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Career Options in Hospitality & Tourism: Graduate

The glory days of the undergraduate degree are over, sadly. You may be feeling like a tourist without an educational institution around you and you may need a bit of hospitality to make yourself feel better about the future. You see what we did there? You did… but it wasn’t funny? Okay, okay. Moving on.

You’ve got your degree and have great communication skills. But how to land yourself a job in this ever developing, $2.8 trillion global industry?

Graduate opportunities

- Graduate scheme

- Entry level jobs

- Further study

Graduate schemes are available in the hospitality and tourism industry, most likely in management, be it a hotel, bar or restaurant. However, there are other graduate schemes available in the marketing, business development or the financial side of a company. Graduate scheme deadlines are often early in the academic year, so make sure to get your application completed sooner rather than later.

Additionally, entry level jobs are also a good opportunity for graduates. Make sure your CV showcases all your skills that are relevant to the job such as problem solving, leadership, teamwork and organisation. You could apply for marketing assistant or deputy manager jobs, with a clear trajectory toward becoming a manager.

Further study may be necessary in some cases. Whilst most degrees related to the industry, such as tourism management or international hospitality provide you with the transferable skills and industry knowledge required, if you work in hotel management, you may need to be multi-lingual. If this is the case, you could attend evening classes to brush up on your language skills.

Will my degree do?

As degrees provide you with a wide range of transferable skills, it’s not necessary to study a degree specifically designed for those who want a career in this sector. For example, you could do a finance and accounting degree and still get on a graduate scheme for a large hotel chain. As with most graduate schemes, these are competitive and therefore a 2:1 or first class degree will give you a better chance of landing the role.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

As mentioned, the hospitality and tourism business is a global industry and you may need to be proficient in more than one language, so an evening or refresher language course.

Additionally, strong commercial awareness is a must, as well as knowledge of the business and market. You need to understand consumers and competitors, which makes sense. Let’s think about it, a hotel has thousands of potential customers but also hundreds of competitors so they need to be on the ball when it comes to staying ahead of competitors. This could by offering more competitive prices, swankier room service or offering a new way to book a hotel room, such as through a phone app. A good understanding of the industry, and being able to show this to your potential employers, is key.