Siirry sisältöön
Continuous learning
Future-proof your career

At Haaga-Helia, we are always looking for ways to make sure that our students will be employable and empowered to start their careers with the best possible skill sets available.


Annika Konttinen

lehtori, matkailuliiketoiminta
Senior Lecturer, tourism business
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Anu Seppänen

lehtori, markkinointi ja viestintä
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 23.11.2023

We hear of competences and skills that are needed in the world of work. Previously called soft skills are vital for thriving in any occupation, and are now referred to as transversal skills. From an educators point of view, we selected the top 10 skills to have to future-proof a career.

Curiosity and lifelong learning

Curious individuals are naturally inclined to ask questions, seek knowledge, and explore new ideas and concepts. According to SAS Institute’s report (2021), curiosity is becoming an essential characteristic in job hunting. The innate drive to learn new things, search for fresh knowledge, and uncover innovative opportunities is increasingly recognised as a highly sought-after skill by employers.

Analytical thinking and creativity

According to World Economic Forum (2023), analytical and creative thinking are the most vital competencies for employees to have in the future. At Haaga-Helia, we introduce our students to assignments that require the use of imagination and analytical thinking to feed the creative spirit in our students. Microsoft (2023) points at AI to unleash creativity in humans as it takes out the boring routines from work.


Agility allows students to think beyond traditional career paths and adapt to changing markets and opportunities. Peiker (2023) states that making agility a leadership principle is also essential for the success of business. Companies that foster skill development in their teams contribute to overall business adaptability. It is vital to encourage both students and employees to grow and find purpose in their work in a dynamic environment. Employees must be ready to embrace change and adapt to new ways quickly – also rethink and unlearn old ways (Grant 2021).


Collaboration draws together diverse individuals, who bring different perspectives and knowledge that leads to innovative and well-rounded solutions. According to Gardner (2023), demonstrating appreciation and acknowledgement for colleagues fosters a sense of support and interconnectedness that lead to strong professional networks. Asking for help and involving experts from various fields can enhance the quality and credibility of projects.


In our time of fast-speed social media messaging, solid oral and written communication skills are paramount. Future employees and experts of their own field, need to sell their story and serve their audience online and offline, with the right tone and message. Reading can never be overestimated as a source of learning, and it improves writing, too. Underlining, reading aloud, taking and comparing notes, and talking about what has been read are good ways to better communication. For oral communication, benchmarking can be done by watching great speakers through TED Talks. Only practice makes perfect.

Problem solving

Employers are looking for people who dare tackle challenges and deal with unexpected situations, and who are eager to find solutions. At Haaga-Helia, we expose our students to different ways to solve problems by introducing them to methods of design thinking, e.g. Design Sprints and hackathons. These tools are used by businesses in any industry around the world.

Time management and self-motivation

Students confess to being procrastinators with the habit of leaving everything to the very last minute. With motivation and goals to achieve in life, it is easier to prioritise and fight procrastination. A useful tool is the Pomodoro technique: work uninterrupted for 25 minutes and then a 5-minute break – hyper-concentration brings a reward.

Social skills

Even though many say that they crave social contacts and meeting people, it can be a stressful experience. It is easy to hide behind the black box in Zoom, but an entirely different thing to meet people face-to-face. Modern technology gives access, but to get a job and a fulfilling career, the skill to function with people is necessary.

Emotional intelligence and empathy

As digitalisation and AI are getting to the forefront, with 300 million jobs globally affected by artificial intelligence (Microsoft 2023), humans need to strengthen the skills that make them different from machines. Emotional intelligence and empathy are two critical skills that machines cannot emulate. While technology can make experiences more accessible and inclusive, humans are needed to give their input of emotional intelligence, which only they can provide.

Resilience and grit

Resilience is the ability to continue despite setbacks and difficulties. The ability to bounce back comes handy in everyone’s life at some point. Angela Lee Duckworth has a splendid TED Talk about how grit is the predictor of success in students. No one can succeed in every venture, no matter how many of the above skills they possess. Everyone fails at some point and needs the stamina to try again…and again.

Finnish sisu – grit, persistence, perseverance, resilience – is required in any career. With the skills we have listed, you can future-proof your career. Keep going strong, and at times check back at the list and remind yourself to stay curious, analytical & creative, agile… and so on.


Grant, A. 2021. Think again – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. WH Allen. London.

Microsoft 2023. Will AI Fix Work? Work Trend Index.

SAS Institute. 2021. Curiosity @ Work Report.

World Economic Forum. 2023. The future of jobs report 2023.

Editing: Marianne Wegmüller

Picture: Haaga-Helia