Because Hospitality Education Develops Essential Job Skills for the Future

While the pandemic has changed the hospitality and tourism industry, it has not dampened the outlook for hospitality school graduates because hospitality education prepares students for the unknown future.

What will the job market be like in five or ten years? Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that some skills will remain in high demand, while others will become obselete. Based on the World Economic Forum’s Future Jobs Report, these are some of the top skills that will be essential for jobs in 2025. For each category of skills, we'll discuss how EHL's long-standing pillars of education develop those skills.

Problem Solving

Many of the top soft skills listed on LinkedIn or in the World Economic Forum (WEF) reports are related to thinking: Analytical thinking, Critical thinking and analysis, Complex problem-solving, Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation. These thinking skills are developed by the first pillar of EHL's hospitality education model: Experiential Education, or learning from experience.

The first year of EHL's bachelor's degree program is all about immersive, hands-on learning in hospitality environments, which creates a strong foundation of know-how. The subsequent years of management theory and business strategy add analysis and critical thinking to that first-hand knowledge. The process culminates in real-world business projects where students prove their ability to analyze and solve complex business problems.
"EHL graduates are Thinkers. They are creative and pragmatic problem solvers who can work in complex and uncertain situations using appropriate technology to analyze and critically assess data using strong analytical and deduction skills."

Working Well with Others

A popular feature on any "top skills" list is Emotional Intelligence (EI). Many people wrongly assume that EI is an inherent trait that comes from one's culture or personality. However, Emotional Intelligence can be learned and developed, just like any other skill and the well-rounded, international and multicultural EHL university experience develops EI through the Social Learning Context:

"Learning is a social process. To be successful at EHL, and in the business world, students learn to work together throughout their studies. They learn to be part of a team, as both leader and member, and to instill a collaborative spirit. Teamwork extends outside of the classroom on student committees and other projects that align with specific learning outcomes."
"EHL graduates are refined Hosts, who display courtesy and are able to adapt to various social contexts. They are open-minded Humanists, cultivated, knowledgeable about humanity and sensitive to cultural differences."

Developing Leadership

Another skill set that tops the lists is leadership and social influence, or persuasion. Leadership qualities are not genetic or related to one's personality type, they are qualities that students can develop by gaining confidence in their knowledge and skills and by becoming aware of the social, environmental and cultural implications of their actions.

Leadership involves influencing others to achieve a common goal and EHL students learn to become leaders through their group projects, student committees, and internships. With each experience, they receive feedback and strive for better results, gaining confidence along the way.

"As future leaders in hospitality and related industries, EHL graduates demonstrate leadership, team spirit, and can communicate effectively in a multicultural context. They are responsible citizens, who contribute to economically and socially sustainable development, through their understanding of environmental, societal and ethical issues."

Innovating & Being Creative

Innovation is another skill that makes the top lists and it is widely overused to describe anything that is new or exciting. Innovation is about coming up with solutions for problems and improving the way things are done for better results. It's hard to teach someone to "be innovative" but it's not difficult to teach someone to innovate wisely using research and methodology.

For example, EHL students take a workshop on Research & Development in their first semester to learn how the industry develops and tests new products and concepts. The EHL Innovation Village has a Business Incubator where students learn how startups go from a great creative idea, to a viable business project. Hospitality experiences arouse student's creativity and business classes teach them how to make their ideas work in the real world.

Active Learning

Active learning and learning strategies is a new skill set that appeared this year in the WEF report. This skill is increasingly important because the world is changing so quickly that leaders and entrepreneurs have to constantly update their knowledge and skills to keep up.

Hospitality education at EHL teaches students to love learning because it takes a scientific approach that sparks curiosity and involves the five senses. This is the fourth pillar: "Awareness of and Appreciation for Lifelong Learning: An EHL education provides students with an awareness that learning is a lifelong process. EHL graduates obtain the skills and drive necessary to continue to learn long after they leave our campus."

Hospitality Education is Future-Proof

Over the past decade, the hospitality industry created millions of new jobs every year and offered endless possibilities for career advancement. When COVID-19 happened, the industry was shut-down, practically overnight, as international travel bans and social distancing measures forced customers to stay home and re-think leisure activities entirely. Indeed, 2020 was a bad year for hospitality in decades, but it's definitely not the end.

Hospitality is one of the most resilient, adaptable and dynamic industries on the planet. It is an industry of constant change, where technology and innovation are being integrated to improve the guest experience. New concepts for lodging, travel and restaurants are constantly being invented to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers. The more the world changes, the more opportunities arise for new hospitality jobs and businesses.