will need to adopt new skills and commit to career-long training. The digital skills required for workers to thrive in the workplace of the future are moving from Silicon Valley to Main Street,” is the word from the World Economic Forum.
A bold statement, but what does this mean for future graduates and students who are just entering universities and business schools?

The future workplace

It’s remote, it’s hybrid, it’s a fast and furious growth mindset that’s always learning.
“The world is changing. The pandemic has caused all of us to change and we’re creating a new work environment.” - Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO, in an interview with Yahoo Finance

Experts are highlighting the move toward “intentional learning” – that is, a growth mindset that deliberately seeks out new skills and strives to improve one’s knowledge base.
Which brings us to the most in-demand skills for the future workforce.

A high-impact study undertaken by The Burning Glass Institute, Business-Higher Education Forum and publisher, Wiley produced a report for the year ahead, titled, How Skills Are Disrupting Work.

What they found, after an analysis of over 220 million job ads is that the fastest-growing, highest-demand emerging skill sets include:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI/machine learning)
  2. Cloud computing
  3. Product management
  4. Social media
  5. Cybersecurity
  6. Big data analytics
  7. Virtual and augmented reality
  8. Blockchain
  9. Video production
  10. User experience

Fundamental skills and competencies to service these industries:


How quickly and how well can you adapt to a constantly-changing globalized workforce? Taking on the learnings from the pandemic, companies are seeking employees who are flexible, adaptable and able to quickly pivot when it comes to tasks, responsibilities and job scope.

Continuous learning

Whether you’re a software developer or social media manager, you must be open to continuous learning. The aforementioned growth mindset is all about constantly researching, learning new concepts, finding innovative solutions and problem-solving.

Soft skills

There’s a place for concrete hard skills but soft skills have never been more valuable. In the age of empathy, diversity and inclusivity, excellent communication skills, compassion, kindness and patience go a long way. Leaders who excel at soft skills are able to build dynamic, empathetic teams who are passionate about the business and eager to work towards shared goals.

Workplace readiness

There’s much to be said for a graduate who has taken the necessary steps to empower themselves as much as possible to be workplace ready. These nice-to-have skills incorporate an attitude of accountability and demonstrates a positive attitude toward self-starting, change and resilience.

Critical thinking

A critical thinker is able to make crucial decisions, often in a short span of time, with limited information. A critical thinker can see outside the parameters of the circumstances or problem. A critical thinker can give a company a keen edge that plays into exceptional results. Critical thinking skills are highly valued, especially for roles that involve people management and strategy.

“We found that the pace of change accelerated markedly during the pandemic. Whether you’re talking about digital skills, soft skills or foundational skills, or social media skills, these are skills that almost everyone’s being asked to have,” - Matt Sigelman, president of the Burning Glass Institute

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