A Career in Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism
The leisure, tourism and hospitality industry has plenty to offer the graduate both at home and abroad. There are plenty of jobs to choose from in a variety of different settings; entertainment, hotels, bars, clubs, health and fitness etc and there are lots of management opportunities too.
There are many routes to careers in hospitality and it’s not always necessary to have qualifications to start. You could start with earn-as-you-learn training, perhaps get onto a graduate scheme or study for a postgraduate qualification to boost your career opportunities. Smaller employers generally have less formal schemes and you may be given more responsibility earlier in your career.
Every organisation has a slightly different recruitment process; some prefer an on-line application form whereas others want a resume and covering letter. You may be asked to attend a single interview or a series of more complex interviews and assessments if you are trying for a place on a graduate scheme. Make sure you prepare well for your interview by researching the role and the organisation thoroughly so that you impress on the day.
Skills and qualifications
You don’t always need a degree although a relevant industry qualification will give you an edge over the competition and might get you onto a higher rung on the career ladder. You could study for a foundation degree or a diploma right up to an undergraduate or master’s degree. Alternatively, an apprenticeship offers earn-as-you-learn training whilst you study for a vocational qualification. You could also gain chartered status through a relevant professional body.
Skills your employer would look for include; good communication, teamwork, industry commitment, flexibility, enthusiasm and commercial awareness.
The hospitality industry is worldwide. There’s huge scope for travel in any number of different environments from ski resorts in North America to beach paradise honeymoon hotels in the Caribbean. Career paths include; adventure tourism, events, cruise liners, food and drink, health and fitness, hotels, bars and clubs, travel agency, tour operators or heritage.
Graduate salaries vary greatly depending upon which area of the industry you choose to work in and the nature of your role. Career progression is rapid and brings with it an increase in earnings. The usual graduate starting salary for hotel and catering organisations is £17,000 per annum rising to £28,000 as manager of a small hotel or even £215,000 as general manager of a prestigious five-star resort.
Work experience is really important in order to give you a taste of the industry and help you decide which area would suit you best. Employers are impressed too as this demonstrates your commitment to working in that sector, particularly if you gain work experience whilst still studying.
The leisure industry has plenty of openings for management and supervisory level jobs and currently there is a shortage of applicants to fill them. However, training schemes for graduates are still competitive so you need to do everything you can to impress.
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk